Finnish consumers show interest in local and organic food

Number of shops specializing in locally produced food is increasing rapidly.

Consumer interest in locally produced food and organic food has clearly increased in Finland, according to a new study published by the National Consumer Research Centre and Pellervo Economic Research PTT. The results of the study show that 59% of Finnish consumers considered local food as an important issue in 2011, compared to 41% in 2005. Interest in organic food has also increased by 13% in the same time period, attracting a total of 40% of consumers.

There are currently more than 140 shops specializing in locally produced food in Finland, according to a study by Food Finland, an organisation operating in conjunction with the University of Turku. The number has increased by more than 20 since December 2011. Southern Finland has the most local food shops but there is also demand for local food in Lapland and eastern Finland.

Most Finnish food companies are small

Finland has 2854 food businesses, 70% of which employ less than five people. Only 5% of the companies have more than 50 employees. A third of the companies are in the bakery sector. The next biggest sectors are butchery and meat processing, and the processing of vegetables, berries and fruits.

The association Ruokatieto Yhdistys ry promotes Finnish food culture through its Hyvää Suomesta logo as a symbol for food produced in Finland. Its membership consists of all the companies that use the Hyvää Suomesta logo and other companies and communities operating in the food sector.

Sources: Ruokatieto, Ruoka-Suomi, National Consumer Research Centre, Pellervo Economic Research PTT