Food prices have increased by 25.5% for consumers since 2020. During the same period, food prices have risen by 36 percent for stores and wholesalers, new figures from Statistics Sweden show.

Looking only at the figures from February last year to February this year, food became 22.1 per cent for consumers. For stores, prices increased by 22.3 percent during the same period.

"This is a historically high increase," says Kristoffer Olsson, price statistician at Statistics Sweden.

"Can follow ITPI"

What has been measured is ITPI, the price index for domestic supply. It shows what Swedish stores and companies pay when they buy products from the producers.

This is in contrast to the CPI, the Consumer Price Index, which shows how consumer prices develop. It was the CPI that led Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson (M) last week to call the CEOs of the food retailers to a meeting. They, in turn, singled out producer prices as the culprit.

"We don't know how the new figures will hit, but in general the CPI usually follows the ITPI with a delay of a few months," says Kristoffer Olsson.

Karin Brynell, CEO of Svensk Dagligvaruhandel, believes that the figures show that the trade has not surreptitiously raised its prices. Instead, she says the stores have had margins lowered.

"It has sometimes been suggested that prices have been raised more than can be justified, this shows that this is not true. The trade hasn't passed the cost on to consumers, she says.

Fight for customers

Statistics Sweden also notes that wages in trade have not risen at the same rate as food prices for consumers. Therefore, it is not possible to determine whether the price increases in stores are in line with the cost development of trade over the past year.

Karin Brynell does not believe that there would be new price increases.

"Right now, everyone is struggling to compete for consumers' reduced purchasing power.

In the clip, Kristoffer Olsson explains what the new figures mean for the consumer – and whether they can lead to even higher food prices.