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Norway Is Well-Aware That Its Food Is Too Expensive

Norway’s own Minister of Agriculture and Food has even declared that the nation’s food is “too expensive" after food prices have risen by more than 5 percent in just four months.

by Hilary Pollack
Aug 12 2015, 3:00pm

Photo via Flickr user redux

In spite of the mass availability of cheap Swedish home-assembled furniture, Scandinavia is not known for being cheap. Norway may be the most egregiously pricey nation within it, with one of the highest costs of goods and services in Europe and food costs averaging 47 percent higher than the rest of the continent. The average cost of a beer in Norway is a staggering 73 Norwegian kroner, or about US $9. A gallon of milk costs roughly 58 Norwegian kroner, or US $7.12.

Needless to say, it ain't cheap to live in the land of fjords, Vikings, and the midnight sun.

READ: Whale Meat Is a Tough Sell in Norway

Now, Sylvi Listhaug—Norway's own Minister of Agriculture and Food—has declared that the nation's food is "too expensive." Sounds like people are starting to get fed up with all of those wallet-busting brewskies.

"We have high food prices in Norway, and the government is now looking into the value chain to see if competition can be strengthened," Listhaug told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

Already-high food prices have climbed by 5.4 percent in the last four months due to a merger between the supermarket chains Coop and Ica, which reduced competition even further in the industry. Now, only three supermarket chains exist in the nation.

The value of the krone has deflated by falling oil prices, as Norway's oil sector is one of its greatest sources of wealth, but Listhaug argues that "there is every reason for consumers to keep up with inflation." Last summer, food prices rose by 3.2 percent in a single month.

Norway's sanctions against Russia due to its conflict with Ukraine have also been a factor, leading to a loss of 11 percent of the nation's food exports.

The cost of eating has become so problematic that some Norwegians are driving into neighboring Sweden to do their grocery shopping—and Sweden ain't cheap, either.

READ: I Got High Off Norwegian Sea Urchins

Listhaug says that the government will be paying close attention on the supply chain in efforts to reduce costs for citizens.

Until then, Norwegians will have to make it rain kroner to enjoy their smoked salmon and open-faced shrimp sandwiches.

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