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From niche to critical mass #NORDICFOOD2024


Developing Nordic food products from niche to critical mass calls for refinement, close relations between producers and consumers, and storytelling based on genuine respect for craft and quality raw materials. #nordicfood2024 discussed the visions for commercialisation of Nordic food at Livsmedelsakademin in Malmö.

Innovation through local food refining
Nordic food should be dedicated to creating added value through refinement, as experience shows that processed food products are more likely to enjoy commercial success. Product development should be focused on local raw materials, used locally to produce local foods, all of which should be characterised by their origin. This has been key to Nordic food’s commercial success and will continue to be so in the future.

Involvement from throughout the value chain
Value creation should be based on close relations between primary producers, food manufacturers, retail and consumers. Closer interaction between producers ensures that valuable knowledge and production technologies are preserved, while consumer dialogue strengthens loyalty towards the product. Innovation must take place at all levels, in everything from feed composition at the individual farm to production and marketing.

Synergies between large and small food producers
The variety of Nordic food products should be enhanced through cooperation between large and small food producers. While small manufacturers would benefit greatly from the larger producers’ expertise and distribution chain, their innovative energy and flexibility would be a valuable asset in the larger companies’ product development. Such cooperation would broaden the array of products within each food category, giving consumers a choice between a variety of qualities and price ranges.

Culture of quality and diversity in the public sector
The public sector should use its purchasing power to support local and sustainable food production, buying into a culture of quality, sustainability and healthy foods. Furthermore, rules and regulations must accommodate and encourage producers that use local biodiversity in developing unique Nordic food products.

Build the legend – the history of origin, quality, sustainability and health
Consumers increasingly seek products that are high in quality, value-driven and produced with the utmost respect for raw materials and natural environment. Conveying the history of origin, quality ingredients and sustainable production is key in engaging consumers. Strong narratives will thus play a vital role in enhancing Nordic food product value and building commercial success.


Text by Páll Tómas Finnsson
Picture: New Nordic Food II

#NORDICFOOD2024 are a series of vision workshops, which will be about how far we need to go, to realise the vision of the Nordic kitchen in a number of selected areas in 10 years' time. The idea is to invite a group of leading players from across the Nordic region to discuss which activities and visions we should work on in the future, if a stronger Nordic food culture is to be an effective solution for future societal challenges. The vision workshop about The Nordic countries as a sustainable gastronomic region, was held on 8th December 2014 in Copenhagen.

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