Grocery and alcohol turnover in Norway was 19% higher in 2021 than in 2019, new data from Statistics Norway (SSB) has found.
Turnover has remained roughly the same compared to last year, the data showed, with prices last year slightly down on that of 2020. However, a 'large' increase in prices between 2019 and 2020 means that prices in 2021 were still 2.5% higher than in 2019.
"Increased turnover in grocery stores is due to both reduced cross-border trade as a result of travel restrictions, and changed consumption patterns as a result of people having to be more at home," commented senior adviser Marius Bergh at Statistics Norway.
"Fewer have gone out to eat and drink and have rather spent money on food and drink in supermarkets."
The loosening of pandemic restrictions and recovery of cross-border shopping last year meant that turnover in selected border regions was 'abnormally high' compared to 2019, the data showed.
In Halden, turnover was 46% higher, while turnover in Fredrikstad/Sarpsborg increased by 42% and in the Moss and Kongsvinger regions the increase was 41% and 38% respectively.
That said, the number of day trips across the border only grew slightly compared to the previous year, with travel levels still way lower than before the pandemic.
The total amount of trade in cross-border trade was NOK 2.5 billion (€260 million) in 2021. In comparison, the amount was NOK 16 billion (€1.67 billion) in 2019.
"Border trade increased from September 2021 when travel restrictions were eased somewhat, but when strict national measures were again introduced in mid-December, it again put an end to border trade at the end of the year," Bergh added.
Food And Beverage Production
Food and beverage production was 4.6% higher last year compared to the previous year, on the back of a 2.5% increase from 2019 to 2020.
Production growth was highest in the meat processing and seafood processing sectors, while chocolate and confectionery production was also up.