Something Swedish

Lösgodis – Loose Candy

26 Comments

In the U.S we have a certain image of Swedish people. Tall, blonde, beautiful, and built like Norse Gods/Goddesses. Upon my arrival here I learned that resisting the temptation of sweets was not their secret. Did you know that Sweden eats the most loose candy per capita in the world? It is also the largest importer of candy in the world. (Think about there only being around 10 million people in Sweden- that’s about the total population of New York City) The amount of loose candy eaten in Sweden is said to make up for 4% of the country’s total sugar consumption!

I know I have talked a lot about Swedish pastries and treats (Here, here, here, here, and here), and true to both American and Swedish form I have eaten my fair share of these delicious baked goods. However! This Swedish candy culture has never passed my lips. That’s right. I have not fallen weak to the loose candy craze! I have not picked up a shovel and filled a colorful paper bag*  with anything my sweet tooth desires. I really am proud of myself because no matter what type of store you step foot in, small or large, food or none, you are met with this: (*similar to a bag or bucket of popcorn from the movie  theater, eaten with absent yet impressive speed)

This is not a candy store but a place to buy movies. The Lösgodis take up about 1/4 of this store while the rest is filled with DVDs and blue-ray movies to buy. Maybe a movie store is a bad example, as there is usually some (small) selection of treats, but that pales in comparison. The concept of loose goodies is not an unfamiliar one, but never to such a extent unless it was an actual candy store. Even then, the loose candy selection would only make up for a rather small part.

Supermarket

Americans are known for overeating unhealthy food and having a heavy sweet tooth, so I was caught off guard when I saw such quantities of candy in a seemingly health conscious country.

This candy craze is so integrated into the Swedish culture that there is even such a tradition as “Lördagsgodis” which means Saturday Candy. In the 1950’s  it was recommended by the Board of Health to limit children’s candy intake to once a week instead of daily in an effort to slow down tooth decay. I have read on a few blogs of attempts to get their children off of the candy by giving them money on Saturdays instead of the sweet treats. It seems there is almost no getting around having a candy-filled child in Sweden, as the Lösgodis are everywhere and all the other kids are eating them.

It is not only the children that love Lösgodis. I have seen bags of Lösgodis given as presents (to adults) and met with excitement- Swedes do love their candy. Even if they didn’t pick it themselves, they are sure to enjoy what ever is inside because all of the candy is classic.

Classic to Swedes. This past weekend my husbands nephew had some Lösgodis that we were picking from and I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t like any of them. To the point that I had to spit them out. The family laughed and was shocked because they are all beloved classic flavors. Two types of favorites I have noticed are marshmallow candies and salty black liquorice. There is also a selection of hard candies, coated candies, gummy, caramel, and chocolate.

To be honest I am a bit skeptical to even try any Lösgodis because I have not yet tasted any Swedish candy that suits my Americanized taste buds. I’ve been told that the difference is that Americans prefer a more sugary and sweeter taste, which seems true. Of course I have only tried a very small fraction of the selection, so I am not yet a complete candy outcast.

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26 thoughts on “Lösgodis – Loose Candy

  1. Not even chocolate?

    • I feel like I often get tricked by the chocolate, which is sad because I ordinarily love it! I don’t like a lot of the fillings, and never expect them. I’m sure there are some I would like but since I have only eaten from the selection that other people have bought, my experience with loose candy has been limited. I will one day have my husband pick out sorts that he knows I would like, since he knows which ones to look for! (Although, I am not sure I want to find a favorite and fall into the candy craze trap! hehe)

  2. We drove south to Malmö over the holiday and saw a building that advertised itself as the largest lösgodis store in Sweden. Another time, driving north of Stockholm in the middle of nowhere was a lösgodis house that advertised 500 different kinds. 500! Let’s see, Swedes of all ages consume vast amounts of lösgodies, they are second only to the Finns in coffee consumption worldwide and their craving for baked good is well documented here on your site. You’d think Swedes would be as fat as Americans. Not so. The food in general seems a lot healthier.

  3. Ooohh, you got me drooling over here in the Netherlands!! Now and then I ask my sister to ship over a bag.. Though didn’t realise it got so out of hand, the pic from the movie rental store is just crazy!!

  4. this is a craaaazy swedish phenomenon! i am still in shock & still chuckle when i see all ages gather around the candy aisles on fridays, preparing for their weekends full of candy. 🙂

  5. Damn I miss lösgodis 😦 Here in Australia they have the worst candy ever made and pretty much nothing to choose from, horrible, take me home!

  6. Oh how I miss Godis!!!
    My favorite was a hard raspberry candy filled with a channel of salt. It was so good, and I could only find it at one little kiosk… so delicious!
    I don’t understand not liking the godis… I adore them!

    • Oh, don’t get me wrong I’m SURE there are losgodis that I would love and eat every day- I am just not eager to find them!! The last thing I need to do is eat a bag of candy every week! hehe

  7. I am almost embarrassed to admit that we partook of loose candy while we were in Sweden. Tim loved the licorice and had a bagful every day. I didn’t love the salty licorice, but I did indulge in a variety of chocolates. I thought it was great that you could buy just one or a few pieces, thereby limiting consumption. But so delish! Bring some home for us!

  8. Wow, we are travelling over in December so I am sure my family will love to see that! We somehow missed it last time we were there

  9. Every time I think I’ve eaten enough, just reading your blog makes me salivate for more food. So. Much. Candy! That’s insane.

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  11. This is not actually exclusive to Sweden. I’ve lived in Norway and they also have the very same setup for candy in their supermarkets.

  12. Hi! I am a proud swede and I looove lösgodis! And nowhere in the world have I ever found a sweet that is better (I am not talking about bakery, cakes, cookies etc but only candy!) I was disappointed in the states where cookies and candy bars seemed more common. Southamerica is the same. Well well, there is a lot of good stuff in every country lösgodis is one of ours! give it an honest try! My favorites are the sour ones! 😀 Cherry flavored and the pink/blue bottles called fizz something!
    Embrace the lösgodis!! ❤

    • There are definitely good lösgodis, and I’ve been enjoying them more and more, but I guess my sweet tooth is more geared towards pastries! I like the sour ones too! not the licorice! lol I recommend them and indulge every so often 🙂 Something Sweden should be proud of.

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  14. Just happened to find your blogg. As I read this article it made me think of when I lived in Taiwan. Now I’m not a big lösgodis-person fan but the sweets in Taiwan were really odd. And they had no liquorice. As I went back to Stockholm for a few days ( because I simply couldn’t stand the heat over there) I decided I would give my friends kids a treat. So I bought an entire sack of liquorice to bring back. I shouldn’t had done that.

    Those ungrateful little shits tried one piece and spit it out right away. 😀
    I tried it on their parents too and they said it tasted like some chinese medicine.

    But on the plus side I had liquorice from Sweden to last me another 6 months 😀

    Thanks for the coverage of swedish culture. It was a very rewarding read. Especially the article about idioms.

  15. Candy isn’t really a problem here. Most of my friends are fit. Though I can’t say that they don’t eat candy. Notice the above picture where it is written “hemmakväll” on the bags (DVD store) , we’ll that store moved 15 meters away from my school and and many of the kids go there almost every day. I know that I’m making this sound like a big problem but actually there are only a few who have a problem with the candy eating. Though I have to admit that it is hard to stay away from sweets during the summer.
    😀

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