Coffee is not only prepared from roasted coffee beans and has a high content of caffeine, it is also an important part of the Nordic culture. The hot beverage even has the status of a national drink in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. In 2015, Danes consumed on average 9.4 cups of coffee every day. This was only exceeded by Finns, who drank on average 12 cups daily. People in Finland are also the most avid drinkers of the hot brew worldwide. While their per capita consumption amounted to 9.9 kilograms in 2015, it will have reached 10.35 kilograms by 2017.
Drinking coffee in the morning to wake up is a ritual common in Sweden, where 50 percent of consumers surveyed in August 2017 stated to do so. But coffee is not only a stimulant in the morning, many office workers swear by coffee to stay awake during the day. That coffee consumption at work leads to social interaction is considered a nice side effect.
When people in Iceland go shopping for coffee, they will find Merrild coffee on supermarket shelves. It is a popular brand in Iceland, as well as in Denmark, where it originally comes from. Norwegians enjoy the domestic Evergood Kaffe. One of the brands on the Finnish market is called Paulig. In Sweden, Gevalia is at the forefront. Other major Swedish brands include Löfberg coffee. In 2015/16, most coffee beans purchased for the production of Löfberg coffee came from South America, which is one of the leading coffee growing regions.
None of the Nordic countries grows coffee. Thus, they are dependent on trading partners. The largest supplier of coffee imports to Sweden in 2015 was Brazil, with a value of 947 million Swedish kroner. In 2016, more than 3,700 metric tons of coffee was imported to Finland from the Netherlands. The small nation of Iceland imported coffee and coffee substitutes with a value of 2.3 billion Icelandic krónur in 2015. In the trade sector, in addition to a general classification, the distinction between green and roasted coffee is usually made. Whereas the volume of green coffee imports to Norway in 2015 amounted to 3,052 metric tons, the volume of roast and ground coffee was only 125 metric tons in the marketing year of 2015/16.
Retail sales figures for Finland show, that roughly 46,000 metric tons of roasted coffee was sold in 2015. Denmark, being one of the leading countries in Europe when it comes to organic products, sold organic coffee in retail shops with a turnover of 214 million Danish kroner in 2016. In Danish households, coffee is of high value, illustrated by a household expenditure of 1,1146 Danish kroner in 2015. In May 2016, the average retail price of domestic coffee in Icelandic retail stores was 1,822 Icelandic krónur per kilogram. Imported coffee was much cheaper, as a kilogram could be purchased for 1,374 Icelandic krónur. In March 2017, the average retail price of a kilogram of Gevalia coffee in Sweden was 65 Swedish kronor.
When Norwegians were asked about their favorite locations for drinking a cappuccino or caffè latte in 2016, half of respondents indicated that it was in a restaurant, café or coffee shop. Besides a strong presence of independent coffee shops, each of the Nordic countries has their own chains. Also the U.S. American giant Starbucks has set foot on Northern ground and in July 2017, the chain had a total of 61 stores in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. At the same time, Sweden-based Espresso house operated over 190 stores in Sweden and was well established in Norway, Denmark and Finland. This makes it the largest chain in the Nordics. Other coffee-serving chains are the Norwegian Kaffebrenneriet, Icelandic Te & Kaffi, the worldwide operating Joe & The Juice from Denmark and Robert's Coffee from Finland.
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