Swedish strawberry shortage pushes up prices before Midsummer holiday

It's unclear if there will be enough Swedish strawberries for Midsummer celebrations tomorrow, after bad weather during spring and summer has led to a disappointing strawberry harvest.

Swedish strawberry shortage pushes up prices before Midsummer holiday
Strawberries are the crowning glory of the Midsummer table. Photo: Carolina Romare/

The lack of Swedish berries this year has meant wholesalers have had to order strawberries from other countries for the first time in years, SVT reports.

The shortage doesn’t just mean they’re harder to get hold of, but also that prices have been pushed up. In the last few days, a litre-sized punnet of strawberries has cost over 100 kronor in certain areas. Strawberries are usually sold by the litre or half-litre in Sweden.

“We’re doing everything we can, and we’re managing to fulfil most of our commitments,” Anders Svensson, the man responsible for strawberries at Finnerödja bär, told SVT.

“But prices are going to be high. Like everything right now, it’s also affecting strawberries.”

SEB Bank’s Midsummer Index for 2022 of typical food and drinks bought for the holiday, which was released this week, showed a price increase of 11.7 percent for typical Midsummer foods compared to last year.

Even in comparison to other price indexes such as the wider Consumer Price Index, which increased by 7.3 percent this year, Midsummer foods have seen a major increase in price over the past year – and strawberries were also affected, with the bank reporting a 12.3 percent increase in the price of fresh berries compared to this time last year.

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Sweden issues health warnings over Midsummer weekend heatwave

Sweden's state weather forecaster SMHI has issued a yellow warning for the high temperatures across large parts of Sweden this Midsummer weekend, as people's health could be seriously affected.

Sweden issues health warnings over Midsummer weekend heatwave

People in Sweden have been warned to keep cool over the Midsummer weekend, as soaring temperatures mean the heat will affect some people’s health.

“In general, we in Sweden have a bad idea of ​​how dangerous the heat can be. It can be dangerous for everyone, not just for risk groups”,  Elin Andersson, researcher in environmental health at the Swedish Public Health Agency, told newswire TT.

She advised that certain individuals such as elderly, chronically ill, pregnant women, young children, elite exercisers and those on medication, take extra care.

Certain medicines, such as antidepressants, diuretics, beta blockers and neuroleptics, can affect the body’s fluid and heat regulation.

“If you take this type of medicine, it is good to contact your doctor when there is a heat wave. Sometimes you may need to temporarily change the dose”, Andersson told TT.

Caution should also be taken with young children under the age of five, as they haven’t yet developed their ability to sweat properly.

“They need help to stay cool and replenish fluids continuously. Another tip is to serve extra liquid-rich food, such as vegetables and fruit”, Andersson said.

Pregnant women should also take extra care in the heat, she added.

The most dangerous consequence of prolonged heat is dehydration, which often affects the elderly and people who exert themselves physically.

“Our general advice is to drink more than usual when it is hot. But what is right depends on who you are. For example, people with certain types of kidney disease should not drink too much. You must check with your doctor.”

Elin Andersson says that heat stroke is unusual in Sweden but heat-fatigue is more common.

“You can feel tired, dizzy, weak, nauseous and have an elevated heart rate. Heat exhaustion can become severe and turn into heat stroke. This is when the heart rate gets even higher and the body’s heat regulation stops working.”

Other symptoms are that sweating may stop completely and that you lose consciousness.

“If you suspect heat stroke, you should always call 112”, she said.

In Båstad, the municipal water company is urging residents to be restrained with their use of water, as there is a risk the taps will be empty by this afternoon.

“We had normal behaviour until half past three yesterday, then a completely crazy consumption began that ended at midnight. Then the same trend started again this morning”, Jonas Håkansson, head of the Drinking Water department at NSVA, told newswire TT.

“This has to do with the heat. It is obvious that many people come to their summer houses where they plan to celebrate Midsummer and think that they can use the drinking water exactly as they want.

“One feels a great deal of frustration and disappointment that people do not take greater individual responsibility,” he said.