Sweden will conquer with candy
The Swedish government’s last venture is to market Sweden as a great country of food. The strongest attraction? Candy! Sweet advertising in other words, at least according to Exportrådet (the Swedish Trade Council) although others might feel it is an effort to drag others down into our sugar addiction. The candy that’s being referred to here is “plockgodis”, the most popular variety there is in Sweden simply because it encompasses all varieties. “Pick-and-mix candy” was introduced in 1985, and there are stores which specialize in having buckets and buckets of candy arranged and bags into which the customer can pick whatever candy she or he fancies. Christer Forsman, the founder of Karamellkungen, was the one with the idea to sell candy manually this way. The success was a given. Swedish “plockgodis” is also available in Finland, Norway and the Baltic States and has had a certain amount of success also in England. Karamellkungen – or Candyking International, which is their English name – now have their eyes set on the rest of Europe, especially Central Europe. The Swedish government has a vision of Sweden as the new country of food and wants to double the export of Swedish food in the year 2020. Håkan Björklund, CEO of Choklad-och konfektyrföretagen, believes “plockgodis” will also pull Swedish meatballs, Swedish tex-mex food and Singoalla cookies with it. But not everybody is enticed by the idea with Swedish candy taking over the world. Author and food writer Mats-Eric Nilsson for instance. “That candy companies want to sell their candy abroad isn’t surprising,” he says. “What is surprising however is that Exportrådet supports the undertaking. What we are talking about is the worst possible kind of candy, with a lot of additives. It would be a tragedy if other Europeans began eating the same shocking amounts of candy as the Swedes.” On Swedish consumption of candy in general: Swede Tooth and on the all time favorite, lakrits (licorice) For the love of licorice By the way, “Plockgodis” is coming to New York City. “Sockerbit” is opening this week on 89 Christopher Street:

First Swedish candy store in the USA
Close to 18,000 lbs of Swedish candy has been shipped over the Atlantic and after a year of preparations and work the first US Swedish candy store is about to open in Manhattan. Experienced candy operatives Stefan Ernberg and Florencia Baras did extensive research and market studies prior to deciding on a country, a city and a location but this week the store Sockerbit ('Lump of sugar') is destined to open on 89 Christopher Street. Sockerbit-Sweet & Swedish

The Prince’s Speech
Prince Daniel recently held his first real speech since becoming a prince last summer (when he married Crown Princess Victoria). Wearing a navy blue suit, he spoke calmly and with humor about the importance of role models for young people. One of his own favorites: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “He’s a person that make many feel proud,” the prince said. And about the artist Robyn he said: “She writes her own music and has her own record label. And when she dresses, she does so without worriedly looking at others. Also a great role model.” The Prince also mentioned math teacher Stavros Louca, who has become famous in Sweden for his achievements in teaching math: “To watch Stavros and his teaching colleagues help their students develop through great leadership is a sheer joy. Don’t you agree?” When Prince Daniel needed a sip of water and could find none, he made the audience laugh with the comment: “Micke (CEO Micke Wolf at Swedbank, the arrangers) is stingy with the water.” He also used the film “The King’s Speech” as a point of departure in describing what’s needed for a society to grow. “The message of that film, at least to me, is that you have to be willing to try something new. We can all add something, we can all become builders of society,” he said.