Yule – time for food and traditions

Virke God Jul Orange YuleGod Jul spelled out with oranges. Photo: Frukt.no

Yule – A time for food and traditions in Norway

In December, we will shop for food, drinks and other groceries for almost NOK 25 billion. December is the food month per excellence and we treat ourselves to many great meals and snacks at Yuletide.


– According to our forecasts, every Norwegian will shop for food using an average of NOK 4700 each in December. That is 20 per cent higher than in the year seen as one, Director of Virke Grocery, Ingvill Størksen informs.

«Same procedure»

Yule is a time for traditions, whether you are travelling home for Christmas, or want to recreate the flavours of childhood.

– Food is incredibly important during the Yuletide and on Christmas Eve we mostly stick with the traditions. It is still the pork rib that holds the fort on the evening itself, although ”pinnekjøtt” (lamb/mutton rib) has increased considerably in popularity in recent years, Størksen explains.

– Rice-cream is the most popular dessert – «same procedure as every year». At the same time, figures from the Information Office for fruit and vegetables show that the younger people want a slightly lighter dessert,  fruit salad, for example, to round off a solid Yule meal, she continues.

Other than that, we perform experiments quite a bit. Among other things, we see that ”lutefisk” (Lye Cod / Stockfish) is growing in popularity, also among the young. In addition, the selection of pork ribs and mutton rib grows strongly, and more and more people choose for vegetarian options.

– The desire to experiment with the classic Christmas food is, however, greater when you invite to a party during the Yuletide. The demand for exciting recipes increase and Norwegians marinate the rib with exciting and tasty spices, says Størksen.

Better selection

Despite the price war on many popular Christmas groceries, many pay a little extra for quality. The grocery chains report a two-digit number of rib options and that demand is greater than the supply of organic ribs.

It is also a long time since consumers could only choose between smoked and unsmoked mutton rib. Conscious customers can find the Christmas food made according to the same tradition and recipe as they are accustomed to from their home-town, such as dry-matured ribs or hot smoked mutton rib.

Vegetarian products and ready meals increase

There are more and more people who choose vegetarian food on Christmas Eve and according to Matprat, last year two per cent chose this. The demand for vegetarian products is increasing, also during Christmas.

As a simple solution to the time squeeze, the grocery chains report that more and more resort to ready-made food during the pre-Christmas stress.

– There is also a trend with more fruit and vegetables as part of the Christmas food and December is high season for clementines, says Størksen.

Use the leftovers

Food Smart (Matvett.no), is the food and catering industry’s company to prevent and reduce food waste, reports that less food is thrown and that the total food waste in Norway has been reduced by 14 per cent from 2010 to 2016. Surveys Food Smart has carried out among consumers shows that less food is thrown away due to expired date, which may indicate that reduced pricing on goods with short durability, Holdbart.no, ”Too Good To Go” and, not least, the introduction of supplementary date marking has an effect.

– Especially at Christmas, when it is overflowing with food, it is important to plan and treat the food so that it keeps fresh. Trust the senses – and find good recipes for leftovers online, Størksen encourages.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today