Norwegian eating patterns logged


Norwegians are creatures of habit shows a careful logging of our dinner habits. Meatless Monday can’t stand up to the meat leftovers, and the taco persists on Friday.


Senior Adviser John Spilling of Ipsos sits with the results of the survey, ‘Dinner Diary 2017’, which charts a representative sample of the population’s dining habits, day by day.

‘’In general, we can say that on Monday to Thursday we are fully on autopilot, while the next three days we enjoy ourselves. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we spend more on our food. On Saturdays, we pull up our sleeves and spend some time cooking, and Sunday dinner is still strong, especially in the rural areas, outside the towns’’, he told NTB news.

‘’Can you see any effect to the marketing of Monday as a meatless day?’’

“We see that throughout the week, dinners with meatless protein substitutes make up 1%. These are dinners where you would traditionally have fish or meat, but eat the meal without it. But it’s not necessarily on the Monday that it happens’’, said Spilling.

Meat on Monday

Monday was probably the dumbest weekday one could have chosen as a meat-free day, according to Spilling, since it’s the big day of rest when we eat food left after the weekend (which Is often meat). Senior researcher, Annechen Bugge, at the Norwegian Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO) agreed, and pointed out that we have a long tradition of eating meat on Mondays, all the way back to when Norwegians ate mostly fish in their daily lives.

“But Sunday was a holiday, and the fishermen usually didn’t work,so there was no fish Mondays. Instead, you ate leftovers. After ovens became common , it offered the opportunity to cook larger meat meals,like Sunday roasts, and this made Monday a big meat festival,” said Bugge.It still is, pointed out Spilling.

Fisk Tuesday

Fish was traditional as dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Norway, especially Tuesday. We no longer eat as much fish, and fresh seafood, especially shellfish, has been replaced as the food of choice.

‘’Friday is the big day. Shrimp is actually our third biggest dish then, after pizza and taco’’, said Spilling.

‘’Is pizza bigger than taco on Friday?’’

‘’Pizza is Norway’s biggest dinner dish every single day, all week. On Friday, 13.5 % of the population eat pizza for dinner, while 12.6% eat taco. This whole Norwegian phenomenon of ‘taco Friday’ has gone from being a trend to becoming a Norwegian food culture. Year after year it has been predicted that the taco’s time is over, but it continues to rise in popularity,” said the food scientist.

Some Norwegian weekday eating habits are very regionally affected, and still well-established, such as potato dumpling Thursday in Western Norway, and stew on Sunday in parts of central Norway. Meat dinners on Saturday and Sunday are also very strong. On Sunday, cabbage is often combined with sheep meat for ‘fårikål’.

“Norwegians are quite slow to try something new. Sweden is at the forefront of taking on new trends. It is Sweden and Japan who are the global players in trying out new products’’, said Spilling.

Bugge of SIFO say it’s on Fridays and Saturdays that we usually test something new, maybe because it’s when we have the energy and money to experiment with something different. The key to success in Norway is often products and advances that combine our main priorities for food. It’s got to be quick and easy, everyone should like it, and it should preferably be healthy. Finished stews may have contributed greatly to Saturday’s ‘stew’ comeback.

‘’When the mixer came, we saw that home-made root vegetable mash won gound at the expense of salad. The pure-cut chicken fillet has been a success story, as it’s simple and healthy. Taco is probably also in the category, as it’s child-friendly and easy to prepare and adapt’’, said Bugge.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today