Lördagsgodis: The Swedish Candy Obsession

Godis

Saturdays in Sweden are a special day, especially if you are a kid. It’s Lördagsgodis, translated in English as Saturday’s Candies. It is the day to stuff yourself silly with candy (in swedish: godis). As a Swedish child, Saturday is a special treat day to eat sweets and go to the candy store.

Shopping for candy is more of an adventure than eating it for me. The colors, the shapes, the sizes! Truly is eye candy of candy. Swedish grocery stores have bins stacked 10-20 bins wide and 6 bins tall. That can be as much as 120 different varieties of loose candy! It’s Jelly Belly madness for Americans who have seen the Jelly Belly bins at the candy store. Loose candies can be jelly, hard, chocolate, licorice, gummy, marshmallow, sweet, sour, just about anything you can imagine.

On top of the loose candy selection like our Swedish Fish, there are the chocolates, Läkerol, and more. I’ll have to take photos of this amazing obsession. Even full fledged candy stores all over the city exist!

To really get hyper, Easter time is when Swedes really go crazy for candy. People, adults and children, eats lots of godis. Chocolate, loose candies, whatever.
Påskeskum and Chocolate bunnies

Yet, what I haven’t figured out is how Swedes are still slender. I can count the number of fat people on both my hands, and that’s in all of Sweden. And candy bins along with candy isles are the quintessential staple of any grocery store. Even convenience stores and gas stations have loose candy. And yet they are skinny.

Maybe it’s the coffee and snus and skiing but I am fascinated by their obsession with sweets. Remember the Swedes even have a day for waffles.
How to buy plockgodis (loose candy) on Saturday:

  • Licorice {lakrits}– you either love it or hate it. If you buy any, get another bag. Trust me, their taste will ooze onto all the candies and turn your chocolates into lakrits. Eww, gross.
  • Avoid buying candy late on Saturday. The thousands of kids will have already picked over the good stuff and drooled on what remains.
  • Also avoid buying candy on Saturday afternoon as you will be there in the crush of madness.
  • As a matter of fact, avoid buying candy on Saturday and buy on Friday afternoon. But beware of Fredagsmys (friday cosy) as thousands of adults will swarm the candy and snack sections.
  • Avoid the chocolate candies.  They’re heavy and will weigh down your bags.  Just saying.
  • Buy candy from the grocery store where it normally costs 69-89SEK per kilogram.  7-Eleven and Pressbyrån charge upwards of 179SEK per kilo.

There’s also the strange ice creams in Sweden, like Piggelin and Päron and Sitting Bull. Not sure yet if that’s part of the Lördagsgodis.
Piggelin Swedish Ice Cream

Oh, my favorite are the sour candies, like the blue bottle caps. The licorice candies are a definite no go, unless it’s a licorice Jelly Belly jelly bean. And what candy do you save space for on sweet Saturday?

19 thoughts on “Lördagsgodis: The Swedish Candy Obsession”

  1. It’s because we can handle it.
    It’s true we love sweets, but we make sure we make up for it later by exercise more than usual or eat more healty food.

    That is what americans don’t do.
    They just eat and eat and eat until they can’t eat more, then they eat some more.

    When i visited US last summer i was shock by how much people ate really.
    Americans got XL of everything and that is just stupid.
    You eat until you are not hungry anymore and NOT until you can’t stuff more down you’re throat.

  2. There goes my diet….:) Good job the ice-cream van has already been round our street and I’m too tired to go further than that for treats:))) And I’m not too big a fan of candy, I’m more of a chocolate junkie… Any day of the week is good for chocolate:) My favourite one has got to be Lindt chocolate, paraline, truffle, or Guylian, alongside Galaxy, the one big no-no is Cadbury’s – well, its edible, but as long as I have a choice, I would go with smth else:)

  3. You have a point Lars, many of my Swedish friends exercise in some way. On a regular basis too. As opposed to eating a lot of candy and then never exercising.

    Moonlight – Am a chocolate person as well. Hate Cadbury’s and that overly expensive American brand…they have lots of stores but terrible quality chocolate.

    But if it’s regular candy, I like the sour ones a lot. Mouth gets all puckered.

    Abby – What’s your favorite candy?

  4. Oh, godis, that is something here… I’m not sure all Swedes have a rational behaviour with them, I’ve read that some experts are concerned with the hight godis consumption, but well, I must say I still believe Swedes have a healthy way of life in general.

    I confess I prefer bullar and muffins but well, when it comes to eating godis, which is far from being an ordeal, I love toffees and small things made of chocolate :o)

    I also think the range of godis in every single store is amazing ! And colorful, too. =)

  5. Can’t you compare the swedish candy with the american a little? how is it different? whad do we have that they dont and vice versa? Is the chocolate different (in taste)? Don’t americans have loose candy or the candy section in the grocery stores like we do?
    As a curious swede, I would love to hear some comparisons ;)

  6. @Catherine

    I cant say anything about swedish candy, but I suspect that it must be quite similar to the rest of Europe at least – apple sours, laces, gummy bears, jelly babies, fried eggs, Haribo’s, marshmallows, white chocolate mice and hell of a lot of others I’ve never tried being such a chocolate junkie lol :))) Lets see if anyone else can enlighten us:)

    In general, as much as I’ve travelled around Europe, it might take a bit of an effort to find loose candy, but there is a selection of packaged ones in nearly every country’s grocery stores.

  7. I have to say that I loooooooove candy, I love to be in Sweden and have the option to get so many sweets (since I personally love them) and there´s something nice and relaxing about the lördagsgodis, its a reward for the hard work of the week!!!

    @Catherine
    I am not too sure but I would guess salty licorice is something not that common in the rest of the world, but I don´t really know because where I come from licorice is not popular at all :).

    So anyways thank you Sweden for the nice candy! :D

  8. Well, you know the swedish word “lagom”? It’s good to use here. We do not eat candy all the time, do we? And if you wanna stay in chape you go to the gym or play soccer or something.
    And I also have to say that the day for the waffles was an accident. It was supposed to be “vårfrudagen” but some idiot thought it was “våffeldagen”, and now here we are … But we do have “kanelbulledagen”, but that’s weird :P

  9. uhm the point is why do Swedes have these unusual celebration days?
    They dedicate a day to sweets or waffles, is there any other country in which there are similar days?

  10. Catherine, let me think about it and post an update to your question.

    tina, lagom is a good way to describe candy eating here. pretty funny how the virgin Mary turned into a waffle.

    And there’s also semladagen (fettisdagen) another sweet filed day.

    Puntino, I know America has a lot of silly holidays that no one takes notice but I do not know any country as dedicated to food holidays as Sweden.

    Are there are food holidays in your country?

  11. Lördagsgodis was the best thing when I was a little girl, I could not wait until saturday :). Since you live outside of Sweden I’ll give you a webshop where you can purcase swedish candy if you haven’t already seen it. Great blog!
    Swedish candy store on the web.

  12. Don’t forget semmeldagen/fettisdagen!

    The best thing with loose candy is that you can mix together candies that you like and also decide the amount of sweets you want to buy.
    You can buy 80 g or 3 kilograms if you want to, you are the one to decide what and how much you want to buy!

    The only thing that’s become bad is that it is so damn expensive now. Just a few years a go the price for candy was around 30-50 kr/kilo now it is 60-80 kr/kilo which is ridiculous! >:(

    Oh, and sorry for my bad english.. >_>

  13. I think it’s because we swedes have a special day for candy, Saturday. Most children aren’t allowed to eat candy on the other days by their parents, and as an adult you have that in the back of your head most of the time, even though you maybe don’t notice it yourself. Other cultures seem to have no problem with eating candy and other sugary thingies every day of the week – which eventually can lead to obesity.

  14. The swedes do eat a lot of candy, but sports seem to be a more important part of their lives, the state tv channels even devote a special show to kids/teen sports called “lilla sportspegeln”. So it balances out. Also the low temperatures ensure that swedes consume more calories to maintain homeostasis, so weather helps too. But i think it’s a social thing, they nurture sports. But, there are fat swedes, and plenty of them. I’ll probably sound deeply ignorant, but it seems to me that high school in the states separates teens in a way that if you’re not “amazing” at sports, you automatically “suck”, are a nerd/geek, and cannot participate or aren’t “welcomed” to participate. In a sense, even gym teachers allow this separation of less sports inclined alumni from the practice of sports. Wouldn’t it be better if the kids that are less talented at sports are encouraged to take classes anyway, classes where not so much is expected from them but at least keeps them moving? Does the problem reside in the kind of physical activity that kids do at school? Maybe other kinds of physical activities should be encouraged and less aggressive football kind of stuff. More alternatives at least and a more welcoming milieu.

    Regarding the swedens, they have Lordagsgodis and it’s almost a catharsis. One day to eat candies, the rest of the days you eat healthy. Sadly this trend, that favors sports, seems to be fading now, with the internet and sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm.

    Regarding the taste of chocolate, it’s excellent in Sweden, specially Marabou. Ice cream is marvelous too! But the best chocolate i tasted in Italy. I currently live in Chile, here chocolate is horrible… really greasy, cheap… just garbage, specially brands like Costa. Wow, never eat a Costa chocolate, your money will be better spent deposited down the nearest toilet. Never eat Fruna cookies or drink their sodas! We do get foreign brands like Cadbury, Hersheys and so on, Nestle. There are specialist stores too, they import better chocolates. The quality of candy is relevant too, Sweden has high standards, most of the time, regarding what its citizens eat. If you’re fascinated by these kinds of obsessions, you should look at the consumption of Coca Cola in Chile, it’s scary how often it’s consumed here. Isn’t it fascinating to see how societies are reflected in their eating habits, then the matter of sports comes in, then politics and how money is distributed…

    The swedes are organized even in how they consume candies, so all in all they are quite cool.

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