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Rising Food Prices - The Stationsmacka Costs 30kr Now?!?!

Jerren Gan -

Luna Mansour -

Luna Mansour -

Did you know that a student sandwich + drink set at Stockholm Östra station no longer costs 25 kr? Or that the hotdogs at Pressbyrån are no longer the amazing bargain they used to be? With global inflation hitting hard, even students at KTH are not spared by the rising costs of things all around us.

When I first came to KTH for my exchange semester, the buddies and other students often mentioned the "train station sandwich" (or “stationsmacka”) as a filling and cheap way to get lunch when in school. And it was extremely cheap. In a place where meals can easily cost upwards of 100 kr, being able to grab a tasty sandwich and a coffee (or juice) for 25 kr on my way to class was a really affordable way for me to get lunch without having to cook myself.

Recently, however, the price of the student sandwich set was increased to 30 kr. And it's not just the sandwiches. Pressbyrån hotdogs have risen from 15 kr to 22 kr. Bread at 7-Eleven no longer goes at 2 for 30 kr (they are now 32 kr). And these items aren't the only things rising in cost: Standard Oatly cost 18 kr per carton when I reached Stockholm in January. In many supermarkets, they’re now upwards of 21 kr. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that cost me around 50 kr now cost 58 kr. And while all of these seem like small increases in absolute amounts, they are huge increases in terms of percentages, adding up to a large jump in grocery expenditures.

According to Dagens Nyheter, Sweden is “experiencing the highest inflation in 30 years” (head to their article, there is also an interactive panel that shows the average increase in prices for different items). At the same time, SACO also found that student inflation in 2022 was 14.4% - nearly 6% more than the CSN increase in January 2023. Students are hit even harder by inflation than the rest of society.

However, students are not the only ones
who are struggling. As much as we dislike paying more for food, we do have to remember that shopowners are also facing increasing raw material costs.

When interviewed, the owners of the little shop at Östra Station noted that: “Inflation is impacting everyone, as you can see everywhere; mostly prices of vegetables. Those have been soaring. Paprika for example increased an average of 30-40 SEK per kilogram regardless of its color or origin. Relatively speaking, we didn’t raise our prices when you compare it to everyone else.. it’s just 5 SEK difference, which barely covers our losses. We did not want to compromise the quality or even the quantity of the ingredients we have in our sandwiches, so we were forced to raise the price a little bit. We’re still the cheapest in the area however and we hope to remain a hub for affordable student lunches.”

At the same time, we do also have some respite from the rising prices. Supermarket chains ICA and Coop have declared that they would be cutting prices of food items following a similar move by Lidl and a call by Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson urging Swedish supermarkets to follow suit. Since 11th April, ICA has cut prices on more than 300 items by between 5 to 25% for at least 2 months. Coop has lowered prices on fresh fruit and vegetables by 12% for members throughout April.

It is important to note
that many of these measures are temporary. This means that instead of depending on supermarket action alone, we have to act to reduce our own expenditures as well.

As students, our Mecenat card allows for the signing up for many supermarket loyalty programs. At a glance, Coop, ICA, and Lidl all offer promotion schemes on the Mecenat app (I signed up for a Lidl student loyalty account and was rewarded with nearly 70kr of free food items). Apart from supermarket chains, other F&B options like Espresso House also offer promotions for students (I claimed a free coffee by signing up for an Espresso House account through Mecenat).

To beat inflation, we should all be looking at and using these promotions offered on the app — even if it might be tougher for non-Swedish-speaking students since we would have to translate the pages ourselves.

Publicerad: 2023-04-21

Ansvarig utgivare: Raquel Frescia
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