Published: Just now
Shoplifting increases when prices skyrocket, not just for meat. Now salmon, coffee and cheese also disappear.
The thieves are targeting other goods when expensive meat is now put away, according to Per Bygdeson at Livsmedelshandlarna.
– What you didn’t take before you take now, when what you took before is no longer available, says Bygdeson, CEO of the trade organization Livsmedelshandlarna.
Grocers have raised the alarm that meat thefts have increased sharply in the past six months, and above all after the New Year. The development has caused many stores to take measures, including placing the meat behind the counter or reducing the amount of meat left on the shelves.
A new survey from the industry organization that around 400 stores have responded to shows that around 75 percent have made changes in the meat department. This has led to the meat that is still in front being stolen instead, says Per Bygdeson.
– The signals now are that it is instead simpler cuts of meat, such as french fries and roast beef and things like that.
New things are stolen
In the survey, which has not yet been published, there are also signals that more types of products are now being stolen.
– When we put the survey together, the question was meat. But what appears in the free text answers is that they now also talk about salmon, coffee and cheese. So it has been broadened.
A large part of the thefts are carried out by criminals who then sell the goods on, and Per Bygdeson believes that the thieves are looking for goods of great value in small volumes.
– Aged hard cheese, for example. Also salmon then, especially smoked or smoked salmon that is sliced.
What creates major financial problems for the stores is not theft of individual goods, but it is, for example, when people load an entire pram full of coffee packets.
– Coffee is also grateful to sell on. It can end up with less accurate stores or sold via the Facebook marketplace, which does not monitor what is sold. It is often a flea market.
Work towards secondary market
In addition to measures in the stores, you have to work towards the second-hand market, underlines Per Bygdeson. This can be done, among other things, through food inspections of meat at companies – where those who cannot prove traceability may have to pay a fine.
– Even if you don’t stop the moment of theft itself, you make it significantly less interesting to take care of it and it becomes costly in another way.
Rising food prices price
Thefts in grocery stores have increased in connection with the rising prices. According to Statistics Sweden (SCB), food prices rose by 20.95 percent between February this year and February last year. Compared to January, food prices rose by 2.74 percent.
Biggest price increases in one year:
Leeks + 79.5 percent
Cauliflower + 72.2 percent
Paprika + 54.1 percent
Honeydew melon + 51.4 percent
Sugar + 48.1 percent
Butter: + 39.4 percent
Sour cream and creme fraiche: + 38.4 percent
Source: Statistics Sweden