A taste of Sweden in every sip

20 February 2024

For many, coffee is more than just a daily ritual: it’s an experience. Whether it’s the high-street café takeaway cup on the way to work in the morning, or the fresh-ground Sunday brunch coffee enjoyed at home – SCC member and coffee retailer Löfbergs seeks to satisfy all kinds of palates and coffee-related needs. “Customers automatically link Swedish with quality and style,” says Will Cole, Marketing Director at Löfbergs UK, as we dive into the Swedish heritage behind the Löfbergs brand, and its advantages in the UK market.

It all started in the small town of Karlstad in 1906. At a time when the area was heavily reliant on cheap vodka trade, three brothers named Löfberg got together with the intention to do something different to mark the place on the map. Starting off with importing and selling coffee, they began roasting their very own coffee in Karlstad only a few years later, around the same time as the phenomenon of fika swept across the country. And up until this day, Karlstad is known as the well-rooted home of the Swedish purple coffee brand as we know it.

The value of the Swedish Brand 
Löfbergs first entered the UK market in 2011. Initially providing coffee to hospitality and food service customers, its retail products can now be found on the shelves at Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado. “We think there’s a big opportunity for Löfbergs in the UK retail market. At a time when we’re seeing lots of headlines about the cost of living and risks of recession, we’re introducing high-quality products with good value, thanks to our bigger pack formats,” says Will.

When it comes to standing out among its coffee-producing competitors here in the UK, Will is positive that the Swedish heritage is of significant value.

“Customers automatically link Swedish with quality and style. It drives the high standard of our coffees from how they’re sourced, all the way through to materials and packaging.”

Possibly, this could be one reason to why Löfbergs seem to attract even the most adventurous and passionate coffee drinkers out there, eager to explore new, unfamiliar brands. Still, Will says that the greater portion of their customers are signified by their appreciation for simplicity, consistency, and value – often associated with the ‘Swedish Brand’, even in a broader perspective. 

“They want quality and value but without any additional fuss or complexity. They’ll try a new coffee but not if there’s a lot of jargon or if it’s not an improvement on what they’re used to.”

However, the Swedish way of enjoying coffee – traditionally strong and of high quantities – might not captivate all consumers. To ensure they have something to offer every palate, Löfbergs recently developed a UK-specific range of lighter roast Colombian coffee, more in line with British taste preferences. 

A new era in the UK coffee culture  
The British coffee culture is experiencing a revival, especially in the wake of the pandemic, according to Will. As people seek unique experiences from barista-made coffee, the footfall to high street cafes and coffee shops is on a steady increase.  

“Besides, the pandemic has definitely had a lasting impact on how we enjoy coffee at home. The sale of whole beans is particularly strong, showing that people have invested in equipment to enjoy a better cup of coffee in the comfort of their own homes.”  

For those looking to elevate their at-home coffee experience, Will explains that the best place to start is to use whole beans. “Being able to freshly grind them for each cup you make will deliver the biggest noticeable difference. It also gives a lovely aroma to your kitchen.”

Speaking of emerging trends on the UK coffee scene, Will mentions ‘functional coffees’ as one of them. These are coffees infused with ingredients or supplements that offer additional benefits besides energy, such as mood enhancement or gut health. 

A circular vision
Independent of what the future holds in terms of trends and opportunities, Löfbergs is dedicated to continuing sharing their love for coffee, while remaining responsible and sustainable doing so. For instance, the company has a goal of becoming 100% circular by 2030. “This means that all of our packaging will be 100% recyclable and made from recycled and/or renewable materials, and that we will remove the use of all fossil fuels to reduce our climate-related emissions to net zero,” says Will.  

And when it comes to ambition and long-term commitment, Löfbergs has proven successful with that before. With over 100 years since the first coffee-bean was roasted in the small town of Karlstad, the company is now established in 18 markets, in which an equivalent of 10 million cups of their coffee is consumed daily – offering a taste of Sweden in every sip.


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