52 minutes. That’s what the average Swede spends on fika every day. Fika, for those of you who don’t know, means coffee and something little to eat (a cinnamon bun is classic fika food). Twenty-one of those minutes are spent on fika at work, and then 31 minutes on fika outside work.

There’s a difference among age groups, however: For those in the 15-35 age bracket, fika at work takes over 26 minutes, whereas those between ages 56-60, takes 18 minutes. Women take a three minute longer fika than men, though men take fika more often. There are also regional differences: Folks in Stockholm take the least fika breaks during the day—only 1.4—while people in the north say they take two fika breaks a day. It takes a lot for a Swede not to fika: One of five says they’d skip important household duties in order to fika. Thirty-four percent in the ages 15-22 said they’d let go of work in order to get their fika break. And now it has been revealed what Swedes talk about over fika: Almost 50 percent of the people asked said they’d rather discuss news, followed by family and relationship issues. Eight percent said they’d rather discuss vacation plans and just as many talk about sports. When it comes to gossip over the fika table, Swedes prefer to talk about their colleagues and celebrities. Fourteen percent said they gossip about their friends.
The topic of conversation during fika has of course lots to do with whom we have a fika break. And according to the poll, most Swedes want to fika with their friends and family but avoid doing so with their boss. Less than one percent say they’d rather have a cup of coffee with the boss or the neighbor.


The poll, called “Fikarapporten 2012” was done by Cint, commissioned by Tassimo/Gevalia. More than 1000 Swedes, ages 15-80, participated. Link to the report: Fika – en del av Sverige: Fikarapoorten 2012 (Only available in Swedish)

Find your own favorite Swedish cookie for the fika: The tradition of seven cookies