Dunkin’ Donuts, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Starbucks — many American coffee and fast food chains are looking to branch out by establishing themselves on the Swedish market. And if the market isn’t there for them, they’ll make sure to create one. Are you, for instance, looking forward to buying American donuts in Stockholm some time this fall?

”We see the possibility to establish a position both out of a product as well as a price perspective,” says Tommy Svensson, managing director for Coffee & Brands, which has received licensing to run the Dunkin’ Donuts business in Sweden.
”Our goal is to have between 30 and 50 restaurants.” Stockholm is but the gateway into Sweden. There’s a rumor Starbucks has plans for some 50 units in Sweden; so far only six Starbucks have opened: three at Arlanda Airport, and one each at the central train stations in Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö. Now an expansion is planned for areas outside airports and train stations, and the center of Stockholm is first in line. If you’ve ever gotten hungry for American fried chicken in Sweden, you’ll be happy to hear that Kentucky Fried Chicken, a company that has some 20,000 restaurants all over the world, is planning on coming to Sweden also.


Why is it that American companies all of a sudden are so eager to expand north? Johan Rosenblom is Starbucks’ Sweden director, and he believes it has to do with how Sweden’s restaurant business is growing so quickly, in comparison to other countries that have suffered the financial decline more deeply. ”Naturally it is interesting to enter a market that’s growing,” he says. Establishments of this kind are precipitated by careful analyses of the customer base, but also of the possibilities to change people’s eating habits. ”These chains are so big that if there’s no customer base, they’ll create one. They see a potential in converting people and getting customers to eat their products,” says Pär Bergkvist, editor in chief for the trade magazine Restaurangvärlden (the restaurant world). But do they have anything to offer the Swedish food culture? ”Yes, if properly designed and in the right amount. The problem is that so very many of them arrive. Everyone has to put up with competition, but it is tasteless when there’s so much.”