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Lösgodis (Pick & Mix candy) is one of the most beloved Swedish phenomenas and something that most Swedish expats truly miss when living abroad. But how did lösgodis come about? 

Back in the day, sugar was very expensive and difficult to produce. It was a luxury reserved for the upper class of society. It would take almost 200 years, until the end of the 19th century, before candy became something for the general public. By the end of the 19th century, there was a boom in growing sugar beets in Skåne and in 1872 the brand Cloetta started its first factory with the production of chocolate pralines. It would then still take until the beginning of the 20th century before the production of candy became large-scale and sales to the general public really took off. At the beginning of the 20th century, the gräddkola (cream caramel) was introduced, which became very popular. Cloetta also started selling foam candy which is still quite common. The now widespread jelly candy was introduced in the 1930s. Eating candy was now beginning to become widespread in society, for everyone. In the 1970s, the purchase of "snask" (as it was called at the time if you were a teenager) was quite a cumbersome procedure in the candy store. The loose pieces of candy could lie under a glass plate that would first be lifted up, or behind a high counter. You had to ask politely, decide and point before the clerk would fill a bag for you.

During the 1980s, self-picking of mixed candy was allowed for the first time in Sweden, thanks to new regulations. This was a business that got off to a slow start but in the long run, would change the entire candy market. Behind the idea itself were actually three Finnish trade students in Stockholm, who themselves had started a chain of Pick & Mix candy shops and showed how bulk sales could be successful. However, due to competition, over-establishment and price crisis, many of the shops unfortunately had to close down. Today it is mainly in the larger food chains, e.g. ICA, where you buy your Pick & Mix candy, and the bag always becomes heavier than you imagine it from the beginning. The Mix & Candy sections in the large Swedish supermarkets often hold several hundred varieties of candy and are an obvious gathering point for all families with children before the weekends when lördagsgodis (Saturday candy) and candy for Fredagsmys are to be bought. Since the 1980s, the Swedes have also doubled their candy consumption and eat by far the most candy in all of Europe. With the variety there is, who is surprised?

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