Easter Egg Price Wars Result in Modest Discounts

A broken Icelandic easter egg and the candy inside it.

The price of Easter eggs has gone down in the last couple of weeks as stores compete with pricing strategies. The cheapest chocolate treats can be found in Bónus, Extra and Krónan, while the most expensive eggs are in 10-11, Iceland and Krambúðin, Vísir reports.

In Iceland, Easter eggs are topped with a figurine, most often a yellow chick, and filled with candy along with a piece of paper with a proverb written on it. They are a ubiquitous part of Easter festivities among Icelandic families.

Big difference between stores

The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASI) has reviewed the prices of Easter eggs and found that the lowest prices have gone done by a few percentage points. On March 8, Heimkaup lowered their prices, with Extra, Bónus and Króna following suit.

The three stores where prices remain unusually high are 10-11, where the Easter eggs cost on average a whopping 40% more than the lowest prices, and Iceland and Krambúðin with a 38% and 37% deviation respectively. The biggest difference was on the price of a small “lava egg” from candy company Góa, which cost ISK 140 [$1, €0.90] in Krónan, but ISK 249 [$1.81, €1.70] in 10-11.

Bónus leads the way

Bónus consistently had the lowest prices, according to ASI’s review. Of the 34 Easter eggs under review in Bónus, the store sold 28 of them at the lowest price. Extra sold 34 of their 48 eggs at the lowest price, while Heimkaup sold 32 of the 46 eggs reviewed at the lowest price.

Nammigate: Danish Neocolonists Appropriate Beloved Icelandic Liquorice

icelandic candy liquorice

The Danes are at it again: not content with centuries of exploitation, trade domination, and the impoverishment of the Icelandic people, the Danes have perhaps committed their greatest crime against our island nation in recent weeks by claiming a beloved Icelandic tradition as their own.

The controversy came to light when actor and comedian Vilhelm Neto brought the above post to light from Danish company, Lakrids by Bülow. The original post claimed that despite the limits of modern confectionary technology, Danish researchers were nevertheless able to combine the two sweets to make something entirely new: chocolate-coated liquorice.

Stating that he was “all in” to “start drama” with Denmark, Vilhelm Neto critiqued the Danish confectioners: “As if  some scientist barged in, sweaty and nervous, and said: ‘No, you can’t put the two together! It’s simply not possible!'” 

As most visitors to Iceland will know, liquorice is a mainstay in most sweets, with chocolate-covered liquorice being especially beloved.

Pétur Thor Gunnarsson, managing director of the Icelandic confectioner Freyja, set the record straight in a statement to Vísir.

“These Danes are taking our honour,” he stated. “Already in 1984, our product called Draumur was on the market. This was the first of its kind.”

Draumur is one of Freyja’s most popular candy bars, consisting of two parallel straws of liquorice covered in milk chocolate. 

Since the release of Draumur, numerous other liquorce-chocolate sweets have been introduced to the market in Iceland.

According to original research by Iceland Review’s reporters, the Icelandic confections required relatively little research and development before hitting the market.

Two Teenagers Hospitalised After Eating Morphine-Laced Gummy Bears

Two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, were taken unconscious to the hospital this weekend after consuming gummy bears that had been laced with cannabis and morphine, reports a post on the Police in Suðurnes, South Iceland’s Facebook page. Both young women have now been discharged from the hospital and are recovering well.

Police determined that both girls were at the same place on the same evening and both were offered gummy bears by an older teenager who had himself bought the laced candy from an adult man. Neither of the young women knew what was in the candy when they ingested it.

“What we’re obviously talking about here is curiosity among young people,” read the Police post. “The parents of these kids asked us over and over where they got this stuff. Getting access to drugs is extremely easy and for anyone who has been shown how to do it, it only takes a few minutes to scrounge some up.”

The post continues to say that police interrogated the young man regarding the incident, who “was alarmed when he…realised the seriousness of the matter.” The parents of both young women are also working with the Child Protection Agency to address the situation and its implications with them.

“We want to encourage parents to discuss this with their children and educate them about the dangers that are out there,” continues the post, noting that with quick googling, almost anyone can easily make laced gummies in any shape they want. “Worse, however, is that it is possible to put whatever you want in it…You can, for instance, put all kinds of strong medications in it like Contalgin or Oxycontin and you don’t have to guess what the end result will be if a 13-year-old child ingests such a gummy.”

“Please discuss this with your children,” the post concludes, “and have the conversation.”

Directorate of Health Proposes 20% Sugar Tax

soft drinks

The Directorate’s new action plan calls for imposing a 20% sugar tax on soft drinks and sweets, RÚV reports. Kjartann Hreinn Njálsson, assistant to the Director of Health, says that implementing this tax is important for the country’s long term goals in public health.

Ireland, France, Norway, and Mexico, are just a few of the countries which have taxed soft drinks and other sugary products mostly in an effort to reduce their consumption and improve public health. Iceland also previously implemented a sugar tax of 5% that was eventually repealed.

Higher tax more likely to succeed

“When this was last tried [in Iceland], sweetened soft drinks rose in price by only around ISK 5 per litre, while chocolate lowered in price because the existing taxes that applied before were higher than those applied due to sugar,” states Kjartann. “Now it is suggested that the increase be 20% […] so that consumers feel the increase.” Kjartan says there is evidence that informing consumers and encouraging healthier choices are not enough to decrease sugar consumption. Lowering the price of healthy food products needs to follow as well.

“Given how high the level of sugar consumption is here in the country and what a serious public health issue it is to consume too much sugar, for society as a whole, we believe the sugar tax is very important,” stated Kjartan.

Taxing TVs and running shoes

Several parties have put forth arguments against the sugar tax, questioning its efficacy and pointing to potential negative side effects. Icelandic Federation of Trade Director Ólafur Stephensen has suggested that the tax works against recent efforts which have streamlined food taxation, and would increase overhead costs for businesses. In addition, he points out that research on sugar taxes around the world has shown contradictory results and there are many indications such taxes are ineffective.

The sugar tax is also paternalistic, Ólafur adds. “It’s so incredibly difficult when governments are starting to decide what is healthy and what is unhealthy for us and change the price of things in order to control consumption. If taxes are to be applied to this end then there should be high taxes on TVs and low taxes on running shoes.”