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An exhibition about how we became sugar-eaters


I was really impressed with how Nordiska Museet together with Joan Tan Studio displayed this brand new sugar exhibition. Capturing the impact it has had on all our lives and how it has been looked upon through history in a eye catching and fun way, the team led by Amanda Creutzer of Nordiska Museet brings you on a sweet interactive journey with a great layout. The team worked very hard bringing all these sugar rarities from all over the country and some even dated several centuries ago. It is an impressive piece of work, and not to mention all the incredible and detailed research done by head-researcher of the topic Ulrika Torell. To have this show about Sugar or Socker as it is called in Swedish in this day and age, is a perfect fit in todays society with the huge focus on what you consume and the pursuit of healthy living. I believe this sugar exhibition fits everyone from true researchers to the hipsters of today who like design, retro, food and foremost the combination of them all together with the huge growing interest in healthy- & cool-lifestyles. Starting off with a small cinema screening a short-film about the history of sugar, it leads you onto several well themed rooms showing the different times and style of its times since the birth of sugar. This is definitely a no morale show, as it is all based on facts.

5 STARS - Reviews - Eken Magazine

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“An academic researched sugar exhibition presented in a modern & cool retro style”

We have only been sugar-eaters for a short time in history. In the 17th century, Europeans began producing precious cane sugar on a larger scale on the land they conquered in the West Indies. But it was not until the last century that sugar became common in our daily food in Sweden. The exhibition is all about sugar and its history in Sweden. With a large variety of objects from the museum’s rich collections, the exhibition shows how sugar is transformed from luxury to everyday products, from something exclusive and beneficial to something casual that are both prone and cumbersome. The exhibition is a pleasurable and serious exposé of our view of the sugar and how it has been used from the time of Gustav Vasa today.


Sugar arrived in Sweden during the 16th century, and only for the very wealthy citizens. Sugar and all it’s accessories were connected to success and great fortune back then and now it is one of the most used products in the world.

During the 50s the Swedish government tried to implement a sugar tax, but the people revolted and wanted to keep their “lördagsgodis” which is still an important tradition today.

Today in Sweden people consume around 50kg sugar per person per year. In the sixties it was 7kg sugar p.p/p.y.

Research by Ulrika Torell. The exhibition is based on a research project funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

Joann Tan Studio are the creators of  the exhibitions lay-out and it is the first time they have done something with museums and such outlets. Usually they only work with commercial projects and are the ones that create the beautiful window displays of NK (Nordiska Kompaniet).

Nordiska Museet is Sweden´s biggest cultural institute with over a million items registered in its books.


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Source & Images: Nordiska Museet