The development of consumer influence in Sweden is characterized by successive phases of initiation (1940–1953), expansion (1954–1971), consolidation (1972–1977), retrenchment (1978–1984), and decentralization (since 1985). For the study of consumer policy, the concepts of exit and voice, collective action, countervailing power, and integrated participation are used.
It is shown that consumer policy neither belongs exclusively to the public domain, nor is simply left to the whims of the market. Its success depends in part on the participation of non-governmental organizations. However, the state's presence is essential for the survival of “organized consumer interests” as a countervailing power.