The aim of the present study was to survey attitudes to and use of functional foods and to investigate which demographic variables and attitudes to diet and health predict consumption of functional foods among Swedish consumers. A questionnaire was developed and sent to 2000 randomly selected Swedish citizens aged between 17 and 75 years. A total of 972 (48 %) responded, 53 % were female and 44 % male. Mean age was 45 years. The results revealed that 84 % of respondents were familiar with the concept of functional foods; 83 % had consumed/purchased at least one of the seven functional food products presented in the questionnaire. Of those who had consumed a functional food, 25 % had perceived effect of it. Positive correlations were seen between consumers perceiving a personal reward from eating functional foods, having an interest in natural products and an interest in general health. Consumption/purchase of functional foods was related to beliefs in the effects of the products, having consumed nutraceuticals or dietary supplements, having a diet-related problem personally or in the family, and a high level of education. The characteristic Swedish functional food consumer has a high level of education, is health-conscious and interested in healthy foods and believes in the health effect of functional foods. Thus, factors other than demographics better explain consumption of FF. However, the study population may represent a more health-conscious segment of the Swedish population in general. Additional studies are therefore required to elucidate the attitudes and use of FF in different consumer groups.