Sweden has increasingly become a wine-consuming market. The government took control of alcohol sales to deal with the historical Nordic binge drinking. The idea was to get the people off spirits and into lower alcohol alternatives, such as beer and wine*. Due to Covid-19, the Swedish market is going through a cultural shift, similar to what is seen on a global level. We have highlighted 2020 wine trends.
The Swedish government has eminently succeeded to get people off spirits. The total consumption of alcohol stabilized at c. 7 liters per adult back in 1970. These data translate into an average of 29 liters of wine per capita (15+ years old) since 2010, when consumption reached its current stable level (data from the OIV). This is 1 bottle per person every 9 days.
According to Wine Intelligence data, the number of wine consumers decreased from 2015 to 2020, from 6.3 to 5.8 million consumers (regular consumers: from 4.8 to 4.3 million).
The main source of alcohol for consumers is retail liquor stores, all of which are the run by the government-owned by Systembolaget. To import wine into Sweden, you need go through an importer, who will either supply the trade directly (restaurants, bars, caterers), or market the wines retail through Systembolaget.
Low alcohol beer is available for sale in supermarkets, and this is the only alcoholic product allowed to be sold there. This has slowly decreased through time — Sweden is well-known as a market for craft beers, and these are in the retail stores only. Restaurant sales have been constant through time — this is not a big market because Scandinavia has very restrictive drink-drive laws.
We have analyzed red wines listed in local cuisine restaurants in Sweden.
Considering wine sales by volume (2019 data published by Systembolaget), Italy dominates with 28% of sales, followed by France with 14% and Spain with 12% — these three make up 54% of the sales.
By David BECK
Director WINE ANALYTICS
Excerpt from our report. To learn more CLICK HERE