Young northern men buy most Net booze

Men in northern Sweden buy the most alcohol on the Internet, according to a recent study by the country’s Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).

The most common buyer is a man who is under 50-years-old, drinks a bit more than most, and thinks alcohol tax should be lowered.

Those who say they buy booze over the Web made up nearly one percent of people aged 16-80 during 2004-2005. This means about 20,000 to 60,000 people use the Internet for buying alcohol.

For those who said they bought via the Net, the average amount bought in their most recent order contained 3.4 litres of pure alcohol. This amount is the equivalent to 27 litres of wine, or 64 litres of beer, or 9 litres of spirits.

The total amount bought on the Net still only amounts to 0.5 percent of the total volume consumed.

According to the study, those in the southern parts of Sweden buy the least alcohol over the Internet, but the percent increases the further north in Sweden you go. Men are three times more likely to buy alcohol on the Internet than women.

Customs in Sweden has stepped up its patrol for the illegal purchases, making it harder for importers and customers to get their goods.

One of the companies, Nätmässan, in Skåne, has lately had problems with shipments from Germany. In order to minimize the risk of the booze being confiscated by Swedish custom, the alcohol is shipped in small quantities, which has led to delays. Many customers have complained of missing shipments.

Today, the purchase of alcohol via the Net is illegal in Sweden. Some 4,000 Swedes risk punishment for buying over the Web if the European Court agrees this summer that such purchases are illegal.