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Sweden heads toward new wine sales record

TT/The Local · 14 Dec 2009, 08:46

Published: 14 Dec 2009 08:46 GMT+01:00

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However, Swedes are not the only ones imbibing more, as the number of customers from Sweden’s neighbours has risen sharply as well, according to Systembolaget.

Wine sales in Sweden for 2009 had already surpassed last year’s record of 161 million litres by early November, not including strong wines.

And if sales in December don’t fall below figures recorded for the same month in 2008, the new wine sales record would be at least 174 million litres, statistics from Systembolaget show.

For the third year in a row, the annual increase in wine sales is greater than the total sales of other spirits, indicating that wine continues to be an increasingly important part of the alcohol monopoly’s sales volumes.

Wine sales have nearly doubled since 1996, the first year that boxed wines were introduced into Systembolaget retail outlets.

Today, boxed wines account for roughly half of all wine sales, and are thought to be an important part of Sweden’s booming wine sales.

“But it also has to do with long term changes in Swedes’ alcohol consumption to a more European style of consumption. It can also be a question of health,” Elisabeth Engelsen Ellqvist, marketing director with Bibendum, one of Sweden’s largest wine importers, told the TT news agency.

Systembolaget also attributes much of its sales increase to the weak krona, which has not only resulted in more Swedes buying booze in Sweden, but also attracted new customers from Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

The weak krona has also put pressure on the bottom lines of wine importers, however, resulting in two price hikes at Systembolaget stores during the year.

Story continues below…

The price rises do not appear to have dampened customers’ appetite for alcohol, however, even if customers who buy wine are “extremely price sensitive”, according to Engelsen Ellqvist.

“In Sweden we offer really great quality for the money, even after the price rises. And as long as the customers still think the product is worth it, they’ll pay to buy it,” she told TT.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:28 December 14, 2009 by Tennin
They loved their boxed wine.
09:47 December 14, 2009 by Luckystrike
It's still fairly cheap and gets you drunk a lot faster than other more expensive beers and "hard liquor"!
10:34 December 14, 2009 by Craptastical
@Luckystrike Usually wine contains more alcohol than beer, but claiming that wine will get you drunk faster than hard liquor (ie. vodka, rum, scotch etc.) is waaaay off.
11:29 December 14, 2009 by Luckystrike
If the liquor is carbonated, with soda or whatever, then yes, i get drunk really quick, but straight, it takes my body longer to absorb say straight vodka than it takes to absorb wine, thats why for ME, wine will get my drunk faster. Anyway...i believe it's different from one person to another.
12:27 December 14, 2009 by Rebel
Good to see that Swedes are celebrating their drug addiction to alcohol.
12:31 December 14, 2009 by peropaco
Swedes should ban Systembologet but that will never happen. They love to have bigbrother choosing where and when they should buy their booz. BUY booz directly from importers or cross the border to Denmark, Germany and get it there. Does anyone know where I can score some beers?
13:42 December 14, 2009 by Green Eggs and Ham
Hey peropaco,

I get my wine from Germany, after DHL delivery to my door, its still cheaper than the Swedish booze Mafioso. Haven't found any beers online so still have to go to that joke of an outlet, not good for my blood pressure! If you find some, let me know.

Cant quite understand how selling box wine is encouraging responsible drinking, they really are full of it. At the end of the day, all they are is a state sponsored illegal monopoly, making mountains of money.

Why people put up with them is beyond belief, anyway rant over, have a merry xmas.

15:15 December 14, 2009 by peropaco
Hey Green Eggs and Ham.

I do the same with regads to buying booz from abroad. I agree it is hard to score beers except from the occassional peddlers and that's a hit & miss situation. "I HATE SYSTEMBOLAGET"..
16:28 December 14, 2009 by Rick Methven
Get your beer from Denmark
16:56 December 14, 2009 by peropaco
Yep, thats what I do most of the time but it is kinda of a schlepp to get over there. Particularly at 15:05 on a Saturday after the mafia monopololybolaget has closed. :-((((
19:22 December 14, 2009 by Grumpy1
I hate the Bolaget and always send my wife or dog when I need something. In the old days, for me starting in the 70's, Sven & Eva used to go and get your order behind the magic door. Now, they've smartened up and make the poor customer pick out his own over priced bottle of booze.

I feel so guilty standing in line there! LOL
19:28 December 14, 2009 by Greg in Canada
You can't argue against the health benefits of red wine. Virtually every clinical study has demonstrated that moderate drinkers live longer than abstainers. The substance resveratrol as well as bioflavoids found in wine are good for your heart.

I actually brew my own wine fron kits. It works out do about three CDN dollars for a 750 ml bottle since the kits are not taxed. I imagine you could do the same in Sweden although the tax structure might be different.
20:36 December 14, 2009 by lingonberrie
Making your own wine from your own grown grapes in Sweden might be a bit more difficult than making wine in Canada, and very different than growing your own grapes in Italy. I have had the kit produced wine and I would rather not have any than drink that wine.

Of course, having lived in Italy for three years (nine years ago) has tended to spoil me a bit. I bought my wine from a local vineyard, and i paid--in an exchange rate of US Dollars to Lira--about $!.20/2 litre bottle (my own with ceramic flip tops) for excellent red wine out of the storage tank. Four of them got me through a month. A case of that wine cost $36.00 at that time.
20:49 December 14, 2009 by Hauhr
@Green Eggs and Ham, what service do you use? Is it a website that you can buy from directly and get it shipped? Is it legal (or subject to whether customs are in good mood or bad mood). I would love to try out this way of ordering alcohol (especially to get hold of some good german beers at lower prices),
21:22 December 14, 2009 by Greg in Canada
"i paid--in an exchange rate of US Dollars to Lira--about $!.20/2 litre bottle "

Now I want to move to Italy. My ex wife was Italian-Canadian. Maybe I should have kept her. Uh... maybe not. :-)

The kits we get over here aren't too bad - about equivalent to a typical restaurant house wine and good for every day drinking with dinner on a budget. For special occasions we'll splurge and purchase a good bottle from the wine store. You can however definately notice the difference from the kits and a good store bought bottle.

Canada actually has a fairly decent wine industry now. They can grow good grapes in B.C. and southern ontario.
23:01 December 14, 2009 by moaca
The system of System bolaget may be rather inconvenient, but how does Sweden score overall with regards to the average of alholic related diseases? I mean liver failures and especially the rapid growth in Europe with regards to youth boozing?

Here in the UK you can see kids of 12 or 13 years old hanging outside in parks getting drunk. Not to mention the violence and teenage pregnancys that have resulted after an evening of boozing amongst the young.

I think in that way it is good that its just that little bit harder to get hold of booze in Sweden. The trend all over Europe is very worrying as it seems to be normal to get totally rattered out of your brain in the weekends.

Everybody that has been totally rattered knows that this feeling is not very nice, not to mention the day after. How fun is it to lay in your own puke and not knowing what you did the evening before?

Is that really an achievement to be proud of?
03:34 December 15, 2009 by Davey-jo
How do you get a state monopoly, isn't this against EU free trade regulations?

I suggest to moaca that if you don't like it don't drink it but keep your nose out of other people's business especially the puke.....
09:30 December 15, 2009 by Green Eggs and Ham
Thanks Grumpy1 and Peropaco, comments made me lol.

@ hahur I use a German website called www.wein.co.za they only sell south african wines, but as I'm a saffer that suits me, but they dont do beer, havent found a site yet that does.

They deliver by DHL to your door, takes about 3 days.

Accoriding to EU law you are allowed tu purchase anything cross an EU border without import duty, but as Dave-jo says, when does Sweden ever follow EU directives, according to the EU Sytemet is an illegal monopoly. Have heard that customs don't prosecute as it wouldn't make it through court.

@Moaca, just because some immature w@nkers, cant handle the sauce, it shouldn't mean that the rest of us have to suffer under this patronising system, or should it?


17:19 December 16, 2009 by Rebel
"You can't argue against the health benefits of red wine."

Yes and no. You can get the same beneficial chemicals from grape juice. Also, while a glass of red wine a day can decrease heart disease risk in men it increases breast cancer risk in women.
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