Swedes get taste of Christmas in September

Swedes get taste of Christmas in September
A Julmust factory in Sweden. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT
While some parts of Sweden basked in late summer heat over the weekend, others saw Sweden's famous festive drink, julmust, arriving on supermarket shelves rather earlier than usual.
The fizzy soft drink, which is an institution in Sweden, doesn't usually start being sold in stores until October, but on Monday morning social media sites in Sweden had a distinctly festive flavour as Swedes rushed to post snaps of Julmust crates that they had spotted in various spots across the country.
“Finally” joked one instagram user @odhejohan, while another posted “Now Christmas and winter are rescued. Season's first julmust”.

Nu är #julen och #vintern räddad. Säsongens första #julmust

Ett foto publicerat av Tobias Starborg (@starman1202) Sep 20, 2015 kl. 2:54 PDT

Many of the photos were taken in Coop stores around Sweden, but Maria von Sydow, press manager for the Coop Sverige admitted that she had been surprised to hear that so many outlets had already stacked their shelves with the drink.
“I have spoken to the distributor and they have said that they will send out julmust in most places in about three weeks,” she said.
But she explained that “there are some Coop stores owned by consumer corporations instead of Coop Sverige who do things differently”.
Asked if she felt that those outlets had moved too swiftly to signal the countdown to Christmas, she added: “No. They can decide what to market themselves. It's up to them”.

Äntligen ☺ #julmust

Ett foto publicerat av Johan (@odhejohan) Sep 11, 2015 kl. 7:55 PDT

The recipe for the caramel coloured beverage was invented in the 1900s by a father and son who wanted to create a non-alcoholic alternative to beer. Its main ingredients are carbonated water, sugar and spices. Current varieties of julmust are so popular that they regularly outsells Coca Cola in Sweden during the winter.
The Local was not immediately able to reach Spendrups, which is one of the companies that produces the sweet drink. But the firm's marketing manager Stefan Santos told Swedish news site Nyheter24 on Monday that the move to start delivering to supermarkets was driven by strong demand.
“The stores have been asking for julmust. We started [delivery] at around this time last year, too. This year maybe it's a week earlier,” he said.
Apotekarnes, which is also a leading producer of the seasonal favourite told the news site that it too was planning to start delivering its drinks to Swedish stores soon.
“There is probably also a risk that some naughty elves will begin work next week,” he added.
Swedes enjoy their main Christmas festivities on December 24th, which is in 93 days time.