New record year for Vinmonopolet: “The record could probably stand for decades”

VinmonopoletPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

Never before has Vinmonopolet sold more liters of wine and spirits. The record could stand for decades, the communications manager believes.

“It is probably a record that will stand for a very long time. Probably a few decades, if we get over the pandemic and society can reopen,” Vinmonopolet’s Communications Manager Jens Nordahl told NTB.

Already on Wednesday, December 22, Vinmonopolet’s sales in Norway exceeded the record sales from last year of 115.5 million liters.

In a forecast made in the last week of the year, Vinmonopolet estimates that sales will end at 118.5 million liters for the entire year. That is an increase of 2.5% from last year, which was already a record year.

Corona effect

The pandemic is highlighted as the obvious reason for the sales jump.

“The corona restrictions have resulted in a significant reduction in cross-border trade and duty-free sales, and in addition, the serving at nightclubs has been reduced for large parts of the year,” Nordahl said.

The reason why sales in the corona year 2021 will be higher than the corona year 2020, Nordahl believes, is that the pandemic has affected sales more or less throughout the year, whereas it first hit March 2020.

“Usually, people have four channels where they buy wine and spirits: Tax-free, cross-border trade, nightlife, and Vinmonopolet. When three out of four channels have been unavailable for large parts of the year, it is clear that some of these liters have been bought from us instead,” the communications manager said.

Stable drinking

Even though Vinmonopolet sells wine and spirits like never before, this does not necessarily mean that Norwegians drink more than before.

“All data indicate that consumption has been quite stable over time, even during the pandemic. If there is a change in alcohol consumption, there is probably a slight decrease as a result of less social activity. Many people enjoy alcohol when they are with others,” Nordahl pointed out.

He referred to the Norwegian corona monitor by Opinion, which has regularly asked Norwegians about alcohol consumption during the pandemic. Throughout the entire pandemic, around 70% of Norwegians answered that they drink as much as before, while around 20% answered that they drink less. About 10% drink more.

“This means that nine out of ten say they drink as much or less than before,” Nordahl said.

Fall in red wine sales

When it comes to sales of the various product groups at Vinmonopolet, there are some trends that stand out:

* Red wine sales declined somewhat (2% less volume than in 2020), but red wine is still by far the largest category with over 53 million liters sold.

* White wine sales increased by 2%, to 28 million liters.

* Sales of sparkling wine (+13%), rosé wine (+13%), and cider (+24%) have clearly increased.

“Even though red wine sales will be largest with us for a long time to come, this is part of a trend that has been going on for many years. People buy more lighter wine categories such as white wine, sparkling wine, and rosé. These often have lower calorie content and alcohol content,” Nordahl said.

Climate effect

He also links the development to climate change and higher temperatures.

“The warmer the weather, the more popular are white wine, sparkling, and rosé. We see it almost overnight that we sell more of the lighter varieties when the weather gets better, while the red wine reigns in the cold,” Nordahl said.

Spirit sales increased by 7% in total in 2021, to 16 million liters, but Nordahl believes this is primarily due to the loss of tax-free sales.

“We know that liquor sales make up a much larger share of tax-free sales than at Vinmonopolet. When the tax-free sale stops, some of this sale will move over to us,” he added.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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