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Nordic countries – a tasty market for Swiss wine?

Wine is a popular luxury around the world – and this includes the Nordic countries. Wine, alongside beer, is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Is it also an interesting market for Swiss wine producers and exporters? Definitely. But a word of caution: there are wine monopolies here. You can find out how wine exports still works in spite of this, about the prevailing trends on the Nordic wine market and what else needs to be considered here in our webinar recording at the end of the article.

nordics food export

When it comes to alcohol consumption, the four major Nordic countries are midfield players on the European market. The 27 million inhabitants of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland consume only slightly less alcohol than the European average. Although the value has slightly dropped in recent years, most significantly with high-proof alcohol, it is still a popular luxury in the Nordic countries. The preferences vary from country to country: In Finland (49 percent) and Norway (44 percent), beer is the preferred alcoholic beverage, with wine in second place. For their Nordic neighbors, it's exactly the opposite: In Denmark (45 percent) and Sweden (48 percent), wine is first choice, followed by beer.

Nordic wine consumption

These preferences have barely changed in the last ten years, but trends keep stirring up the market: when it comes to wine consumption, a strong preference for ecological wines is currently noticeable. Rosé wine has also seen a particular increase in demand. Champagne has also climbed up the ranks in popularity. Successful wine export, however, is not just about recognizing the trends – knowledge of the market is more crucial. While Denmark, with its unregulated market, enables easy access for exporters and producers, in Sweden, Norway and Finland, it's a completely different story; alcohol monopolies prevail here.

Wine export despite the wine monopolies

These alcohol monopolies do not pose a problem per se. On the contrary, the Swedish monopoly, Systembolaget, is indeed the largest wine purchaser in the world. This has positive consequences for consumers. Some high quality wines, in particular from Europe, can be purchased at better prices than in their country of origin. However, it's a different story for Swiss wine producers and exporters. The pricing structure and alcohol tax in Sweden means that their wines inevitably fall into the high-price bracket. Sales therefore need to be particularly well thought out. It may make sense to only offer the products online or exclusively in restaurants. 

Webinar: Wine export into the Nordic countries

Our free webinar gives you many more such tips. Not only does it show you the trends of alcohol and wine consumption in the Nordic countries, it also gives you a detailed introduction to the main players and wine monopolies, providing you with in-depth information for a successful market entry: which sales channels are particularly popular, which partners are available and what expectations do they have?

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