Flat volume growth due to maturity
The Swedish market for alcoholic drinks saw flat development in total volume terms in 2013, up marginally on the previous year. Growth was slightly lower than the review period CAGR, illustrating that the market is suffering from maturity and high private imports. Volume growth was demonstrated by wine and cider, while spirits saw sales decline for the fourth year in a row. Although total current value sales were up at a slightly stronger rate than volume in 2013, sales were still sluggish, growing only marginally. The increase was also lower than the review period CAGR, further illustrating maturity.
Strong focus on premium products
The maturity of the market encouraged manufacturers to focus on niche and premium products in the search for growth potential and wider margins. In addition there was strongly growing consumer interest in these products, while the number of new micro- and even nano-breweries, as well as small domestic distillers, continued to increase rapidly at the end of the review period. The most dynamic category in 2013 was indeed ale, which is heavily dominated by premium craft beer. Also, Japanese whisky and single malt whisky, which are very premium in nature, saw healthy growth in 2013. However, these categories, and premium products in general, are small niches, and strong growth is thus to some extent exaggerated by the low base.
Breweries dominate in Sweden
The four leading players, accounting for just over half of total volume sales in 2013, are breweries specialising primarily in the production of beer. Carlsberg Sverige AB led at the end of the review period, followed closely by domestic Spendrups Bryggeri AB, Åbro Bryggeri AB and Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB. These companies have been active on the Swedish market for a long time and have well established and trusted brands, primarily in the large beer category. Constant new launches help to defend share. In general domestic companies have strong positions in all categories of alcoholic drinks, either as distributors and national brand owners of international brands, or as producers of alcoholic drinks.
State-controlled monopoly Systembolaget dominates sales
Food/drink/tobacco specialists is the most common off-trade channel from which to purchase alcoholic drinks in Sweden. This is due to the retail monopoly on sales of alcoholic drinks of more than 3.5% abv, with the state-controlled monopoly Systembolaget accounting for 72% of off-trade volume sales in 2013. Its share remained fairly stable over the review period, fluctuating only marginally. Systembolaget has a long history in Sweden and few want to abolish the monopoly. Systembolaget offers a wide range of alcoholic drinks, either in its standard range or its pre-order product range. Sales of alcoholic drinks with 3.5% abv or less, mainly beer and cider/perry, are sold outside Systembolaget. Supermarkets represented the second-most popular channel at the end of the review period as a result of sales of such products.
Slow but growing forecast development
Total volume sales of alcoholic drinks are expected to see slow development over the forecast period. Aided by a predicted economic recovery, premium products in particular are expected to do well. Also, on-trade will benefit from growing consumer confidence, albeit seeing rather low volume growth. On-trade demand is predicted to see a stronger development compared with the review period as the economic situation improves. However, the Swedish alcoholic drinks market is struggling with maturity, high taxes and high private imports, which will prevent volume sales from growing more profoundly in coming years
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The Alcoholic Drinks in Sweden market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
- Detailed segmentation of international and local products
- Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
- Five year forecasts of market trends and market growth
- Production, imports by origin, exports by destination
- Robust and transparent market research methodology, conducted in-country
Our market research reports answer questions such as:
- What is the market size of Alcoholic Drinks in Sweden?
- What are the major brands in Sweden?
- Have there been any alcoholic drinks legislative changes over the past 12 months?
- How is the alcoholic drinks industry affected by the recession?
- What is consumed more; beer, wine or spirits?
- What have been the key trends seen in new product developments?
- Do alcoholic drinks consumers want value for money or added value?
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.