Sweden’s economy continued to perform relatively well in 2018, benefiting from falling unemployment, continued real GDP growth and increasing disposable incomes. These factors helped boost spending on premium and luxury food and alcoholic drinks, with more expensive restaurants having driven Swedes’ interest in high quality wines and spirits.
Affluent elderly people comprise a very strong consumer group in certain categories, for example dark rum, gin and specific whiskies, although gin has also grown in popularity among younger consumers. The luxury segment in these categories therefore continued to record strong growth in 2018.
Several categories which had a weak presence in 2016 posted continued strong growth in 2018. These included Japanese whisky, which benefited from the rising popularity of brands such as Nikka.
Consumers in Sweden traditionally spend more money on champagne. A wider product selection is also a reason behind the much higher share of fine champagne as most champagne sold in Sweden falls under the fine champagne category.
Whisky brands such as Mackmyra, Smögen and Monkey 47 held a rather large share in luxury whiskies in 2017. All three continued to gain ground, although competition is set to intensify over the forecast period.
As Swedish consumers generally show little loyalty to smaller brands, it will be essential for such players to find a unique selling point as competition is intensifying in several categories. Over the forecast period manufacturers will need to encourage consumers to continue to purchase their products as the ongoing launch of new beverages at Systembolaget will serve to satisfy demand for new alcoholic offerings.
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