Beer
Alcoholic Drinks > Beer

Beer in Sweden

Sweden

Euromonitor International's Beer in Sweden market report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level. It provides the latest retail sales data, allowing you to identify the sectors driving growth. It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market - be they new product developments, packaging innovations, economic/lifestyle influences, distribution or pricing issues. Forecasts illustrate how the market is set to change.

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Tables: 75  |  Publication date: Jan 2008
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Product coverage

Dark beer; Lager by origin; Lager by price platform; Low/non-alcohol beer; Stout

Executive summary

There is a clear trend that consumers are increasingly choosing stronger beer types of more than 3.5% abv sold at the retail monopoly Systembolaget. This includes premium beers, both imported and domestic, and also some standard beer brands. The strong economy is one important factor behind this development. Another influencing factor is the increase in the number of imported brands sold at Systembolaget. Consumers are also becoming more and more quality orientated and are not only choosing beer on price.

The 2007 decrease was faster than the average over the review period as a whole and a worse performance than in the previous year. The most important reason behind this development was the rainy summer of 2007. As in many other countries of Western Europe parts of Sweden recorded rain volumes that had not been seen in 100 years. This had a strong negative impact on both on-trade and off-trade sales of beer.

Weissbier is the smallest beer category in Sweden, accounting for well under 1% of total volume sales. However, from this low base weissbier sales increased by 9% in volume terms in 2007. The increase was influenced by a wider range of brands at Systembolaget. Imported premium lager also continued to increase in 2007 (despite the rainy summer). The strong economy along with more imported brands influenced this development.

Low-calorie beer saw an important breakthrough with the launch of Carlsberg Sverige’s Pripps Blå Pure brand in 2006. Low-calorie beer has been present before with the brand extension “Light”. Many traditional male consumers avoid any product with the word “Light” and when Carlsberg named it Pripps Blå Pure instead the acceptance was much greater. Since then low-calorie beers like Miller Lite and Spendrups Bright have been launched and further contributed to increased sales of low-calorie beer. General awareness of health issues and the negative impact of too great an intake of carbohydrates have also increased as the media regularly cover these issues.

Beer is the number one alcoholic drink in the on-trade channel in terms of volume. However, the long-term trend in the on-trade channel is slowly downwards and this trend continued in 2007. In 2006, the decline was only temporarily halted due to the positive effects of the football World Cup in Germany. There are several reasons behind the decline. Perhaps the most important is the competition from cider and RTDs. The latter product targets younger consumers and women in particular. Health reasons are another factor, especially towards the end of the review period when carbohydrates came into focus. Again, it is women who are shifting to other alcoholic drinks for such reasons. The cocktail trend in spirits is also negatively impacting on on-trade beer sales. The smoking ban (introduced in mid-2005) was of less importance, according to trade sources, as consumer expenditure in the on-trade channel continued to increase.

Low-alcohol beer has a long tradition in Sweden. This undoubtedly stems from it being the only type of beer available in grocery stores. Two different types are available and the industry sees these as two separate categories. 2.25% beer known as lättöl (light beer), and 2.8% beer known as folköl (“people’s beer”). At present neither of these beer types are taxed. Lättöl does not require a licence to sell or serve and does not have a minimum age (although many supermarkets insist on at least parental consent for purchases), unlike folköl.

Low-alcohol beer has experienced a strong decline since 1997, when volumes reached about 246 million litres. In 2006, low-alcohol beer sales were down to about 78 million litres, and there are no signs of any change in this development. 2.8% alcohol is the most common low-alcohol beer type, accounting for about 51% of total sales in 2006. However, it saw its sales decline more sharply over the review period as most of its consumers switched to a new type of 3.5% abv beer, which became available in grocery stores in the late 1990s. 2.25% beer accounts for almost all of the rest. Most 2.25% beer is sold in trays/crates, where consumers can select 20 33cl bottles of 2.25% beer and/or soft drinks. These trays are heavily discounted both by retailers and brewers and margins are consequently low; indeed, many industry observers believe that such sales are made at a loss, although no brewer or retailer will admit to this. Both 2.25% beer and 2.8% beer saw very little product innovation over the review period, as brewers focused on stronger, higher-margin products, further contributing to declining sales.

Non-alcoholic beer sales are negligible in Sweden, although both Spendrups Bryggeri and Carlsberg introduced beer that is promoted as non-alcoholic beer. The Swedish regulations state that beer with 0.5% and less alcohol content can be promoted as non-alcoholic beer. Carlsberg’s brand in this category has an alcohol content of 0.5%, while the Spendrups Norrlands Guld brand has a 0.4% alcohol content. The launch of these beers did not influence sales positively. The brands that are promoted as non-alcoholic beers claim to taste better than the watery low-alcohol beers, but are also far more expensive due to the more complicated manufacturing process. Both beers are produced outside Sweden. With 2.25% beer being both established and cheap there is little incentive for consumers to buy non-alcoholic beer. At 2.25% abv lättöl is considered weak enough both for drivers and for consumers who avoid alcohol for health and/or religious reasons.

Stout and dark beer accounts for only a small share (just over 1%) of total beer sales in Sweden. While dark beer has been seeing a positive development, stout has seen falling sales since 2003. The number of brands available is relatively small, with most being imported. The consumer base is small and it seems that there are problems attracting new consumers. Ale and weissbier have a far better development and this is possibly also one reason why stout sales are declining. Both ale and weissbier are recording increasing volume sales, driven by new product launches. According to data from Systembolaget, ales and weissbier with high alcohol levels are especially popular. Ale is also increasingly popular in the on-trade channel as more and more outlets offer these types of beer.

Production, Imports and Exports

The domestic production of beer had been declining since as far back as 1999. However, in 2005 and 2006 the negative trend changed and production increased marginally, although it is still well short of the volumes from the mid-1990s. The negative trend in beer production is not a reflection of lower consumption of beer in general, but a result of increased private imports, smuggling and increased competition from RTDs and cider. Younger consumers are the ones that have adopted these new trends the most. The majority of beer production is in the hands of a few large brewers, such as Carlsberg Sverige and Spendrups, although the number of small microbrewers has increased over the last 15 years. Between 2003 and 2006 five new breweries emerged, all of them with fewer than five employees. The total number of breweries in Sweden had reached 35 by 2006.

Beer imports have as good as doubled since 2000 to reach 118 million litres in 2006. Danish beer accounts for about 43% of volume sales and is the leading exporter to Sweden, although volumes have dropped over the last two years. Czech beer has experienced rapid growth and was the second most imported beer with over 16 million litres in 2006, having overtaken German beer, which was close behind. Swedish beer exports are still very small, but increased rapidly in 2005 and 2006 to reach 27 million litres. Two countries account for over 90% of beer volume exports – Germany and Denmark. It is not a sudden demand for Swedish beer among Germans and Danes that has resulted in the rapid growth. The reason behind the increased exports is a result of the increase in private imports of beer. Swedes who travel to Germany or Denmark to buy alcohol at low prices often choose brands that they are familiar with and, as a result, German and Danish border shops have introduced Swedish beer brands in order to meet this demand. It is also a way for Swedish brewers to compensate for lower domestic sales of beer with increased exports.

The high alcohol taxes in Sweden make the alcohol content of beer influence the price to a much greater degree than whether the beer is a high- or low-quality beer. Therefore, within the scope of this report premium, standard and economy beer was split according to the tax classes existing in Sweden.

Class I: non-alcoholic beer or beer with less than 2.25% abv for which no alcohol tax applies;

Class II beer: between 2.8-3.5 abv, for which a somewhat higher tax applies, and available through common retail outlets;

Class III beer: over 3.5% abv with the highest tax and can only be purchased at state-owned monopoly shops and on-trade outlets.

Imported beer increased its share of total sales from 12% in 2000 to just over 25% in 2006. This is partly a result of retail monopoly Systembolaget allowing more imported brands in its stores, but also because of more imported beers (3.5% and less) being sold by discounters. The share of non-Swedish brands is higher due to the fact that several of these brands are manufactured under licence in Sweden.

Euromonitor International data are largely the same as apparent consumption figure and differ only marginally. Euromonitor International data are largely based on data from the trade association Sveriges Bryggerier (Brewers Association).

Table of contents

ALCOHOLIC DRINKS IN SWEDEN : MARKET INSIGHT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Rainy Summer held back Volume Growth

Vin & Sprit AB up for Sale

Brewers Dominate Total Volume Sales

Retail Monopoly

Internet Imports

Future Growth

KEY TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS

Continued Strong Economy

Drinking Habits Change

EU Introduces New Regulations

Seasonal Peaks for Traditional Spirits

Table 1 Busiest sales days at Systembolaget, 2006

Bag-in-Box Dominates Still Wine Sales

Private Imports Account for a Large Share of Total Consumption

Specialist Retailers

Summary 1 Leading Specialist Retailers 2006

Table 2 Additional Systembolaget data

Market Merger and Acquisition Activity

Summary 2 Speculated Merger and Acquisition Activity 2006-2007

MARKET BACKGROUND

Legislation

TAXATION AND DUTY LEVIES

Summary 3 Taxation and Duty Levies on Alcoholic Drinks 2007

Table 3 Typical Wholesaler and Retailer Off-trade Mark-ups by Selected Sectors 2007

Table 4 Selling Margin of a Typical Domestically Produced Beer Brand 2007

Table 5 Selling Margin of a Typical Imported Beer Brand 2007

Table 6 Selling Margin of a Typical Imported Wine Brand 2007

Table 7 Selling Margin of a Typical Domestically Produced Spirits Brand 2007

Table 8 Selling Margin of a Typical Imported Spirits Brand 2007

OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

Table 9 Table: SoRad estimates of contraband consumption 2006

Table 10 Number of Passenger Journeys via Åland Islands 2005-2006

Table 11 Private imports to Sweden 2002-2006

Table 12 Table Private imports as a share of total consumption 2006

MARKET INDICATORS

Table 13 Retail Consumer Expenditure on Alcoholic Drinks 2002-2007

MARKET DATA

Table 14 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: Total Volume 2002-2007

Table 15 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: Total Value 2002-2007

Table 16 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: % Total Volume Growth 2002-2007

Table 17 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: % Total Value Growth 2002-2007

Table 18 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector by On-trade vs Off-trade split: Volume 2007

Table 19 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector by On-trade vs Off-trade split: Value 2007

Table 20 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector by On-trade vs Off-trade split: % Volume 2007

Table 21 Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector by On-trade vs Off-trade split: % Value 2007

Table 22 Company Shares of Alcoholic Drinks by Global Brand Owner 2003-2006

Table 23 Off-trade Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Distribution Format: % Value Analysis 2007

Table 24 Off-trade Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector and Distribution Format: % Volume Analysis 2007

Table 25 Forecast Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: Total Volume 2007-2012

Table 26 Forecast Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: Total Value 2007-2012

Table 27 Forecast Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: % Total Volume Growth 2007-2012

Table 28 Forecast Sales of Alcoholic Drinks by Sector: % Total Value Growth 2007-2012

DEFINITIONS

Sources

Summary 4 Research Sources

LOCAL COMPANY PROFILES - SWEDEN

FONDBERG & CO AB - ALCOHOLIC DRINKS - SWEDEN

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

KEY FACTS

Summary 5 Fondberg & Co AB: Key Facts

Summary 6 Fondberg & Co AB: Operational Indicators

COMPANY BACKGROUND

PRODUCTION

Summary 7 Fondberg & Co AB (incl subsidiary Svensk Vodka AB): Production Statistics 2006

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Summary 8 Fondberg & Co AB: Competitive Position 2006

J & J NORDIC AB - ALCOHOLIC DRINKS - SWEDEN

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

KEY FACTS

Summary 9 J & J Nordic AB: Key Facts

Summary 10 J & J Nordic AB: Operational Indicators

COMPANY BACKGROUND

PRODUCTION

Summary 11 J & J Nordic AB: Production Statistics 2006

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Summary 12 J & J Nordic AB: Competitive Position 2006

KOPPARBERGS BRYGGERI AB - ALCOHOLIC DRINKS - SWEDEN

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

KEY FACTS

Summary 13 Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB: Key Facts

Summary 14 Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB: Operational Indicators (Parent company)

COMPANY BACKGROUND

PRODUCTION

Summary 15 Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB: Production Statistics 2006

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Summary 16 Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB: Competitive Position 2006

MACKMYRA SVENSK WHISKY AB - ALCOHOLIC DRINKS - SWEDEN

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

KEY FACTS

Summary 17 Mackmyra Svensk Whisky AB: Key Facts

Summary 18 Mackmyra Svensk Whisky AB: Operational Indicators

COMPANY BACKGROUND

PRODUCTION

Summary 19 Mackmyra Svensk Whisky AB: Production Statistics 2006

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Summary 20 Mackmyra Svensk Whisky AB: Competitive Position 2006

SATURNUS AB - ALCOHOLIC DRINKS - SWEDEN

STRATEGIC DIRECTION

KEY FACTS

Summary 21 Saturnus AB: Key Facts

Summary 22 Saturnus AB: Operational Indicators

COMPANY BACKGROUND

PRODUCTION

Summary 23 Saturnus AB: Production Statistics 2006

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Summary 24 Saturnus AB: Competitive Position 2006

BEER IN SWEDEN

HEADLINES

TRENDS

Production, Imports and Exports

Table 29 Total Consumption of Beer According to Swedish Tax Classes: Domestic Production and Imports 1997-2006

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

PROSPECTS

SECTOR BACKGROUND

Lager Price Band Methodology

Summary 25 Lager by Price Band 2007

Table 30 Leading brands with >3.5% ABV included in Standard Lager

Published Data Comparisons

SECTOR DATA

Table 31 Sales of Beer by Subsector: Total Volume 2002-2007

Table 32 Sales of Beer by Subsector: Total Value 2002-2007

Table 33 Sales of Beer by Subsector: % Total Volume Growth 2002-2007

Table 34 Sales of Beer by Subsector: % Total Value Growth 2002-2007

Table 35 Sales of Beer by On-trade vs Off-trade split: Volume 2002-2007

Table 36 Sales of Beer by On-trade vs Off-trade split: Value 2002-2007

Table 37 Sales of Beer by On-trade vs Off-trade split: % Volume Growth 2002-2007

Table 38 Sales of Beer by On-trade vs Off-trade split: % Value Growth 2002-2007

Table 39 Beer: Production, Imports and Exports: Total Volume 2001-2006

Table 40 Beer Exports by Country of Destination: Total Volume 2001-2006

Table 41 Beer Exports by Country of Destination: Total Value 2001-2006

Table 42 Beer Imports by Country of Origin: Total Volume 2001-2006

Table 43 Beer Imports by Country of Origin: Total Value 2001-2006

Table 44 Company Shares of Beer by National Brand Owner 2002-2006

Table 45 Company Shares of Beer by Global Brand Owner 2002-2006

Table 46 Brand Shares of Beer 2003-2006

Table 47 Forecast Sales of Beer by Subsector: Total Volume 2007-2012

Table 48 Forecast Sales of Beer by Subsector: Total Value 2007-2012

Table 49 Forecast Sales of Beer by Subsector: % Total Volume Growth 2007-2012

Table 50 Forecast Sales of Beer by Subsector: % Total Value Growth 2007-2012

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