Panimoliitto

Domestic sales of brewery beverages continue to decline – lifting of restrictions on store hours did not increase sales

Lehdistötiedote   •   Touko 26, 2016 15:23 EEST

The domestic sales of member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry, 1 January – 30 April 2016

A total of 224.2 million litres of brewery beverages were sold in January-April 2016. Domestic sales of beer, cider, long drinks, mineral waters and soft drinks were down 4.0 million litres, or 1.8 per cent. These figures are based on sales statistics compiled by the members of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry: Captol Invest, Hartwall, Olvi, Red Bull, Saimaan Juomatehdas and Sinebrychoff.

Domestic sales of brewery beverages have been on the decline for many years. Sales of mild alcoholic beverages in particular have fallen in Finland.

“Contrary to what many suspected, the removal of restrictions on store hours at the beginning of the year did not increase sales of alcoholic beverages in Finland,” says Elina Ussa, Managing Director of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry.

On the other hand, private beverage imports by travellers have remained at a consistently high level. Travellers’ private imports of alcoholic beverages are almost twice as large as Finnish on-trade sales. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry has called on the government to take steps to curb private imports and redirect tax revenues to Finland.

According to a survey commissioned by the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry from Taloustutkimus, if sales of strong beer (> 4.7% ABV, categorised as Class IV) were to be permitted in grocery stores, 59 per cent of Finns would still buy medium-strength (Class III) beer, while 25 per cent would buy strong beer. A study jointly commissioned from Pellervo Economic Research by the Finnish Grocery Trade Association and the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry in 2013 indicated that permitting sales of strong beer in grocery stores would halve travellers' private imports from Estonia and increase the government’s tax revenues by EUR 50 million.

“The government’s policies in the new Alcohol Act represent moderate steps towards a European alcohol policy. Thanks to these deregulatory measures, we can harness the potential of the brewing industry more effectively in Finland and tackle booze cruises, which currently pose the greatest challenge to the entire value chain,” thanks Ussa.

The Finnish brewing industry directly employs over 1,700 people. 40 per cent of jobs in the industry have disappeared since 2003. The direct and indirect impacts are also considerable.

In January-April 2016, member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry sold a total of 224.2 million litres of beer. This represents a year-on-year fall of 4.0 million litres, or 1.8 per cent. A total of 9.5 million litres of long drinks and 8.1 million litres of cider were sold. Long drink sales fell by 0.6 million litres (6.1 per cent) and cider sales by 0.4 million litres (4.8 per cent). Sales of soft drinks fell by 2.6 million litres (3.4 per cent), with a total of 71.8 million litres sold. 19.5 million litres of mineral waters were sold, representing a rise of 0.5 million litres, or 2.9 per cent.

DOMESTIC SALES 1 Jan. 2016 – 30 Apr. 2016

Beverage 2016 2015 Change Change

mill. l. mill. l. mill. l. %
Beer 115.3 116.3 -1.0 -0.9
Cider 8.1 8.5 -0.4 -4.8
Long drinks 9.5 10.1 -0.6 -6.1
Soft drinks 71.8 74.4 -2.6 -3.4
Mineral waters 19.5 18.9 0.5 2.9
Total sales 224.2 228.2 -4.0 -1.8

Source: Member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry. The statistics do not include sales by actors outside the Federation nor private imports of brewery products, which are not statistically recorded. As of the beginning of 2011, the statistics include all the brands of the members of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry and any private label brands they produce.

Additional information:
Managing Director Elina Ussa, tel. +358 (0)45 269 7711
Communications Manager Outi Heikkinen, tel. +358 (0)50 370 8677

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The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry promotes the interests of producers of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters in Finland. Its members are Captol Invest Oy, Oy Hartwall Ab, Olvi Oyj, Red Bull Finland Oy, Saimaan Juomatehdas, and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry operates in connection with the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation and represents Finland’s fourth largest industry in the food and drink branch in terms of the value of production.