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Sweden, 2020 as the year of wine, with Italy advancing and young people moving away

Wine Analytics analysis: between Systembolaget and restaurants, where 28% of the bottles come from Italy, with Tuscany on the podium of the wine lists
2020, the year of wine in Sweden

The growth of wine consumption, in Sweden, has been going on for a long time: it dates back at least to the seventies, when the government of Stockholm decided to try to invert a dangerous course, in terms of health, by pushing Swedes to limit spirits and move to wine and beer. Since that moment, in fact, the trend of wine consumption has been of continuous growth, at least until 2015, when it reached its peak, at least in terms of consumers. At that time, there were 6.3 million Swedes who habitually drank wine, a figure which decreased to 5.8 million in 2020, as it emerges from Wine Intelligence data. For an average consumption, substantially stable since 2010, of 29 liters per person, which passes, it is worth remembering, mostly through the retail channel managed by Systembolaget, the Swedish monopoly of alcoholic beverages, from which only low-alcohol beer, also found in supermarkets, escapes. A channel that accounts for almost 70% of sales, and which supported consumption even in 2020, a very difficult year, but not for Sweden, where Italian exports, in the first 11 months (ISTAT data analyzed by WineNews), grew by 3.6%, to 174 million euros.
A performance that is also confirmed by restaurant sales, where Italian wines, in volume, represent 28% of all uncorked bottles, twice as much as France (14%) and Spain (12%), as reported by Wine Analytics. Which, as usual, analyzed the wine lists of Swedish restaurants: among the production regions with the highest presence, on the podium there are Rhone (82%), Bordeaux (71%) and Burgundy (71%), tied with Tuscany (71%), then Piedmont (65%), with Veneto at the n. 9 position (59%). 2020, however, has brought new consumer trends to Sweden as well: growth in online sales, home delivery, the role of women becoming increasingly important. And again, the premiumization of the wine market, driven by the search for more and more quality, the boom of organic wines (+17%), supported by Systembolaget, as well as growth. Small formats, such as half bottles, and alternative ones, such as cans, are also doing well, but wine consumption is still linked to more mature wine lovers, with young people turning strongly towards craft beers. Summer 2020, moreover, saw the boom of rosé wines, which increased by 20%, whereas low alcohol wines did not break through, remaining an unpopular niche.

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