Alcohol Sales In Norway Hit 'Record High' In First Quarter

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Alcohol Sales In Norway Hit 'Record High' In First Quarter

Alcohol sales in Norway rose by 20.8% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the corresponding quarter last year, in what Statistics Norway said was a 'record high' for quarterly alcohol sales in the country.

Some 7.2 million litres of alcohol were sold in the period, according to the statistics body.

Beer sales were up 17.7%, liquor sales were up 16.1%, and wine sales rose by 24.7%, it said. Total alcohol sales stood at 7.2 million litres, compared to 5.3 million litres for the corresponding period in 2020.

Consumption Unchanged

Statistics Norway said that increased alcohol sales during the coronavirus pandemic do not necessarily mean that Norwegians are consuming more – alcohol sales purchased overseas or through tax-free outlets are not included in the data, it added.

"Most of the increase in sales of alcohol in the last year is probably due to the fact that we have had to buy all alcohol at the usual outlets in Norway," said Statistics Norway's Stian Elisenberg. "Statistics Norway's health statistics show that our drinking habits are unchanged."


Cross-Border Trade

Cross-border trade, which is a big driver of alcohol sales, has all but ceased over the past year, due to the pandemic, with statistics showing that Norwegians spent 97.7% less on cross-border purchases.

At the same time, certain retail categories have seen a surge in sales at a domestic level, with the grocery trade in wine and spirits rising by 17.4% and 27.7% respectively, said Statistics Norway.

In April, Swedish group Svensk Handel reported that Norwegian consumers spent 87.5% less in Sweden last year, as a result of the drop-off in cross-border trade amidst the pandemic, while Swedish retailer Axfood also reported that its Eurocash banner, which is aimed at shoppers crossing the border, was impacted heavily.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Drinks news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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