A new study has found that drinks sales in Norway received a boost due to the closed border with Sweden, as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The report by Norway's Bryggeri- og drikkevareforeningen (Brewery and Beverage Association) said that drinks sales through the grocery channel 'increased significantly' as a result of the closed border, indicating the level to which Norwegian shoppers cross in to Sweden to make drinks purchases.
"A full stop in cross-border trade has led to people shopping in Norway rather than in Sweden," communications manager Hege Ramseng said. "This says a lot about how cross-border trade affects Norwegian companies and workplaces in normal times."
Overall, the group said that beer sales in Norway fell by 4% during March and April, which is less than what was feared when the country was shut down on March 12.
During the same period, soft drinks sales increased by 2%, water sales were up 3%, energy drinks sales rose by 14%, and cider sales were constant with the previous year, it said.
However, the closure of the nightlife sector has had a dramatic impact on certain categories, the group added, with beer sales falling by 77%, soft drinks by 55% and bottled water by 64%.
The group said that the situation is particularly critical for Norway's craft brewery market, with more than 120 small-scale breweries under pressure.
"Almost half of them have had their sales reduced by more than 40% in the last two months," Ramseng said. "They are completely dependent on sales to local nightlife players, which were largely shut down."
While craft brewers saw a 6% increase in sales through the grocery channel in March and April, this does little to compensate the approximate 60% fall in sales in nightlife venues, she added.
Some smaller operators have turned to home deliveries as they seek to boost sales; a market which while underdeveloped, offers some solace for businesses in the current situation.
"At best, it can save some small entrepreneurial companies from bankruptcy," Ramseng added.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine