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Alcohol sales in Finland down this summer

The Finnish Grocery Trade Association says the comprehensive reform of alcohol laws did not boost sales in Finland.

Olutta ja lonkeroa kaupan hyllyssä.
Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Preliminary findings by market research firm Taloustutkimus revealed that alcohol sales in Finnish grocery stores fell between January and August this year. Sales in terms of litres decreased by two percent and in terms of pure alcohol by 1.8 percent.

Surprisingly, sales were especially low in the summer months. The previous eight months indicate that retail alcohol sales have returned to a downward trend this year. Last year, domestic sales of pure alcohol increased by 0.1 percent.

"It seems that the comprehensive reform of alcohol laws has not boosted retail alcohol sales in Finland. According to research published in August, traveller imports of beer and lonkero have clearly grown instead," CEO of the Finnish Grocery Trade Association (PTY) Kari Luoto said in a statement.

The new Alcohol Act came into force last year, allowing retailers to sell beverages with up to 5.5 percent of alcohol content such as alco-pops.

Taloustutkimus conducted the research, which was commissioned by the Finnish Grocery Trade Association (PTY), in September. It is a follow up to studies conducted in 2017 and 2018. The firm collected sales data for January to December from companies affiliated with PTY.

Other sources included alcohol consumption statistics from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) and sales statistics from the state-owned alcohol monopoly Alko.

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