Slight rise in domestic sales of brewery beverages – on-trade sales of beer hit record low

A total of 761.9 million litres of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters were sold in 2017. Sales rose by 6.0 million litres, or 0.8 per cent, on the previous year. These figures are based on sales statistics compiled by the members of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry: Hartwall, Momentin Group, Olvi, Red Bull, Saimaan Juomatehdas and Sinebrychoff.

Sales of beer, cider and long drinks fell by a total of 1.5 million litres, or 0.3 per cent, on the previous year. Sales of alcoholic beverages would have been even lower if there hadn’t been an alcohol tax increase on the horizon – stores stocked up on beverages in December ahead of the tax increase at the turn of the year. Sales of soft drinks and mineral waters rose by a total of 7.5 million litres, or 2.4 per cent.

The last few years have been some of the worst in history for sales of brewery beverages. Domestic sales of brewery beverages hit a record low in 2015–2016, with total sales only rising by 0.8 per cent in 2017. Sales have not been this poor since 1997.

According to an estimate based on telephone interviews conducted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, travellers’ private imports declined last year.  However, according to the estimate, almost 50 million litres of beer, ciders and long drinks are still being imported via cross-border trade.

“We need to make this downswing in travellers’ private imports permanent. The new Alcohol Act will increase demand and competition in the domestic market at the expense of cross-border trade. Finland must also consider gradually lowering its tax on brewery beverages towards Estonia’s tax level, particularly since Estonia has had second thoughts and decided to cancel its planned tax increases. Finland should resolve these cross-border trade issues itself rather than waiting for uncertain solutions from our neighbour,” says Elina Ussa, Managing Director of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry.

Cross-border trade has had an impact not only on total domestic sales, but particularly on beer sales in restaurants and bars. Last year, on-trade sales of beer only accounted for 13.8 per cent of the total domestic beer sales of member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry. Ten years ago, this figure still stood at 19.1 per cent, and at no less than 29.4 per cent twenty years ago.

“In order to turn this trend around, we need to improve the competitiveness of restaurants and bars by lowering the VAT on on-trade sales of alcoholic beverages to the same level as that of restaurant food,” says Ussa.

DOMESTIC SALES, 2017

Beverage 2017 2016 Change Change
                 mill. l. mill. l. mill. l. %
Beer 380.0 382.9 -2.9 -0.8
Cider 29.1 29.1 0.0 -0.01
Long drinks 37.0 35.6 1.4 4.0
Soft drinks 240.7 234.8 5.9 2.5
Mineral waters 75.2 73.6 1.6 2.2
Total sales 761.9 756.0 6.0 0.8

 

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.

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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http://www.panimoliitto.fi/en/slight-rise-in-domestic-sales-of-brewery-beverages-on-trade-sales-of-beer-hit-record-low/

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 Oy Hartwall Ab, Momentin Group Oy, Olvi Oyj, Red Bull Finland Oy, Saimaan Juomatehdas, and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry is a member of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation.