Surprised? Finns bought a lot more booze from Alko in March

Sales of red wine jumped 20% as people got their stronger alcohols from Alko instead of bars, restaurants or ferry journeys.

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File picture showing different Alko logos / Credit: Alko

With restaurants closed, and foreign travel coming to a standstill, Finns flocked to Alko stores in March to stock up on alcohol even as the coronavirus restrictions started to kick-in.

The state-owned monopoly reports that although the actual number of customers in their stores was down slightly compared with March last year, the amount of booze those customers bought went up.

Measuring in liters, Alko’s sales went up from 6.4 million liters in 2019 to 7.0 liters this year – that’s an increase of 9%.

And what’s everyone drinking while they’re socially distancing at home? Alko says sales of rosé wines jumped 27%; red wine was up 20% and white wine sales grew by 14% compared with the year before.

“In this exceptional situation, part of the alcohol previously purchased through passenger imports and restaurants has been purchased [instead] from Alko. This will affect March sales figures” says CEO Leena Laitinen.

While sales of beers were down year-on-year, those are now available up to 5.5% strength in supermarkets.