Alko announces big sales drop – but not as much as expected

The state alcohol monopoly attributes the fall in sales of beer and long drink to new laws that made it easier to buy stronger drinks in supermarkets.

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File picture showing different Alko logos / Credit: Alko

Finland’s state alcohol monopoly Alko has announced some big falls in sales of beer and long drink.

In their new annual report, released today, Alko says long drink sales decreased by 50%, and beer by 30% in January, compared with one year before. The company attributes the fall to new alcohol laws which made it legal for supermarkets to stock drinks up to 5.5% alcohol.

This has cut into Alko’s sales, since they’re no longer the only place to buy stronger beverages – although they still have the monopoly on wines and spirits. The drop in sales wasn’t as bad as anticipated. Alko thought long drinks and beers might be down as much as 75%.

To try and keep up with changing consumer habits, Alko has reduced the size of some stores. In 2018 they opened four new stores and this year plan two openings, in Tampere and Pasila, Helsinki.

In total Alko has 360 stores and more than 70 pick-up points around the country.