German white wine in demand in Scandinavia


The alcohol monopolies of Norway, Finland and Sweden are reporting strong growth in wine sales in the first half of 2020 after wine purchases shifted more to retail because of the corona-related gastronomy closures. German white wines have benefited more than average from this development.


Big increase in sales in the white wine sector

This became particularly clear in Finland, where the positive sales development of German white wines has increased since the beginning of the year by 38 percent, which was twice as high as the 19 percent increase for the entire white wine sector.

White wine sales in Norway rose even more sharply in the first half of the year, namely by 42.6 percent. And here, too, the white wines from the German regions grew at an above-average rate of 45.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year.

In Sweden, the increase in sales of German white wines was around ten percent, on par with the total increase for sales of white wine. This means that Riesling and other white varieties now have a market share of 10.2 percent in Sweden. In Finland, market share for German white wine rose to 19 percent and in Norway, to a worldwide record of 27.6 percent.

Red wines and Rosés gaining popularity in Norway

The increase in German red wines and rosés in Norway is just as gratifying. Both types of wine are still relatively unknown, but sales of German red wines have doubled - albeit from a low level - (103 percent increase) and German rosé increased by 137 percent. Also in Sweden, German red wine grew by 22.7 percent, compared to a rise of seven percent in total red wine sales.

In addition to the shift in wine consumption from gastronomy to the private sector, the trend towards holidaying in one's own country has also had a positive effect on retail wine sales in Scandinavia. In Norway, there was also increased shopping at the borders and in the duty-free sector.

Successful marketing activities

The German Wine Institute (DWI) has been focusing on the Nordic countries for many years. Denmark is the only one that does not have an alcohol monopoly, but rather a largely liberalized alcohol and wine trade. In terms of value, German wine exports to Scandinavia are now at the same level as exports to Germany's most important foreign market, the USA - and the trend is rising.

DWI Managing Director Monika Reule explains: “After our Riesling message has largely reached the Scandinavian markets, we are now seeing increasing success there in our marketing activities to promote the white Pinot varieties or Silvaner, as well as a growing interest in German sparkling wines, rosés and red wines."

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