Here a quick update on restrictions and corona in Scandinavia:
In all the monopoly countries Norway, Sweden Finland sales in the respective monopolies have increased since March 2020. Consumers are seen to buy more of what they know and especially BiB sales have increased. On the other hand restaurants are struggling and, in spite of getting some help from the state, we are likely to see bankruptcies after months of reduced or zero turnover.
Sweden has never been locked down, but nevertheless have experienced around 90% drop in on-trade sales. Now (June 2020) the Swedish borders to the other Scandinavia countries remain closed and that will affect tax free and border trade sales. On the bright side, the Swedes will remain at home during summer and that is likely to push horeca sales during summer.
Norway has experienced substantial increase in sales in Vinmonopolet while borders and on-trade has been locked down (since beginning of March). Now borders are reopening to selected countries and on-trade is picking up again. Another big issue is the weak Norwegian Krone that has been historically low during Corona, but is now back to March value.
After the lock down, Finland is also re-opening. The cruises are working again (Tallink has opened a new route to Riga), but the borders to Sweden remain closed. As the Finns are less likely to travel far away this summer the ships could gain from that as taking the boat to Tallinn can work as a more affordable and easy vacation.
In Denmark the large Supermarket chains and online sales have gained the most from the lock down. People are seen generally to buy more affordable wines for now, but this could change as the on-trade is open again (with restrictions) and the Danes get together again.
All in all the wine sector is finding new ways of working virtual wine tastings and meetings over skype, zoom or teams are likely to stay popular (even on a lower level) also after the crisis. Restaurants have increased take away and delivery options and working from home is more acceptable. Crossing fingers we won’t see a second Corona wave. Keep safe!