Systembolaget plans to introduce budget beer

Sweden’s state-run alcohol monopoly chain Systembolaget is planning to cut the costs of its cheapest beer from next year.

The cheapest beer sold at Systembolaget today costs 8.40 kronor. But next year it plans to launch two new kinds of canned beer for less than 6.90 kronor.

“Every year, we send out a launch plan to all suppliers, and this is the starting point for a dialogue about what we think is missing in the Swedish market. We are now waiting for an input from the suppliers about what they have in mind,” says Systembolaget’s Press Manager Lennart Agén.

When asked about a plan for a general reduction in prices for strong beer, Mr Agén said that they don´t have means to do that, “but it is the supplier that owns price changes. We will buy two beers and if we choose to order from brewery A and B then breweries C and D may also want to lower prices and be in that segment. They have the right to do that.”

He explained that the reason for this is that Systembolaget wants to reduce border trade between Sweden and Denmark. “If you take a beer that is available both at Systembolaget and in border retail stores, it costs SEK 3.30 in border trade and around SEK 10 including a deposit in Systembolaget’s stores,” says Lennart Agén. Source: SVT

Sven-Olov Carlsson from the Swedish National Council on Alcohol and Drugs doesn´t support the idea. ”Systembolaget’s proposal to start selling cheaper beer in order to take up the competition with border trade does not coincide with Systembolaget’s assignment. Systembolaget should reconsider its proposal.”