The Norwegian Alcohol Market

The Norwegian alcoholic market is hugely different from your domestic market, so it needs some more explanation:

Some facts about Norway and alcoholic drinks: The Norwegian stately owned company Vinmonopolet (the Norwegian Monopoly) is the only company that is permitted to sell wine, strong beer and spirits by bottle or box to the public.

This is completely different from how it is done in most other countries. Supermarkets in Norway are not allowed to sell wine, spirits, or strong beer. Therefore, one can regard Vinmonopolet at the only Norwegian supermarket chain that sells such products (but nothing else). It has more than 350 stores/shops positioned all over Norway. The biggest difference between a normal supermarket chain and Vinmonopolet is that Vinmonopolet has no stock/warehouse. They totally rely on that the importers can deliver, more or less immediately, any quantity from one bottle to several boxes, when each store, independently, asks for (centrally approved) products. Of course, they demand fast and freight-free deliverances. Therefore, professional logistics is of vital importance. Norway is a very long-stretched country, around 1.800 km.

It is strongly forbidden to buy a bottle of wine, beer, or spirit in a restaurant, to take away. The restaurant would in such a case risk to lose its license. Advertising of alcoholic beverages in Norway is also strictly forbidden. Even QR codes on the bottles are forbidden.

Most of the products that are physically available in the sales shelves of the Vinmonopolets stores, are placed there because they have been selected by Vinmonopolet as winners of individual tenders. A tender is a competition where products with the same origin / appellation / characteristics / grapes etc. are blind tasted (at Vinmonopolet) to find the best quality versus price. Before a product can win a tender, the tender itself must have been written. This is done by Vinmonopolets specialists who decide which products they should ask for in new tenders. This again is a result of that they are continuously travelling and visiting different areas of the world, to find relevant products. When they find products that they would like to include in their portfolio, they cannot just go ahead and ask for that specific product. They must make formal descriptions of every product they want, and publish as open tenders, to make it is possible for everyone relevant to offer matching products. To qualify for participation in any tender the product must fit the descriptions and price indications 100%.

European legislation demands that Vinmonopolet, to be allowed to be a monopoly, must justify that they are selling products from all areas of the world. Therefore, it normally takes a long time between each time they can visit one specific appellation area. Each half year, early June, and early December, Vinmonopolet publishes around 80-100 tenders’ requests. So, it is of highest importance to understand the conditions, and be ready to participate when they publish new tenders’ requests.

Vinmonopolet is by law not allowed to be an importer. To participate in tenders and/or sell to Vinmonopolet you will need to use a Norwegian importer. My hope is that ProCura will be a preferred partner for you, or the producers that you may represent.

Price and quality are major factors to win a tender. The producer is responsible for the quality and determines the price. This price is the producers selling price, also called ex works price. Forget about commission.

ProCura works in tight cooperation with the logistic company Vectura, which handles around 60% of the whole Norwegian alcoholic drinks market. The advantage of this combination is that ProCura can participate in tenders with the most competitive margins, and still offer great logistics, which is fundamental to serve Vinmonopolet.

If we win, ProCura will be the customer of your company, and will pay all orders in advance before you ship the products.

Please understand that it is not up to ProCura to decide which product will win a tender. This is totally in the hands of Vinmonopolet. ProCura’s role is to find and present a product that has a potential to win. Therefore, ProCura must ask several producers, who in fact will be competitors. The one thing that ProCura can guarantee, though, is that ProCura will treat each producer 100% equally, so that winning or losing is solely depending on the quality of the product and the price offered.

Please observe that the alcohol volume % highly influences the Norwegian retail price, as indicated below.

Norwegian Alcohol Taxes.

The current alcohol taxes of Norway as of September 1st. 2022 are:

Wine: NOK 4,82 (€0,5) per % per liter.

Spirits: NOK 8,22 (€0,8) per % per liter.

The tax part of the retail price is:  Net      Incl VAT

                                                            EUR         EUR

Wine 10,0 % in a 0,75 liters bottle: 3,60         4,55

Wine 13,5 % in a 0,75 liters bottle: 4,90         6,15

Wine 15,0 % in a 0,75 liters bottle: 5,50         6,80

Spirits 40 % in a 0,7 liters bottle: 23,00        29,00

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