Sales slow in Finland

Soft drinks sales in Finland showed only a marginal growth in January-September 2014, rising by a modest 0.6% to 183.3 million litres. The warmer than usual summer season, coupled with the trend towards sugar-free drinks resulted in bottled water sales climbing by 7.7% to 57.6 million litres in the first nine months of the year, according to latest data from Panimoliitto, Finland’s soft drinks and brewing federation.

By contrast, soft drinks sales during January to September 2013 amounted to 182.3 million litres, while bottled water sales were 53.4 million litres in the same period.

“Both the end of the summer and autumn were warm, balancing out weak sales in the first half of the year – but not even the excellent weather could increase sales further. A share of beverage sales has been permanently replaced by travellers’ private imports from Estonia,” said Elina Ussa, Panimoliitto’s Managing Director.

The struggling soft drinks sector received some respite in October when the government reversed a decision to increase the excise tax on sugared beverages. However, Panimoliitto wants the government to do more to support the highly taxed sector.

“The government should be thinking about what can be done to safeguard industry jobs and increase consumers’ purchasing power. As the situation now stands, further burdens are constantly being imposed on the domestic industry on many fronts,” said Ussa.

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