Statistics reveal that alcohol sales in Finland increased by 23% in April compared to the year before. Finnish national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly, Alko, saw its sales of Rosé wine increase by 40% that month, while red and white wins saw a 35% and 28% increase respectively.
If anything, these statistics show that the closure of bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs set to last until 31 May did not decrease alcohol consumption. In general, customers are now looking for goods online, with April’s online sales up 110% compared to the year before.
While the increase in sales may not be good news for public health, it may nonetheless represent a small consolation prize for a state struggling with a budget deficit, particularly as alcohol sales contribute roughly €1.5 billion to the total annual tax revenue.
In the EU, Norway and Switzerland, people aged 15 and above consume, on average, 11.3 litres of alcohol per year, according to a WHO report published last autumn.
German, Czechs and Lithuanians were the biggest consumers with more than 13 litres a year.
When it comes to Finland, the average has fallen slightly to ten litres per year. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)