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Premium Finnish alcoholic beverages to the Swiss market

spirits beer beverages alcoholic-beverages switzerland
Advisor

Sanna Sipilä-Axnix

+43 664 9693 213
sanna.sipila-axnix@businessfinland.fi
In Switzerland, one of the key trends on the alcoholic beverages market is the consumer’s tendency to drink less but with a focus in more expensive premium products. Finnish companies’ modern and innovative offering matches well the Swiss demand for premium products with pure tastes. A good sign is that various Finnish beverage companies already have their products on the Swiss market.

Key messages of the opportunity 

Switzerland is an attractive market for alcoholic beverage companies due to its high purchasing power and Swiss consumers' willingness to buy high quality products. Swiss consumers are becoming increasingly discerning in their preferences and more inclined to try new varieties of alcoholic drinks that offer greater differentiation in terms of exotic flavors. Now, fresh and fruit-based flavors such as pink gin are trendy and consumers are replicating cocktails at home with friends.

The health and wellness trend is visible and many consumers are phasing out food and drinks that can potentially be harmful to their health in case consumed excessively. The Swiss consumers are buying alcoholic drinks less frequently and opting for higher quality, premium products. In addition, low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks are on the rise.

During the pandemic HoReCa channel suffered and supermarkets remained the biggest retail channel thanks to the range and value for money these retailers can offer, but e-commerce and discounters also benefitted. Consumers valued the convenience of shopping from home, where they could choose from a wide range of products across the price spectrum and avoid shopping in busy public places.

Companies and sectors benefitting from this opportunity

  • Finnish alcoholic beverage companies

Solutions or products needed

  • Craft Beer
  • Cider and Longdrinks
  • Gin, Vodka and other Sprits
  • Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic Drinks

Team Finland activities available for Finnish companies

During 2021 Food from Finland will organize following activities in Switzerland:

Beer and Spirits tasting event on 30.9.2021 in Zürich

  • Food from Finland together with the Embassy of Finland in Switzerland organize a beer and spirits tasting event in September. It is an excellent place for Finnish companies to promote their products and meet with the local buyers.

In case you interested in joining the event or otherwise would like to hear more about this opportunity please contact:
Sanna Sipilä-Axnix, sanna.sipila-axnix@businessfinland.fi, +43 664 9693 213.

Other services available

  • Business Finland internationalization advice

Business Finland has Global Network employees in Austria, responsible for Switzerland. Embassy of Finland has Philipp Jordi, Advisor for Commercial and Economic Affairs located in Switzerland. With their knowledge of the market, they are able to advise and connect Finnish companies with relevant players in the value chain.

  • Business Finland funding services

E.g. Explorer funding such as Market Explorer for acquiring knowledge for international market entry, Group Explorer for joint SME export opportunities or Exhibition Explorer to participate in a trade fair in Switzerland.

Read more about this opportunity 

According to Euromonitor, the rising health trend has resulted in the Swiss increasingly considering quality over quantity, leading to greater demand for premium products including craft alcoholic drinks from microbreweries and distillers that have a story behind the brand, and the perception that they have been produced using the highest quality or more novel ingredients. This movement continued to drive the performances of niche segments of beer including ale, flavored/mixed lager, and premium lager. However, the highest volume growth through both on-trade and off-trade was recorded by non-alcoholic beer, as it continued to benefit from the health trend, enabling a wide consumer group including drivers, athletes or pregnant women to enjoy a beer without any major health concerns.

Sales of alcoholic drinks amounted in 2020 total 9516 million CHF. The amount is divided as follows: wine 4441 million CHF; beer 3674 million CHF; Spirits 1222 million CHF; RTDs 112 million CHF and Cider 68 million CHF. Biggest segment (in hectoliters/pure alcohol) of imported alcoholic beverages is whisky followed by vodka and gin.

The most consumed alcoholic beverage in Switzerland is beer (about 53 liter/year/person), followed by wine (32 liter/year/person). Consumption of spirits is 3,8 and fruit wine 1,6 liter/year/person*. The breakdown of the spirits is approx. 0,4 liter Whisky, 0,3 liter Vodka, 0,2 liter Rum, 0,2 liter Gin, 1 liter brandy and 1,6 liter liqueur and other spirits.

Approximate price paid per liter:
Whisky: 50 €/liter
Vodka: 38 €/liter
Rum: 45 €/liter
Gin: 45 €/liter
Brandy: 61 €/liter
Liqueur and other spirits: 45 €/liter

*Source: Eidgenössische Zollverwaltung EZV

Impact of COVID-19

A trend for online gatherings amongst friends or work colleagues through video conferencing technology with a glass of beer emerged during the COVID-19 crisis. Online sales of alcoholic beverages increased as well. In Switzerland beer was the overall strongest performer in Q2 2020, gin recorded the only other notable positive performance through off-trade, a continuation of the trend towards high quality spirits and a preference for preparing cocktails.

The pandemic also accelerated the popularity of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, as Swiss consumers became increasingly aware of the harmful effects of regular alcohol consumption and sought to boost their immunity and wellbeing. The gin alternative Seedlip offers an example of how this trend is likely to develop. Innovations are also expected e.g. in 'healthier' low-sugar varieties.

Background information

Ruokavirasto's information about export requirements to Switzerland

Food from Finland program for Finnish food and beverage companies.