Norwegian Politicians Defend Wine Monopoly

A survey conducted among the country’s politicians for Newspaper News Agency (ANB) shows a majority against open for the sale of wine in regular stores. 52 percent of the respondents are against sale of high degree alcoholic beverages including wine at regular stores.

While 97 percent of the Christian Democratic Party politicians are against wine shops, 90 percent of FrP politicians want sale of wine at regular stores. 

The greatest resistance to the wine shop is on the predominantly conservative West Coast of Norway.

It may Lead to Higher Consumption of Alcohol

According to press chief Jens Nordahl in Wine Monopoly, a principle decision to move wine sales to the corner store have dramatic consequences.

– Product selection will be significantly lower, and the price will go up. And market access for the people will be drastically larger when the number of outlets will increase from the current 280 to 5,000 stores, said he.

Also, the politicians and health authorities are concerned that consumption will increase drastically with allowing wine sale out of monopolies. When alcopops were moved from monopolies to the convential stores in the early 2000s, sales of alcopops had dramatically increased from four million to 16 million liters per year.

A recent study conducted by TNS Gallup for Wine Monopoly also shows that 90 percent of the population is satisfied with the availability of the wine monopoly. Only eight percent are dissatisfied with the availability.

About Vinmonopolet (English: The Wine Monopoly)

Vinmonopolet (English: The Wine Monopoly) is a government-owned alcoholic beverage retailer and the only company allowed to sell beverages containing an alcohol content higher than 4.75% in Norway.

As the arm of the Norwegian government policy to limit the citizens’ consumption of alcohol, primarily by means of high cost and limited access, the primary goal of the Vinmonopolet is to responsibly perform the distribution of alcoholic goods while limiting the motive of private economic profit from the alcohol industry. Equally significant is the social responsibility of Vinmonopolet, to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors and visibly inebriated customers.

Outlets, located across the country from cities to smaller communities, typically close business earlier than other shops, normally weekdays at 18:00 and Saturdays at 15:00. In 2007 Vinmonopolet sold 71,100,000 litres (18,800,000 US gal) of alcohol.

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