News from Finland in English

Finnish alcohol monopoly Alko to deploy booze trucks

In Finland alcohol sales is strongly regulated. Beer and other less potent drinks are available from supermarkets, but strong spirits and wine are only available for purchase from government owned Alko outlets. In the turn of 2017 there will be some changes in legislation which weakens the position of the monopoly by opening up new product categories to other stores.

Due to the law change and increasing imports from neighboring countries like Estonia, the company is faced with declining sales. According to the Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, the Alko now plans to replace some of it's stores with sales trucks.

According to the company in small towns the sale of wine and spirits is so low that they are no longer a sustainable business. Alko plans to close some of it's 353 retail sales locations in the upcoming years. They would be replaced by alcohol sales trucks that would circulate smaller cities with a schedule.

The social and health ministry's councel member Ismo Tuominen confirms that the government has been in discussion about providing a flexible sales channels for the monopoly. Alko now wishes that it's right to own and operate alcohol sales trucks is written down in the law that mandates it's operations.

In addition to cuts in outlets, the company plans to retain customers by doubling it's product offering. By the year 2020 the company aims to keep an assortment of 10.000 items available in it's retail locations. In addition the company would like to extend operations to alcohol auctions, as it would like to be able to auction wine cellars of estates, for example.

In the US you might have trendy food trucks and ice cream vans, but in Finland adults will soon enough be on the lookout for the booze truck. The next chance to score a bottle of vodka can be days away.

Written by Janita on Saturday November 12, 2016
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