French wines are the second most appreciated origin by Swedish consumers. This trend has been confirmed over time: 10 years ago, France was the fifth supplier of wine to Systembolaget; 5 years ago, it became the third and now it is the second behind Italy. France has a market share of 13,6% in Sweden with a growth of 2.6% in 2018. This is partly due to the demand for more elegant and balanced wines from both the public and the professionals.
Furthermore, one should know that Swedish consumers are environmentally concerned and are looking for organic wines, where France has undoubtedly an important role to play. In 2018, out of the 44.7 million litres of organic wine sold at the monopoly, 4.8 million litres were French.
Different types of consumers depending on the wineyard
Some regions of France are already largely known and appreciated by Swedish consumers. Take for instance the Côtes du Rhône and Languedoc wines which correspond well to the taste of a wider public and the Burgundy wines that are sommeliers most preferred origin, with the famous pinot noir grape variety.
Yet, many wines from other regions, still unknown to most consumers, are highly prized and sought for by professionals. France is a reference with more than 50% of the suggestions on wine lists in Sweden’s restaurants where Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux are the top 3 origins. The rise of Nordic cuisine and the quality of its chefs and sommeliers have allowed an annual steady growth of 5%, opening the market for excellent wines from regions such as Jura, Savoie and the Loire Valley.
“France enjoys an excellent position on the Swedish market: it is the second supplier of the monopoly and the reference for restaurants. Even though Italy remains leader, offering wine references to a larger audience, France is best known for more complex wines such as niche wines: artisanal, natural, organic and biodynamic wines, thus responding to a rising trend over time” says Cecilia Ekfeldt, Nordic coordinator and export adviser for wine and spirits at Business France.
The bubbly French expertise
How could we talk about French wines without mentioning Champagne? France has carved itself an excellent position on the bubble market in Sweden, which is its 11th most important market with more than 3 million bottles sold in 2018. The Grand Hotel, on its own, popped 17,000 bottles of champagne last year!
Sparkling wine are on the rise in Sweden, and even though French champagne holds the lead, other products such as Crémant de Bourgogne are gaining ground. Sparkling, festive, affordable, rosé or white, those wines tick all the boxes to conquer Nordic consumers.
The events not to be missed to discover French wines in the Nordic countries
Every year, Business France brings wine producers from the best wine regions to present their products in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They meet hundreds of key actors in the attempt for new business opportunities.
Here are Business France “not to be missed” events fall/spring 2019-2020:
- Tastin’ France (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway – 4-8th November 2019)
- Gigondas (Sweden - 18th November)
- Grand Champagne (Finland – 23-25th April 2020)
Contact us for more information about the program of events organized by Business France in the wine and spirits sector in the Nordic countries.