Significant increase in vodka sales during pandemic

Strong liquor for sale in a supermarket.
Strong liquor for sale in a supermarket. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

The coronavirus pandemic brought a nearly 1,000 percent increase in vodka sales in Estonia, which can partly be attributed to the lack of sanitizer available at the start of the pandemic and false claims that alcohol would no longer be sold in Estonia.

Triin Kutberg, executive manager of the Estonian Alcohol Producers and Importers Association, said alcohol producers adapted to the emergency situation well by producing more 60-80 volume alcohol because of the lack of sanitizer in Estonia at the start of the pandemic, daily Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

She said more attention was also turned to how to make the product more accessible: "If we are looking at the market as a whole, the hike in excise duties last summer and the closed border have led to shopping being done at local stores. We can say that the consumption of Latvian alcohol has dropped, consumption has moved to our local market."

Kutberg acknowledged March was a very successful month in terms of sales because many larger events happened: "An increase in sales can be attributed to a fake news story which claimed alcohol would no longer be sold so people stormed to stores and bought carts full of alcohol."

She also noted that while data over the last ten years shows that alcohol consumption in Estonia has dropped by a third, Estonians consumed an average of 10.4L of absolute alcohol per person last year, which is 3.2 percent higher than the consumption in 2018.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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