Starting June 10, 2024, Finnish consumers will enjoy a broader selection of alcoholic beverages at local supermarkets, thanks to a recent amendment in the alcohol law approved by the Parliament on June 5, 2024. This change permits the sale of fermented alcoholic beverages with up to 8% alcohol by volume, up from the previous limit of 5.5%.

Under the new regulations, retailers with existing licenses to sell beverages up to 5.5% alcohol can now sell those up to 8% without needing additional permits from the regional state administrative agency.

This policy shift enables manufacturers and wholesalers to begin supplying these stronger beverages to retail outlets starting June 7, 2024.

Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, will update its guidelines on retail sales, serving, marketing, and packaging to align with the new law.

In anticipation of the law change, S-Group, a leading Finnish retail chain, has prepared to launch an extensive and diverse wine selection across its stores. From June 10, S-Group’s supermarkets, including Prisma, S-market, and smaller outlets like Sale and Alepa, will offer a range of white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines, along with a variety of new beer and beverage options.

Sampo Päällysaho, Director of Grocery Trade at S-Group, emphasized the benefits of this change for consumers. "We see the strength of grocery stores in combining food and drink in one shopping trip. Our drink sections will now include guidance on selecting wines to pair with different foods, enhancing the customer experience."

The new wine selection is tailored to Finnish tastes, with a particular focus on dry varieties. The expanded range is designed to cater to upcoming spring and summer celebrations, featuring a broad array of sparkling and white wines, as well as a varied selection of rosé and red wines.

Päällysaho highlighted that the wine offerings will vary by store type, with Prismo carrying the widest selection, S-market offering a diverse range to complement various foods, and Sale and Alepa providing quality options at great value. "Our network of over 1,000 stores across Finland, combined with our consistently affordable pricing, allows us to offer a variety of wines that suit different occasions and budgets," he added.

This development follows S-Group’s successful experience selling wines in Estonian Prisma stores, providing a proven model for their Finnish rollout.

As the new alcohol law takes effect, Finnish consumers can look forward to an enriched shopping experience, combining convenience and quality in their local grocery stores.