Finland: Total alcohol consumption decreased by 1.2% in 2022
10.05.2023 - In 2022, the total consumption of alcoholic beverages in Finland was 8.9 liters of 100% alcohol per inhabitant aged 15 and over. Compared to 2021, total consumption decreased by 1.2%.
Total alcohol consumption has been declining since 2007. The exception was in 2018 when the trend briefly paused, but the decrease in consumption resumed in 2019.
"The longer-term decrease in alcohol consumption is a good thing, which can contribute to improving the health and work capacity of Finns. It is worth supporting the continuation of this declining trend by refraining from policy decisions that would reverse it," emphasizes Thomas Karlsson, Senior Expert at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
Total alcohol consumption consists of retail sales and on-premise sales in Finland, as well as alcohol brought in by Finns from abroad and online purchases of alcohol.
Consumption in restaurants and passenger imports increased – retail sales and online purchases decreased
The normalization of restaurant operations after coronavirus restrictions and the lifting of foreign travel restrictions were clearly reflected in the distribution of alcohol consumption in 2022.
Compared to 2021, alcohol consumption in restaurants increased by approximately 34%, and passenger imports by 172% per inhabitant aged 15 and over. At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic in 2020, on-premise consumption decreased by around 41%, and passenger imports by about 52%.
Alcohol purchases from retail outlets, such as grocery stores and Alko, decreased by 10.1% compared to 2021. Retail consumption accounted for a significant 75% of total consumption. Thus, its decrease had a greater impact on overall consumption than the increase in passenger imports and on-premise consumption.
The purchase of alcoholic beverages from foreign online stores decreased by about 22% compared to 2021.
"The lifting of coronavirus restrictions in early 2022 resulted in significant changes in alcohol purchasing channels. In particular, alcohol passenger imports from abroad and on-premise sales of alcoholic beverages in the country increased. Domestic retail sales of alcoholic beverages from stores and Alko, as well as online purchases from abroad, decreased," says Thomas Karlsson.
Consumption decreased in all beverage categories
Cider consumption decreased the most, and strong beer consumption decreased the least in 2022. Cider consumption decreased by approximately 9%, and the consumption of beer containing over 4.7% alcohol by volume decreased by around 2% in 2022.
Beers continued to be the largest beverage category, with a 46% share. The share of strong alcoholic beverages in consumption was 21%.