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Sweden - Availability

The Swedish Alcohol Retailing Monopoly, Systembolaget, has the sole right to retail alcoholic beverages in Sweden. The purpose is to minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without profit motive.


Systembolagets monopoly rights cover all alcoholic beverages stronger than 2.25 vol. %, with one exception: Beers with max 3.5 vol. % (“Folköl”) which can be sold in grocery stores.

Systembolaget's mandate from the Swedish state is to help limit the medical and social harm caused by alcohol and thereby improve public health. For Systembolaget this means:


# Restricting availability through the number of stores, opening hours and retail rules
# Not attempting to maximise our profit
# Not promoting additional sales
# Being brand-neutral
# Providing a high standard of customer service
# Being financially efficient


There are 440 Systembolaget-stores and 457 order points all across Sweden, and goods can be ordered online and delivered to monopoly shops or order points, or – in special trial areas – straight to the customer’s home address. The most common opening hours in 2017 was 50 hours a week, 10-19 on weekdays and 10-15 on Saturdays. The age limits for purchasing alcohol in Systembolaget is 20 both for strong and mild beverages, and 18 for on-premise sales in restaurants and bars.


Systembolaget’s market share was 62.8% in 2017, and half of all sales within the monopoly was beer.


The minimum legal age for purchasing alcoholic beverages in Sweden on off-premise retail sale is for all alcoholic beverages 20 years. For on-premise retail sale, the minimum legal age is 18. The age limit for “Folköl” (beer containing between 2.8 and 3.5 vol. %) is 18 years.


77.8% of Swedes support the monopoly according to a Kantar SIFO survey. Customer satisfaction rate in Systembolaget is 84.2%.


Find further information from Alko report "INFORMATION ON THE NORDIC ALCOHOL MARKET 2018".

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