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The Scandinavian countries market

The Scandinavian countries are located in Northern Europe and cover the Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This group of countries, although with somewhat similar consumption behaviours, present some differences; so my review will be done as a whole, including, where necessary, some special cases.

The Scandinavian countries have in total about of 25,000,000 inhabitants, 9,556,000 of whom are Swedes, Danes, Finns and Norwegians 5,400,000, and 320,000 Icelanders. Although the Scandinavian population is not large, the number of inhabitants consuming wine is quite relevant, with an average of 8/10 adult consumers.

Some countries of this group work with a system of monopoly on trade in wines and spirits, namely Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Both systems are regulated by the State of each country, allowing business to very competitive prices. For a producer, this is a guarantee of value since there is a strong control on purchases made by several importers and the fulfilment of payments to the established price.

Since there's a strong knowledge of the brands that are present between markets, suppliers of Scandinavian markets should adopt the same business strategy to avoid conflicts between those markets. The positioning strategy will be much easier as it is addressed to all countries.

The Scandinavian consumer is accustomed to have in their stores wines from all over the world, at fair prices, and with a wide range within the same region. The Scandinavian countries are wine markets where consumers have more and better options, given their interest in wine from all around the world.

The consumption habits are quite different from ours. It is estimated that the Scandinavian consumer consumes wine 1 hour after purchase. This shows that Scandinavian consumers, in a vast majority, are occasional consumers. For this reason, the positioning of wine with a medium quality, associated with a low average market price, is an asset for the sale of large quantities in these countries.

Portugal is a country known by Scandinavians, in particular by the Norwegians, with whom we have close commercial agreements and share bilateral trade advantages. Still, the presence of wines from all over the world in the same commercial spaces facilitates the identification by the consumer of the producer country or wine style, which implies, like other markets, that is also crucial to bet on a communication which highlights differentiating traits of national wines; and this in order to create the image of quality associated with our brands. In a simple way, the Portuguese consumer associates the quality of codfish to its Norwegian origin. The strategy to be followed by Portuguese wines should be able to boost similar results regarding Portuguese origin.

Is still noted that the Scandinavian countries have a high level of schooling, and it is almost basic to bet on the training of consumer about Portuguese wines, giving examples of how it can be served, when, or what the best side dish depending on the gastronomic option. The high degree alcohol of some Portuguese wines can deserve particular attention in this market since we are dealing with demanding consumers with health-related issues. It is also a decisive factor in the final moment of purchase, the certification system, in particular the sustainability certification, organic certification, carbon footprint or biodynamic certification. Health concerns and the environment are so important in these countries that a marketing strategy focused on environmental issues is essential to influence consumers, many of whom choose packs lighter than glass and other materials, provided they are recyclable or with a longer shelf life.

For being a country already known by the Scandinavian consumers, with a strong image as a tourist destination, Portugal has in these markets the opportunity to place nice wines at competitive prices, and may, in the near future, attract Scandinavians consumers to visit our country. This group of countries is also responsible for an important slice of tourists in our country.

Given the proximity of markets, most of the importers working in these markets are present in several countries, which may be a good starting point for a Scandinavian simultaneous branding in several countries.

If we look in more detail to each market we find some strategic differences. Denmark, for example, is the Scandinavian country that sets it apart from the others either by bear a strong economy, with a visible gastronomic culture, or the undeniable growth in the consumption of wines of the highest quality, not only in terms of restoration, but also of private consumption.

Finland is above all a strategic market for its border location between the space of the European Community and Russia. It is still an important consumer of competitive wines, showing a low consumption per person and a consequent growth potential.

Sweden is a country strong economically and wine consumption is associated with healthy eating habits. The positioning of good medium ranges at competitive prices will mark the difference in this market.

It is said the Nordic countries that are an example of civilization where the excellence in the quality of life, prosperity and social well-being are exalted. With a strong middle class, these countries present strong development indices.

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