Alcohol use has declined by 6% in Sweden last year during the pandemic according to preliminary data from the monitoring survey conducted by C.A.N.

Alcohol consumption in Sweden fell by 6% last year, according to preliminary data presented by C.A.N, the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Driving the overall decrease was a 64% reduction in travel imports, followed by a decrease of 44% in smuggled alcohol. Meanwhile, the government-run alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget only registered a rise of 11% in sales.

Decline in alcohol use in pandemic Sweden
Alcohol consumption in Sweden fell by 6% in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary data presented by C.A.N.

C.A.N. conducts the monitor survey, to calculate the total alcohol consumption in Sweden by using registered sales data supplemented by information on unregistered sales.

The unregistered sales consist mostly of travel imports but also include smuggled alcohol, home brewing and online purchases. Data on unregistered sales are collected through annual telephone interviews with about 18,000 adults between 18 to 84 years. Since 2020 the survey is available on mobile phones as well.

According to C.A.N. alcohol sales in 2020 compared to 2019 are as follows:

  • Systembolaget sales increased to 76% from 65%;
  • Restaurants sales decreased to 7% from 10%;
  • Travel import sales decreased to 5% from 12%
  • Folk beer (lighter beer sold in supermarkets) sales rose to 5% from 4%;
  • Purchase of smuggled alcohol decreased to 3% from 6%;
  • Home production remained at 2% for both years; and
  • Internet commerce increased to 2% from 1%.

The monitoring survey has been conducted since 2000. It is funded by Systembolaget and the Ministry of Social Affairs. C.A.N. is responsible for the survey since 2013, and has commissioned IPSOS to administer the survey, while Norstat in Linköping conducts the telephone interviews.


C.A.N.: “Reduced alcohol consumption during the pandemic year 2020” [Translated from Swedish]

C.A.N.: “The monitor measurements” [Translated from Swedish]