In Norway, Vinmonopolet is the state monopoly for the distribution of alcoholic beverages. It is owned by the government since 1939 and the only institution that has the authority to sell alcohol (above 4,75% alc. vol.) to end-consumers. On this page Concealed Wines will give you some information about how to work with Vinmonopolet.
On this page you will find:
General information about Vinmonopolet in Norway
Vinmonopolet is the Norwegian monopoly system in charge of the retail distribution of wine, spirits and strong beer in Norway. The products Vinmonopolet distributes are purchased from licensed suppliers which are called grossists. Concealed Wines holds a required license and agreements to act as a supplier to the monopoly. The population of Norway is approximately 5,2 million people and Vinmonopolet is employer to more than 2000 people.
The organization has about 300 stores in Norway, in four different size categories. Vinmonopolet has approximately 18 000 products in its product range and every year they purchase about 300 new products. Most of the products are purchased via the normal tender procedure. This means Vinmonopolet announces a tender request and the different submitted products will be judged on quality in relation to price in a blind tasting session.
The volumes required for a product varies a lot, depending on the price, distribution and idea of a listing. Overall, Vinmonopolet purchases more products and smaller volumes than Systembolaget (the Swedish monopoly). Goal of the monopoly is not to sell as much as possible to make profit but to communicate the importance of responsible consumption. Therefore promotion of alcoholic beverages is minimized in their stores. There are no “two for one”-disocunts or other advertisements. Moreover the stores have limited opening hours to further reduce spontaneous purchases of drinks for example at night.
Another important rule for the distribution of Vinmonopolet is checking the age of clients. Everyone under 25 will be asked to show their ID and the purchase can be denied if the staff has the feeling that the client is buying alcoholic beverages for a minor. Overall, Vinmonopolet trys to decrease negative consequences of alcohol consumption such as health issues, accidents and violence.
Another aspect of responsibility targeted by Vinmonopolet is environmental sustainability. Like the other Scandinavian monopolies, the Norwegian one has a strong focus on organic products. We believe this will be a trend we will see more of within the next 5 years period.
Information about Vinmonopolet and the tender system
The monopoly tendering system is pretty complicated and difficult to understand. We tried to summarize the process. For us it is very important that the producers we represent understand the procedure. By doing so you can participate with us in a ongoing, proactive work.
Many producers misunderstand the procedure due to unclear information from Scandinavian partners and we want to avoid this. We want you to understand how everything works so we can co- operate as well as possible to get your wines into the system.
If you have further questions about how the system works after reading this document, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Step-by-step process how a tender is created
Vinmonopolet get input from meetings with importers, producers and sommeliers in order to decide what kind of products they will request for the next coming year. This input creates the marketing plan launched every 6 months. This plan tells us what tenders will be announced in the upcoming time period of usually 6 months.
The marketing plan is usually announced in November and June. It tells us about the specific requests that Vinmonopolet is looking out for. It also tells us the deadlines to submit offers and the dates of potential launches.
We summarize and update these tenders on our current tender page on this website.
As the tender date in the marketing plan arrives, we can proceed and submit a written offer of a product. Concealed Wines will send you a form and it is very important to make sure you fill out the form with all necessary information.
In order to participate in a tender your wine needs to meet all the criteria in the description. Criteria like region, vintage, type of closure, grape varieties etc. have to be exactely the same. But in the end the wine is selected only upon sensory analysis. The sensory description in the tender is almost more important, and something a lot of importers forget. It doesn’t matter how good a wine is, if it doesn’t match the taste and style Vinmonopolet is looking for, it has no chance of winning. (More information about this is mentioned later in this document).
After the deadline, the buyer reviews all submitted offers. They reject all that do not match their demands or are obviously not what they are looking for. The remaining ones are all the wines they will request samples of for tastings. The number of wines selected for tasting can vary depending on the tender but normally it is between 15 and 60.
A blind tasting is conducted with all selected wines that submit their samples on time. The best wine of the tasting (first the taste and style is tested, then quality) is the winner and will be purchased.
A tasting panel of minimum 5 people will taste and score the wines individually. They can give 1-9 points for each offer, whereas 9 is the best score. The best score is for quality, price and the ability to deliver.
The tender submission process
This guide explains how to proceed with an offer. If you have any difficulties to understand, please e-mail email@example.com and he will help you out personally.
Important to understand is that the wine offered in the tender process has to be identical to the wine shipped later for the launch. In case they are not identical, Vinmonopolet will reject the purchase and the supplier will bear all the costs.
- Fill out the tender form you will receive from Concealed Wines. Make sure to fill it out correctly with all necessary information that Vinmonopolet requires.
- Send 4 sample bottles to Concealed Wines for the second step. Notice that the samples you send must look like the original wine that you intend to launch, equipped with proper label, bar codes etc. If you send tank samples we ask you to write alcohol volume %, vintage, name of wine and the producer name manually. Write this information on a sticker on the label.
- We request you to also include the LOT number visible on the bottle. If you send a tank sample, please indicate where on the bottle the LOT no. will appear later on at a potential launch.
- Notice that the deadline we state in our information is fixed. The offer will be automatically rejected if we are not able to submit before the deadline. This is the same for both the written offer as well as the sample submission. The samples should be sent to CONCEALED WINES office in Stockholm, see address below: Bo Bergmans gata 14, 115 50 Stockholm, Sweden
If you win the tasting…
In case a wine wins the tasting, it will be launched approximately 5 months after the offer has been submitted. Concealed Wines will require the wine to be delivered to its warehouse located in Norway approximately 6 weeks before the launch date.
Vinmonopolet will compare samples from the first shipment with the samples that won the blind tasting. In case there is a difference in taste or an analysis problem appears, Vinmonopolet will have the right to cancel the purchase.
How it works in case you win an ordinary listing
Once you win a listing in the ordinary range your wine will be compared to the other wines in the same segment. The segment is divided on the basis of price and style. For instance, a red wine in a particular price range is compared to other red wines in that same price range.
For the first 6 months listed, the wine is not judged on the basis of its sales figures. After this period the wine will be compared for the first time. In case the wine does not reach its sales goals, Vinmonopolet will delist the wine or reduce the distribution of the wine to fewer stores. In case it reaches its sales goals, the wine will remain in the same distribution. Every 2 months after the first 12 months, Vinmonpolet compares all wines. In case a wine does not reach the sales goals, it will change its distribution 3 months later from the announcement.
Please do not hesitate to contact Calle Nilsson at CONCEALED WINES if you have any questions regarding this procedure or other issues regarding Vinmonopolet in Norway. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +46 737 099 182
Questions and Answers about Vinmonopolet
Vinmonopolet is the Norwegian state monopoly for the distribution of wine beer and spirits. Anything with an alcohol content above 4,75% can only be bought in their specialty stores. The best way to distribute alcoholic products in Norway is to get a listing from Vinmonopolet through an importer like Concealed Wines.
The main goal of the Scandinavian monopolies is the reduction of alcohol consumption and especially its harmful effects. Different measures like limited opening hours, age control and no product promotion are used to achieve this goal. Private distributors focus a lot on generating profit, which is not the case for the state monopolies.
The first step in the process would be for the producer or supplier to choose a tender matching their product. These tenders state all the requirements that Vinmonopolet is asking for. You can find all current and upcoming tenders here on our website. To participate in them just send us an e-mail to start the process or directly fill out the submission form online.
The duration of your product’s listing depends on its sales figures. After 6 months on the market the product will be compared to others in the same market segement and judged based on their performance in sales. If sales are good the distribution continues, if not, the volume required by Vinmonopolet can be reduced.
Apart from the right region, volume and price the product should also match the sensory requirments of the tender. All submitted products will be tasted in a blind tasting. Then a winner is chosen according to how well they match the sensory profile that Vinmonopolet searches for. Therefore we need a sample of your product.