A carefully selected mix of companies, Solera Beverage Group Sweden consists of PrimeWine, Mondowine, BGS Wine Import and Multibev.
PrimeWine Group is since 2011 owned by the leading beverage supplier in Scandinavia, Solera Beverage Group, which has 11 well-established companies in its group: Cuveco, Engelstad, Stenberg & Blom, Euro Wine, Multibev and Best Cellars in Norway, Stella Wines, Quantum Beverages, Chris Wine and Triston Wine Group (including V.A.L) in Finland and the travel retail company Five Eyes.
With Solera Beverage Group as owner, PrimeWine Group received a significant strengthening of the management and the board and increased synergies in logistics and distribution.
This cooperation is an important factor in Solera’s strategy to form the Nordic region’s strongest group of companies in the wine and spirits imports.
The different companies gives PrimeWine Group many valuable alternative interface with the market.
Our sales team can cover the entire Nordic market through our offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg. We also work closely with the leading Swedish wholesalers of food and kitchenware – Martin & Servera and Menigo.
Large parts of the PrimeWine Group’s range is included in their range and through them we have gained access to well-established contacts as well as professional and nationwide sales and distribution.
From Punsch and Aquavit to Chardonnay and Nebbiolo.
Sweden is perhaps not primarily known worldwide for its gastronomy. It obviously takes a long time for a country far up in northern Europe to position itself on the gastronomic map. But a lot has happened in the recent years.
Sweden has won the gold medal in the unofficial world championship for chefs, the Bocuse d’Or, like the World Cup for sommeliers.
Historically, Sweden has of course been characterized by its northern location. In the summer, there have always been plenty of fresh vegetables, but for the most part of the year, the country has been dependent on imports.
Today, a fresh raspberry travels around the world in just a few hours, but for not so many years ago, it took several days and transportation costs made the raspberry to a luxury during the colder part of the year.
The relatively short summer, however, contributed greatly to bringing the Swede travel interest in the quest to seek out the sun, heat and other cultures.
The Swedes, who normally drank milk or sometimes a beer and aquavit to the food, all of a sudden discovered the wine with food.
This reflected rapidly in the Swedish sales. From the seventies and onwards, spirits sales have declined and the wine sales have increased significantly.
The big change for the Swedish restaurants came in the early eighties when the French ”Nouvelle Cuisine” in its best and most positive form minted a new generation of chefs.
During the twenty years that followed, especially the residents of the larger cities in Sweden got access to a selection of restaurants with an international standard of excellence.
The influx of immigrants during the later part of the last century has also contributed greatly to the gastronomic trend.
In the late forties the first Italians who came to Stockholm began to ask for other vegetables than cucumbers and tomatoes.
This led to that the peppers, garlic and eggplant suddenly appeared in the vegetable counters. Now that almost ten percent of the Swedish population of nine million are of foreign descent, Sweden is a new and multicultural country. The Swedes are curious and want to discover the world already at home.
The nightlife has gained momentum and the Swede loves to go to a restaurant, attend wine tastings and discover the world’s wine and food traditions. Nothing is like before,Sweden is now a part of Europe and the world.
Free, but regulated.
The Swedish market for the sale of alcoholic beverages are not quite as many others. Almost a hundred years of sales monopoly has historically made its mark on both the supply and consumption habits.
There are two organizations that played an important role in the history of Swedish alcohol policy. One is the Vin & Sprit, and the other one is Systembolaget.
Vin & Sprit is a government owned enterprise that is owned by the Swedish state.
The company is fairly anonymous in the eyes of consumers, but its biggest product, Absolut Vodka is more known.
The company has not only manufactured vodka and aquavit.
During almost the entire 1900s until 1995 Vin & Sprit was also the sole importer of alcoholic beverages.
Added to this was that the stateowned Systembolaget, which operates the retail sector, where Vin & Sprit’s sole customer in Sweden.
Vin & Sprit was then able to almost completely control the supply in the Swedish market. During the whole time that Sweden had a statutory import and retail monopolies, foreign wine and spirits manufacturers could process the Swedish market through agents or agency firms.
Their freedom of action was very limited though.
They could manage the tax-free trade all by themselves, but had to be according to the law only to process restaurants and to some part the importer Vin & Sprit.
It was not allowed to have any contact with Systembolaget, and advertising was prohibited except in trade magazines for the hospitality industry.
All this changed when Sweden joined the EU in 1995. The EU Commission decided that Sweden until further may remain on the retail monopoly, which equals to that Systembolaget just as before has a monopoly on sales to consumers.
However, the EU membership to the import monopoly disappeared and the sale to restaurants is free for importers who have obtained import licenses.
Over seven hundred importers is today competing with sales to Systembolaget, restaurants and the duty free. Many of these are small hobby businesses, others are owned by large international groups.
With some limitations, you can still consider Sweden as a relatively free market. If you want to reach the large volumes its however required to sell the products through Systembolaget and collaborate with an importer who has knowledge of this – this we have at PrimeWine Group!
Success in a hard competition.
A wine producer who want to reach the Swedish consumer market has to get any of their products listed in Systembolaget’s assortment. State-owned Systembolaget has since the early 1900s, through a statutory monopoly, sole right on the sales of alcoholic beverages to the public through over 400 locations.
For every Swedish wine importer, good contact and cooperation with Systembolaget is an outmost importance.
The four factors that currently controls whether a wine will have a place in Systembolaget’s product assortment is the origin, quality, price and sales potential. We at PrimeWine Group has the experience needed to hold a serious dialogue with Systembolaget’s buyers. Even when we started the company, our goal was to strictly comply with the procedures applicable at the bid requests, and we have also respected the strict rules that apply to how we can contact and inform buyers about new products.
It is gratifying to note that our serious commitment has borne fruit. Our producers are today represented in all price ranges in Systembolaget’s assortment.
We have thereby fulfilled our producers desires of both volume and exclusive quality. There is not one single key that gives access to the Swedish consumer market. Competition is fierce, and everyone needs a serious, dynamic and business friendly partner with great knowledge of the Swedish market and the type of wines that are requested by the Swedish consumers.
PrimeWine Group offers this knowledge!
Quality, advice and education.
Sweden’s best restaurants are today seeing the wine traders as key partners. The restaurants located in the very top in terms of quality of materials and supply is looking for serious wine suppliers that meet their demands for quality in every single detail.
The restaurants just below the top tier also want quality, but above all a partner who can advise, educate and contribute in various ways to the development of wine lists and beverage concepts. There are restaurants in the two layers that make up PrimeWine Group’s primary customer group. Several of us working at PrimeWine Group, has our background in the restaurant business. It has given us a strong competitive advantage because we understand the industry’s needs and work situation.
We are keen to have a very close dialogue with our restaurant customers and our sellers are continuously trained so that they can be as much as consultants as sellers. We want to offer the restaurants the best possible selection of wines in parallel with knowledge and credibility. Professional buyers require professional sellers.
In order to keep our position as one of the leading wine suppliers we need in addition to our knowledge, of course, offer a good range of different price segments. If we can deliver wide, we can build long and stable business relationships. It provides better profitability and security in the long term for all stakeholders.
It is equally important that we get a good and personal relationship with our customers, as we get to our producers.
PrimeWine Group has about 450 large restaurant customers and we are therefore a strong partner and channel for producers who want to reach this affluent and important Swedish audience in a growing market.
The key to success
In order to achieve success as a wine importer, knowledge of the products as well as marketing and sales is a must.
Parallel to this is an efficient logistics and distribution organization as much important.
To achieve the best possible storage and distribution efficiency with a pronounced environmental awareness, PrimeWine Group has chosen to cooperate with the logistics company PostNord Logistics TPL AB. By partnering with PostNord Logistics TPL AB, PrimeWine Group has a partner that will allow us to focus on what we do best, which is to help our producers to sell wine on the Swedish market.
And we do that best when we know that our ships, our warehouses and our distribution is in professional hands. An obvious part of PrimeWine Group’s continuous efforts is to be synonymous with quality active environmental work.
Our cooperation with PostNord Logistics TPL AB is a clear part of the work.
Another part is to inspire our winemakers to actively take their environmental responsibilities and with our help influence their subcontractors.
Over 80% of the PrimeWine Group’s volume of distribution is the delivery to Systembolaget, tie to the Off-Trade Market. This volume is of course controlled by foresight and careful planning
together with our producers.
All orders from Systembolaget are going through an IT system built up jointly by Systembolaget and PostNord Logistics TPL AB. That means we can minimize error rates and the administrative the process surrounding these orders.
As for the restaurant market, order and distribution routines are obviously different and more personal.
Most restaurants today have limited opportunities to own stock and they would therefore have frequent and punctual delivery.
Volumes vary widely, and a typical restaurant delivery takes place today with everything from trucks to smaller delivery vans.
Our partner, PostNord Logistics TPL AB, also takes care of these supplies in the best possible way. PrimeWine Group’s challenge has been to manage the distribution to both Systembolaget as well as large and small restaurants for business forms.
We have passed this challenge and it is one of the most important factors behind our rapid growth.
We define CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as sustainable development. That is to say that we are actively working to bring economic, social and environmental responsibility for all aspects of our business.
We operate in a time where globalized trade is with and impact on the environment and where human rights must be promoted.
Our view is that it is no longer enough to engage in individual point effort, the CSR work requires that all parts of the organization is involved and contributing.
CSR is now an integral part of our business development.
Here is a brief description of how our daily CSR commitment is organized.
1. Continued growth. At the heart of our business is a growing, predictable and sustainable business. Without growth, it becomes difficult to invest and develop our CSR work. Our goal is growth with social and environmental responsibility.
2. Social responsibility. As a supplier to Systembolaget, we are obliged to communicate and monitor the BSCI Code of Conduct, it means that we continuously work with our suppliers in so-called risk countries with an eye to human rights. Our producers undergo if applicable an external third party audit to ensure human rights and a safe working environment is at place. As a leading player in the Swedish market, we also have a social responsibility to promote responsible alcohol consumption.
3. Environmental responsibility. We are environmentally certified acc. Svensk Miljöbas since 2012 and our activity is audited annually by an external auditor. We have identified our significant environmental aspects and we are actively working to continuously improve our environmental performance. Our aim is also to increase the number of organic products in our range.