The price you pay for a bottle, can or box has several components.
Taxes - alcohol tax and VAT - usually make up the bulk of the price. On average, taxes account for just over half of the price you pay.
To explain in more detail where the money goes when prices are set, we must look at the different steps in Systembolaget’s pricing model.
The same rules apply to all suppliers and brands - this is an important starting point and a requirement from the EU.
This means that we and our suppliers never negotiate prices for alcoholic beverages.
What is a supplier?
A supplier is a Swedish company that is approved to supply beverages to Systembolaget.
A supplier can import beverages or manufacture them itself.
Step by step: How the price is calculated
We explain the different steps and illustrate them with an example: This is how the price is set for a bottle of wine (750 ml, 13%) that has a retail price of SEK 99:
The supplier sets the price to Systembolaget. This is Systembolaget’s purchase price.
- The purchase price should cover the supplier’s costs and provide a profit.
- It should also cover the compensation to the beverage producer, as well as any suppliers of, for example, grapes and bottles.
The supplier’s price to Systembolaget: SEK 46.57.
We calculate our mark-up on the purchase price. This needs to cover our costs, which include salaries, premises and IT systems, and the required return that the state imposes on Systembolaget.
Systembolaget has to cover its own costs and this is done through the mark-up.
Systembolaget applies two mark-ups
A general mark-up
This is always 17.5 percent of the purchase price.
In money terms, it will therefore vary depending on the purchase price.
A mark-up per package
Wine: SEK 5.21 (box, full sized bottle, cardboard package, PET).
Smaller sized bottles have a lower mark-up: SEK 2.61.
This is to ensure a good selection of smaller sized bottles.
Spirits: SEK 5.02
Cider and Ready to Drink beverages: SEK 1.11
Beer: 75 öre
Non-alcoholic beer, cider and Ready to Drink beverages: SEK 2.17
Non-alcoholic wine, must and other non-alcoholic beverages: SEK 5.21.
General mark-up SEK 8.15 (17.5 % of SEK 46.57)
Per package mark-up: SEK 5.21 (wine, full sized bottle)
Total price: SEK 59.93
Alcohol tax comes on top of this.
The alcohol tax on 750 ml of wine is SEK 19.64 (alcohol tax SEK 26.18/litre)
Total price: SEK 79.57.
Any deposit comes on top of this. This applies to recyclable glass bottles and certain cans and PET bottles.
There is no deposit in our example.
Total price: SEK 79.57.
VAT is added on top of the price.
VAT is SEK 19.89 (25% of SEK 79.57)
Total price: SEK 99.46.
The price is rounded.
Wine, spirits, non-alcoholic wine and water is rounded to the whole krona. All other beverages are rounded to an even ten öre.
SEK 99.46 is rounded down to a whole krona.
Price at Systembolaget: SEK 99.
Who decides the final consumer price?
In most cases, the supplier decides the final price. However, we often specify a ceiling or a price range when we purchase a beverage for our standard range, for example SEK 90 to 99.