Systembolaget explained

Systembolaget’s mission is to sell alcohol beverages responsibly while offering first class service. It is a retail monopoly not driven by profit or sales but rather based on Sweden’s restrictive alcohol policy which aims to limit the harmful effects of alcohol.

Systembolaget by the numbers

Stores: 450 plus online shop
Agents: 475
Employees: 6,200
Items in our range: 28,000
Customer visits: 127 million in store; 68 million digital
Active suppliers: 900, offering beverages from thousands of producers
Revenue: 38 BSEK (incl. alcohol duty)
Result: 376 MSEK
Annual contribution to scientific research on alcohol: 10 MSEK
100 percent owned by the Swedish state
Formed in 1955
Headquartered in Stockholm
CEO: Ann Carlsson Meyer
(Figures are for 2021 and are rounded)

Sweden’s alcohol policy

Systembolaget is an integral part of Sweden’s alcohol policy. The policy is based on consideration of public health and focuses on three pillars which the World Health Organization (WHO) has established as best practice:

  • The price of alcohol
  • Limited access
  • Restrictive regulation of marketing

Systembolaget is the cornerstone for limited access in the retail arena, which is achieved through limited hours of service and number of stores.

Not driven by sales

Systembolaget has no mission to maximize profit or promote sales. Excluding the profit motive, reduces alcohol-related medical and social problems.

Service and selling responsibly is at the core of Systembolaget.

Selling responsibly

Systembolaget offers great service, but never encourages customers to buy an extra bottle or can. This is one of the basic tenets of selling responsibly.

Our way of conducting sales also include:

  • Not tempting customers into our stores by displaying beverages and never advertising beverages
  • No promotional deals or bonus systems
  • Strictly following our selling rules

Selling rules

Sweden’s Alcohol Act specifies who cannot shop at Systembolaget:

  • People under the age of 20
  • People visibly under the influence of alcohol
  • If there is a suspicion someone is buying alcohol for minors

Popular Swedish institution

Systembolaget’s service and product range receive high grades from customers, and, according to our surveys, three out of four Swedes support the monopoly.

The range of different beverages on offer is one of the most comprehensive in the world. All products sold in stores have cleared Systembolaget’s quality assurance process.

A special way of purchasing

When buying alcoholic beverages, Systembolaget must act impartially and in a non-discriminatory and brand-neutral manner.

Read more: How to sell products on the Swedish market

Systembolaget also helps suppliers review product labels and packaging, thereby ensuring that legal demands are met.

Mission to inform

Part of our mission from the Government is to inform the public about the negative effects of alcohol.

Sustainability ambitions

Sustainability is a strategic priority for Systembolaget. Together with the Swedish importers, Systembolaget aims to reduce the environmental and climate impact of cultivation and production as well as of transportation and packaging.

Continuous improvements of human rights and establishing traceability in the beverage supply chain are other priorities.

Read more: Sustainability sector