For a country that didn’t allow its womenfolk to drink at all in the 19th century, Swedish ladies are certainly catching up. Two svelte Swedish sisters turned in a sterling performance at the Nederburg Auction this morning: Marie Nygren and Sara Norell from the national liquor monopoly Systembolaget, which sounds like a billionaire baddie in one of Stieg Larsson’s unexpected bestsellers. Now that Swedish ladies may drink and run the liquor monopoly, alcohol consumption is down 75% and as Marie noted “our objective is to reduce alcohol consumption.”
In fact in the Systembolaget classification of Swedish drinkers, the teetotal class is one of the largest, at 11% of the population. The largest class is labeled “cautious traditionalists” (17%, mainly retired Saab workers) although the “blokes who yearn to learn” with their “boy nights” sound like a lot of fun and at 8% of the population, these crazy experimental guys are an influential segment.
“Unpretentious bon vivants” (13%) is a bit of a contradiction as employing a fancy French term is hardly unpretentious while “folksy bargain hunters” (13%) sound like the customers of Johan Wegner’s Getwine business.
“Sophisticated connoisseurs” (13%) must be the Swedish subscription base of Monocle magazine (editor in chief, the flamboyantly punctuated Tyler Brûlé, punts islands in the Swedish archipelago shamelessly) while “healthy security seekers” (13%) must be airport scanner employees.
The smallest group, “multifaceted connoisseurs” (1.4%) could be the Scandinavian equivalent of the Grape communal blog who are conspicuous by their absence from the Auction this year, but then it’s still early. Or could it be the ABBA category?
As the Systembolaget twins concluded “we hope everyone will enjoy our work and do the world a bit better.” And I can’t say fairer than that.
Entertaining (well, fun – if we don’t use monopoly-speak) post. Is there a certain tongue in cheek that transpires?
I wonder though, “alcohol consumption is down 75%”… How do you (they?) count? Looking at statistics from a drug (alcohol is a drug in Sweden) report consumption is on a steady rise since the 1940s and on par with the 1890s. (A bit before the monopoly system started to get established across Sweden.) http://monopolet.blogspot.com/.....sbruk.html (the picture tells the tale even if the text is in Swedish) Difficult to understand. A great success – not obvious, is it?
(This is quite different from tobacco, where there is not a monopoly but a more coherent do-not-smoke information. And a steadily decreasing consumption.)