Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Russians drink less beer, Baltika's volumes drop

Carlsberg’s beer sales in Russia dropped 14% in 2017.
February 07, 2018

Baltika has eight breweries in Russia and was taken over by Carlsberg in 2008. On Thursday, Carlsberg announced a 4,8 billion Danish kroner (€645 million) impairment of the Baltika brewery in Russia, the business newspaper Børsen reports.

Sales in Russia was last year impacted by the government’s decision to downsize plastic bottles, Carlsberg says. A new law introduced in mid-2016 limits plastic bottle sizes to a maximum of 1,5 liters.

«Our Russian volumes and market share were severely impacted by the PET [bottle] downsizing,» the company tells.

Baltika, and its sub-brands like Sibirskaya Corona, Arsenalnoye, Yarpivo and Nevskoye, had a 14% drop in sales last year.

Sobering up

Russia’s Health Minister, Veronika Skvortsova, said to Kommersant in January that alcohol consumption in the country is down 80% over the last five years. Asked by BBC to detail the figures, the health ministry, though, declined to elaborate. BBC reports, based on Rosstat figures, that the official sale of alcohol is down 30% and not 80% as claimed by the minister.

Russians on average drank the equivalent of 6.6 litres of pure alcohol last year, according to Rosstat, which said this included 6,6 litres of vodka and spirits, 57 litres of beer, 7,3 litres of wine, sparkling wine and champagne.

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