Who’s the world’s biggest wine & spirits buyer?

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Well, many people think it is one of the big monopolies that still exist, for example Systembolaget in Sweden or the LCBO in Canada. But no.

Biggest is actually Tesco, the UK retail chain. They sell alcohol products for €4.3 bn (£3bn).

That’s almost twice as much as the LCBO (€2.5bn, C$3.7) and well over twice as much as Systembolaget in Sweden (€2bn, SEK19 bn). There’s an interesting interview with the world’s biggest wine buyer, Dan Jago at Tesco, in Wine Business International.

For those of you interested in the Scandinavian market we might also add that the Systembolaget does not buy from producers. They do not have an importer’s license in Sweden and are therefore not allowed to import. They must buy all wines and spirits from a licensed importer, of which there are several hundreds, but only a handful of any size and consequence. The biggest importer is of course V&S Vin & Sprit, just like Systembolaget currently owned by the government, albeit up for sale.

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3 Responses

  1. Who is the largest wine retailer in the entire world? Kevin O’Leary has broadcast the U.S. Costco retailer is the largest WORLD retailer. Can you clarify?

    1. Hi Todd,

      I don’t know. Could very well be Costco. The article above referring to Tesco is from 2008 and things may very well have changed. I’d be interested to know.

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