By John Ensor •
Published: 08 Sep 2023 • 14:05
Is Germany ready for a Finnish beer revolution?
According to YLE, Laitila’s Wirvoitusjuomatehdas, a Finnish brewery, has been making waves in the German beer market. Their gluten-free and alcohol-free beer, previously available on Amazon, has over the past year found its way onto the shelves of German Edeka markets and Getranke Hoffman beverage stores.
‘The German market is currently the most important target market for us. We started market sales in Northern Germany, but we aim to spread throughout Germany,’ says export director Marko Mikkola.
Germany, with its rich beer-making tradition dating back centuries, offers limited choices for gluten-free beer. Laitila Wirvoitusjuomatehdas aims to fill this gap.
‘We are not trying to compete against German beers, but to find our own marketplace there and offer good beer to this target group, i.e. coeliacs,’ Mikkola explains.
Finnish beer also has a unique selling point – its packaging. Mikkola notes that while Germans typically consume beer from bottles, Laitila offers something different.
‘We have Tolkkiolut and still in the same portfolio as it is sold in Finland. Others in Germany do not have such a concept at all, even though there are thousands of other breweries,’ Mikkola points out.
Laitila’s Wirvoitusjuomatehdas beers have previously been exported to places like Asia and Sweden. Exports have made up roughly five per cent of the company’s turnover. While Laitila is gaining traction in Germany, other Finnish breweries like Olvi and Koff are also making their mark internationally.
Mikkola is optimistic about the future, stating, ‘I believe that at some point we will reach ten per cent of the total sales. Germany plays an important role in that. It is a nearby, large market. We have seen in two and a half years that it also works.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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