The market & product plan from Vinmonopolet, which are presented twice a year, give information about the wine requested in the monopoly’s next call for tenders. The plans explain the types and origins of wine that will be emphasized and they add the product winners that are promoted to the basic and single lot lists. Description of the tender details, establishment of a deadline for delivery of test products, declaration of admission, communication of delivery timing and wine attributes information, final delivery dates for products, and confirmations of the availability of the product in storehouses are requested. We in Flaaten will always send out the tenders to all our producers. We aim to be one of the best importers in Norway, we have a deep understanding of the monopoly business with proven success in winning tenders, our strong growth is due to a highly competent team of employees and a close understanding of our consumers and customers.
HERE YOU HAVE GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT TENDERS AND MARKETING PLAN AT THE VINMONOPOLET IN NORWAY
Vinmonopolet is a monopoly situation in charge of the retail distribution of wine, spirits and beer above 4,7 abv in Norway. The products Vinmonopolet distribute are purchased from licensed suppliers. In Flaaten we hold a required license and agreements to act as a supplier to the monopoly (and for the horeca industry)
The organization have about 300 stores in Norway, in six different size categories. The population of Norway is approximately 5,2 million people.
Vinmonopolet has approximately 18 000 products in its product range at this stage, and every year they purchase about 300 new products. Most of the products are purchased via the normal tender procedure, where Vinmonopolet announce a tender request and different products submitted will be judged on quality in relation to price in a blind tasting session.
The volumes required for a product varies a lot, depending on the price, distribution and idea with a listing.
INFORMATION ABOUT VINMONPOLET AND THE TENDER SYSTEM
As the monopoly tendering system is pretty complicated and difficult to understand, we ́ve tried to summarize the process. For us it is very important that the producers we represent understand the procedure and by doing so participate with us in an ongoing, proactive work.
Many producers today misunderstand the procedure due to unclear information from Scandinavian partners and we really want to avoid this. We want you to understand how it works so we together can co- operate to do as good as possible in trying to get your wines into the system.
If you have further questions about how the system works after reading this document, do not hesitate to contact our product manager, Karin Heskestad, firstname.lastname@example.org or our CEO Mattias Hallin, email@example.com
STEP BY STEP PROCESS ON HOW A TENDER IS CREATED
Vinmonopolet get inputs from meetings with importers/producers/sommeliers in order to decide what kind of products they will request for the next coming year. This input summarized creates the Marketing plan (tenderplan) launched every 6 months. This plan tells us which tenders that will be announced in the upcoming year, usually for the next 6 months.
The Marketing plan is announced every 6 months, usually in December and June. The plan tells us about the specific requests that Vinmonopolet look for and it also tells us when we can submit an offer and when a potential launch will take place.
As the tender date in the Marketing plan arrives we can proceed and submit a written offer of a product. We will send you a form to fill out and it is very important to make sure to fill out the form with all the necessary information.
In order to participate in a tender your wine needs to meet all the criteria as stated in the description. For example- Region, vintage, type of closure, grape varieties etc. But, as the wine finally is selected only upon sensory analysis, the taste description in the tender is almost more important, and this is something which a lot of importers forget. It doesn’t matter how good a wine is, if it doesn’t match the taste and style they are looking for, it has no chance of winning.
After the deadline, the buyer reviews all submitted offers, and samples from each importer that participated on the specific tender
A blind tasting is conducted with all selected wines that submit their samples on time. The best wine of the tasting (first taste, then quality and price) is the winner and will be purchased.
A tasting panel of minimum 5 people will taste the wine and score the wine individually. They score each offer 1-9, where 9 is the best score. The most score is for the quality, price as well as the ability to deliver.
IF YOUR WINE IS THE WINNER
In case a wine wins the tasting, the wine will be launched approximately 5 months after the offer has been submitted to Vinmonopolet. Flaaten will require the wine in its warehouse located in Norway approximately 6 weeks before the launch date.
To check the quality Vinmonopolet will compare samples from first shipment with the samples that won the blind tasting. In case there is a difference in taste or an analysis problem appears, Vinmonopolet will have the right to cancel the purchase.
THE TENDER SUBMISSION PROCESS
This guide explains how to proceed with an offer. If you have any difficulties to understand, please send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you out personally.
A first thing to understand is that the wine offered has to be identical to the wine later shipped for a potential launch. In case they are not identical Vinmonopolet will reject the purchase and the supplier will bear all the costs.
- Fill out the tender form that you will receive from us by email. Make sure to fill out the form correctly with all necessary information.
- Send 4 sample bottles to Flaaten as the second step. Notice that the samples you sent must look like the original wine that you intend to launch, equipped with proper label, bar codes etc. If you send tank samples we ask you to write alcohol volume %, vintage, name of wine and the producer name manually. Write this information on a sticker on the label.
- We also request you to include Lot number visible on the bottle.
- Notice that the deadline we state in our information is absolute. The offer will be automatically rejected if we are not able to submit before the deadline dates. This is the same both for the written offer as well as for the sample submission. The samples should be sent to our office in Oslo, to this address;
Hans A. Flaaten AS Hegdehaugsveien 31, 0352 Oslo, Norway
HOW IT WORKS IN CASE YOU WIN AN ORDINARY LISTING
Once you win a listing in the ordinary range, your wine will be compared to the other wines in the same segment. The segment is divided on the basis of price and style. For instance, a red wine in a particular price range is compared to other red wines in that particular price range. For the first 6 months listed, the wine is not judged on the basis of its sales figures, but the next 6 months the wine will be compared the first time. In case the wine do not reach its sales goals, Vinmonopolet will de-list the wine or change the distribution of the wine to fewer stores. In case it reaches its sales goals, the wine will remain with the same distribution.
Every second month after the first 12 months, Vinmonpolet compare the sales on each wine, in volume, and in case a wine does not reach the sales goals, it will change its distribution 3 months later from the announcement.
The monopoly divides the wines into five lists: basic, single lot, order, additional, and test. The wines in the basic list are available in many outlets but the list is not common to all outlets. These wines have won a monopoly call for tenders or have been promoted from another list because of high sales. In order to stay in the basic list, the wines must meet a required sales level, which varies within the different price groups of wines. If the sales of a wine included on the basic list decrease, the wine may disappear from this list.
The single lot list includes products purchased in limited quantities and are available only by customers’ order. Many products from this list are promoted to the basic list, having achieved satisfactory sales levels during the year. The basic and the single lot lists are constantly updated with new products, and a new catalogue is published every second month.
Wines included in the order list but unavailable in a store’s assortments, will be delivered within one week to the customer. The additional list is based on local demand, and consequently changes from shop to shop. Finally, the test list was created to guarantee market access for foreign producers. Each wholesaler and importer is allowed to have one product per producer within each group of wine included in the list. If a wine in the test list reaches the required sales within the first six months, it will automatically be promoted to the basic list and the agent may include a new wine in the test list. If the wine does not reach the required sales level, the unsold wine is returned to the agent.
The five lists allow the monopoly to offer a good assortment that varies across different retail stores while local demands also are served. Even though the availability of wine is different in different outlets, the prices remain constant.
The test range
The test range is an independent product range that aims to provide market access for products even if Vinmonopolet has not chosen to purchase the product. Each year, Vinmonopolet decides how many products it will launch in its test range, and wholesalers must express their interest by the specified deadlines. Vinmonopolet allocates product launches and launch dates between the wholesalers who have expressed their interest. At the end of the six-month test period (introductory month + five months), Vinmonopolet reserves the right to return unsold stock at the expense and risk of the wholesaler if they have not mananged the cut.
The products in the test range are being measures in category 6.
New product launches
Vinmonopolet launches new products six times a year – in January, March, May, July, September and November. Each launch has a special emphasis on products from a particular country, area or style. The aim is to strengthen Vinmonopolet’s position as specialist retailer, as well as giving customers lots of different and exciting products to choose from.
How long can a product remain on sale?
Vinmonopolet uses a ranking system based on the number of litres sold to decide which products it may want to retain in its basic range after the initial guaranteed period. The ranking system is based on product groups, which are in turn subdivided into price segments. For each price segment, Vinmonopolet decides the number of products that it ideally wants to stock. Rankings are updated every month based on sales over the past six months, with products being discontinued every two months based on those rankings. Products in the additional range are not covered by the ranking system. For a product to remain in the Vinmonopolet range, at least one sale must have been registered.
Vinmonopolet’s shops are split into six categories, based on their anticipated sales over the coming year. Each shop has a range that consists of three elements: a fixed basic range that is chosen centrally, an optional basic range and a local range chosen by the individual shop in response to local demand. The local selection can include products from all of the product ranges.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, we will gladly help you out and explain even more.
Our email addresses you can find underneath: