Dropping tourism numbers have led to a decline in beer sales throughout the country, RÚV reports. Even so, Gunnar B. Sigurgeirsson, Vice President of the Ölgerðin brewing company says that he believes the market is recovering, in part due to good summer weather and fewer Icelanders going abroad this summer than last year.
Both Gunnar and Áki Sveinsson, the marketing director at Coca Cola European Partners also say that larger organizations and entities such as restaurants in the capital area are not ordering as much beer from producers and distributors simply because there are fewer tourists. Áki agreed with Gunnar that the unusually warm and sunny summer weather has boosted sales and said that the limited-time summer beer was almost sold out. Things appear to be on the upswing in the industry, he said, and June has gotten off to a good start.
On the other hand, the state-run alcohol and liquor stores have not experienced the same decline in beer sales. In fact, looking at the numbers for beer sales between January and June both this year and last, it appears that Vínbúðin sold more beer this year. Vínbúðin does not keep records on foreign credit card usage, however, so it is unclear if the boost in sales is being driven by locals or visitors.