VINAROMA GROUP is a Norwegian wine importer & wholesaler with head office located in the business center of Oslo. The company was established in 2009 and since then has become a solid group of companies including Vinaroma AS, Talking Wines AS, Vinissimo AS, Sansa Valore AS and Samvinlaget AS. The vision of the company is a solid portfolio of products from the classic and the new world wine regions, but for all that, large volumes per producer with very few competing items in stock.
The main company´s founder and owner Lars O. Saga has a wide experience of wine business. He took his first steps into the wine world in 2004 after completing his studies within Economics and Marketing in Oslo. He has been available both for his customers and producers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lars has never done any academic study within winemaking but has always been convinced of learning from the “first hands”. He has spent all his free time visiting wineries, participating in each winemaking process in order to learn firsthand as much as possible. Lars O. Saga means:
“The best way to learn about wine is to visit wineries, live there for a while, participate in all stages of winemaking: do harvesting, crushing, fermentation, bottling; taste and smell wines in all kinds of its stage: unfermented wines, young wines, vintage wines and wines with fault. And while you are home, taste as many wine as you can and smell the most of things, fruits and vegetables either when you cook or buy groceries, or simply every time you open your fridge".
Wine, to him, has not only become a job, but a life style. Family dinners have been to a research arena, where the father imparts knowledge to his sons and discuss enthusiastically colour shades and wine aromas.
Co-founder of Vinaroma and Sommelier, responsible for international markets and domestic marketing. Has been in the company and wine business since the day of the foundation in 2009. Evgenia has Master degree at Linguistics and Intercultural communication and speaks English, Russian, Norwegian and little French, which helps her in international communication.
Arnt is a senior Partner and HoReCa responsible. He has a long and wide experience from the restaurant business since 1996 and is passionate about food & wine combination. Arnt has been studied as well at the Sommelier school.
VINMONOPOLET is a government-owned alcoholic beverage retailer and the only company allowed to sell beverages containing an alcohol percent higher than 4.75% in Norway. There are 352 outlets today, located across the country from cities to smaller communities. In order to sell an alcoholic beverage in Norway, your are required to work with the Vinmonopolet. All products sold through Vinmonopolet come from importers who have entered into a wholesale agreement with Vinmonopolet.
We will guide you in bringing your brands through the 5 available channels of distribution.
Vinmonopolet has five product ranges:
The basic and one lot ranges
The basic and one lot ranges consist of products purchased by Vinmonopolet in accordance with the agreed purchasing process and based on six-monthly launch plans, as well as products from the to order or test ranges that have qualified by achieving satisfactory sales.
Vinmonopolet publishes invitations to bid on the Vinmonopolet supplier portal and wholesalers submit offers that must comply with specified deadlines and procedures. All approved offers are tested by Vinmonopolet’s sensory testing laboratory, where a panel of expert assessors objectively and independent assess the degree of accordance to the relevant specification. Purchasing decisions are based on price, sensory quality and ability to deliver, as set out in the Regulations on AS Vinmonopolet’s purchasing activity, etc.
New products entering the basic range are guaranteed to be carried for at least 12 months (the introductory month + eleven months). The one lot range consists of products that are purchased in limited quantities. These products are carried until the lot has been sold out.
Vinmonopolet stipulates certain requirements for products that are to be launched in the basic and one lot ranges. They must be held in a warehouse in Norway one month before the launch, and the available quantity of the product must be sufficient for the category in which the product is to be initially launched.
The “to order” range
The to order range has been created to make available to customers the selection of products held by wholesalers in Norway that have not been accepted into the basic, one lot or test ranges.
These products must be available in the wholesaler’s warehouse in Norway from the first day of the month in which they are to be launched, and are subject to the same terms and conditions of delivery as products in the basic and one lot ranges. Wholesalers must be willing to make single bottle deliveries.
Products are registered through Vinmonopolet’s supplier portal, subject to the specified deadlines. The products in this range are sold through the online shop, but certain shops may also choose to carry them as part of their local range.
The additional range
The additional range consists of any other products that wholesalers have to offer. It is not a requirement for the products to be held in stock in Norway, and the wholesaler can specify a minimum delivery. Products in the additional range are not sold through the online shop, but certain shops may also choose to carry them as part of their local range. Products can be registered as they become available through Vinmonopolet’s supplier portal, subject to the specified deadlines.
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.
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 seven 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.
Prices are stated in NOK DDP (Delivery Duty Paid). This means that the individual wholesaler is liable for all of the risks and costs associated with transporting the products to the designated place at the individual shop’s warehouse, including customs clearance, excise duties, taxes, VAT and any other charges.
Vinmonopolet is completely transparent in how it calculates mark-ups and retail prices. Vinmonopolet’s calculation is based on the principle that each product should cover its own costs, as well as giving Vinmonopolet a reasonable profit.
The mark-up applied by Vinmonopolet is a fixed rate of NOK 9.54 per litre, plus 22 percent of the purchase price excluding taxes and duties. The percentage mark-up gradually falls for products whose purchase price excluding taxes and duties is over NOK 80, and the total mark-up is never more than NOK 110 per unit.
The product specifications basic and one-lot-range for are available here (Excel format). The document contain specifications for the products to be launched, information regarding distribution and deadlines, and the parametres by which samples will be judged. Samples are always blind-tasted.