The sale of alcohol-free beverages from stores of the Swedish state-run retailer Systembolaget have leapt 20% in the first 11 months of 2004, over the same period a year before, local press reports said today.

The alcohol-free products on offer include 10 types of wine, an aperitif, beer and cider.

The rise in non-alcohol sales come as sales of alcohol in the Swedish stores continue to fall. Systembolaget's sales, measured in terms of pure alcohol, fell 8.5% in October, from the same month in 2003.

Spirits sales fell by the largest margin, down by 16.1%, followed by sales of cider and alcopop drinks, which fell by 15.4%.