Canadians love wine but beer is still drink of choice
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:34PM EDT
Canadians still favour beer over all other alcoholic drinks, in terms of volume consumed and dollars spent.
Statistics Canada reports that for the year ending last month, $9.2 billion worth of beer was sold by liquor stores and agencies. Sales were up 3.8 per cent from the previous year.
Liquor stores sold $19.9 billion worth of alcohol, an increase of 2.8 per cent from the 2009 that was helped in part by increased sales of imported wine and beer. Prices for alcoholic beverages went up an average of 1.1 per cent.
In 2010, the LCBO paid Queen's Park $1.4 billion in profits and taxes and depending on the year, the store is sometimes the largest purchaser of alcohol in the world.
Chris Layton, a spokesperson for the LCBO, said he thinks that the alcohol choices of Canadians are becoming much more sophisticated.
He said that Ontario residents aren't necessarily drinking more alcohol, but they may be purchasing better quality drinks.
Layton said a lot of customers come into the stores and ask for recommendations for top quality wines.
Erica Smith, a customer at the LCBO, told CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss that she probably drinks one bottle of wine per week, with her fiancé.
Peter Romano, the owner of Nickel Brook Beers, said sales have risen in the past few years because customers like to drink local beer that is good quality.
"People are out shopping looking for locally produced products, so that really helps," he said.
Canadian market shares for beer declined from 52 per cent a decade ago to 46 per cent, but shares for wine increased from 23 per cent to 29 per cent.
Canadians consumed an average of 83.6 litres per person in 2010, which is down from 85.6 litres a decade ago.
Newfoundland and Labrador saw the biggest rise in beer sales at 14.7 per cent.
With files from The Canadian Press and CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss