Are more Canadians ditching beer? New StatCan report says yes

FILE – Patrons line up to get into an LCBO outlet as others leave after stocking up with their New Years Eve beverages in Mississauga, Ont., December 31, 2007. Canadians may still love a good brew, but over the course of a 10-year period, the percentage of dollar sales of beer has dipped while wine is capturing a growing percentage of the market, according to Statistics Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/J.P. Moczulski


Canadians spent less of their money buying alcohol last year, despite Canada’s overall alcohol revenue increasing.  

According to findings from a Statistics Canada report last month, the volume of beer sold from Apr. 2021 to Mar. 2022, decreased by 2.8 per cent and has been steadily declining since the mid-1970s. 

Wine sales also decreased by 4.0 per cent last year. The government agency noted this was the largest decrease in the volume of wine sold since they began tracking alcohol sales in 1949. 

Overall, alcohol sales decreased by 1.2 per cent in Canada last year, making the decline the greatest in the last decade and, since the first decline in 2013 and 2014. Statistics Canada says the value of sales increased due to the country’s inflation rates.  

READ MORE: Ontario booze prices expected to rise with increase in federal alcohol tax

Beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in Canada, only exceeded by wine sales in Quebec and British Columbia. 

However, ciders and coolers are becoming more popular. Canadians bought $2.1 billion worth of both from 2021 to 2022,  which is 13.5 per cent higher than the previous year. 

The agency also notes overall alcohol sales “as reported by the liquor authorities and their agencies,” do not represent trends in consumption, as they do not account for sales of ingredients sold for consumers to make alcoholic beverages. 

Alcohol-purchasing habits of Canadians documented in the study come as drinking guidelines suggest a limit of two beverages per week, and the latest federal alcohol tax increase of 6.3 per cent is in motion to begin on Apr. 1, 2023, which may also affect personal drinking habits and the nation’s alcohol industry. 



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