Canadians continue to spend freely on booze.
Statistics Canada recently released new numbers on the sale of alcoholic beverages in Canada, and concluded Canadians spent $20.5 billion on beer, wine, and spirits in 2013/2014, up 1.1 per cent from the previous year.
Beer remains the drink of choice for many Canadians as $8.7 billion was spent nationwide on the drink. That’s roughly 2.2 billion litres.
And on a per capita basis, Canadians are spending $294 each on beer.
Consumers in the Yukon and Northwest Territories bought the most litres of beer per capita with 124.3 and 98.5, respectively, far above the Canadian average of 75.9 litres.
Canadians are buying more beer too, as sales have increased 1.5 per cent a year on average over the past decade.
But while beer is easily the most popular alcoholic drink, its market share is falling to wine and liquor. Liquor and wine sales have been encroaching on beer’s market share since 2004/2005 when it controlled 49 per cent of the market. Its market share has been falling steadily since and now only makes up 42 per cent of the market, while wine has increased its share to 35 per cent.
Wine had its largest market share in Quebec with 43 per cent of total alcohol sales.
In fact, the sale of wine increased 2.3 per cent over the year, with its biggest gain in Newfoundland and Labrador where sales grew 9.1 per cent.
Wine sales have been increasing steadily – 5.9 per cent a year on average – for the past decade as the Ontario and British Columbia wine industries continue to grow.
The sale of ciders, coolers, and other “refreshment beverages” – to use Statistics Canada’s language – saw a huge jump in sales over the year as consumers spent $692.9 million on the non-traditional drinks, up 9.5 per cent from the previous year.