Consumers can now purchase wine at select grocery stores across Ontario today.
The province announced last month that 70 grocery stores were chosen to sell both domestic and imported wine.
“Ultimately, we’re trying to expand convenience and choice to consumers alongside the LCBO stores, the Beer Stores, alongside this efficient system of distribution,” Minister of Finance Charles Sousa told reporters during a press conference at Coppa’s Fresh Market in Toronto Friday morning.
The government says the winning grocers were selected by a competitive bidding process held by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
The list of grocers include:
- Coppa’s Fresh Market
- Farm Boy 2012 Inc.
- Fresh Market Foods
- Highland Farms Inc.
- Loblaws Inc.
- Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.
- Metro Ontario Inc.
- Sobeys Capital Inc.
- Starsky’s Fine Foods Hamilton Inc.
- Uxbridge Foods Inc.
- Wal-mart Canada Corp.
- Yummy Market Inc.
READ MORE: LCBO online store now open for business
Beer and cider will eventually be sold in up to 450 grocery stores in Ontario under a plan to liberalize alcohol sales and wine will be in up to 300 of those stores.
“The LCBO is a very strong operation that we want to ensure we have greater support,” Sousa said. “The LCBO is the wholesaler of all of these distribution centres and it’s strengthened by its ability to foster even greater selection and greater movement of the goods.”
Beer was introduced in some grocery stores in December, and the government says those grocers received more than 532,000 cases of beer from the LCBO, amounting to net sales of about $24 million.
“We have to have a maximum of 18 per cent for wines in grocery stores, 7.1 per cent in regards to beer, and spirits because of its high alcohol content is maintained in the LCBO,” Sousa explained.
-With a file from The Canadian Press