New Brunswick liquor announced on Wednesday the expansion of product offerings in select grocery stores beginning in October.
According to a press release from the province, the new beverage portfolio will include beer in specific package sizes, ready-to-drink products, an updated wine selection and local products.
“I think now that you have legalized marijuana in Canada the idea of allowing liquor to be distributed through grocery stores, it’s a pretty easy one to sell,” said Moshe Lander, an economics professor at Concordia University, to Global’s Sarah Ritche on Tuesday.
He said it gives the province and smaller producers a channel to distribute their products “without having to go through a monopoly that can basically control the gateway as to who gets to the stores and who doesn’t.”
“For the consumers, the benefit is that you’re going to see lower prices, greater variety of products out there, all of these local micro-wineries can spread out and get their products to market and you’re going to see improved quality too,” Lander added.
In 2014, wine sales were allowed in a limited number of grocery stores as a pilot project. According to the press release, today, there are 66 grocery outlets that sell cider and wine, including locally produced items, with locally produced beer to be available in grocery stores on a phased-in basis.
In addition to expanding its offerings in grocery stores, NB Liquor recently opened its first Experience wine store in Moncton.
“Our government is excited about this announcement,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “This decision shows NB Liquor is adapting and responding to consumer demands and will position the corporation for future success as they continue to grow their business in a socially responsible way.”