News Canada

Canadians buying less beer

QMI Agency


We're buying less of it, but beer is still king when it comes to booze sales in Canada, new statistics show.

Beer and liquor stores and agencies sold $9.1 billion worth of beer during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, down 0.4% from the previous year. The Yukon had the largest increase of 4.4% year-over-year, followed by Ontario at 3.1%.

Measuring volume, beer stores and agencies sold 2.3 billion litres of beer in 2011, down 2.7% from the previous year.

Statistics Canada noted in its release of figures Monday that in 2000, beer had a market share of 52%, but by 2011, that had dropped to 45%. Wine, meanwhile, went from 23% of market share in 2000 to 30% in 2011.

There were also increases in the sale of vodka (up 5%), rum (4.1%) and whisky (2.7%) in 2011.

Overall, beer and liquor sales were up 2% from the previous year. The net income for provincial and territorial liquor authorities, combined with other alcohol-related revenue such as liquor licences and permits, was up 5.6% to $5.9 billion in 2011. Only Alberta saw a drop in net income, a decline of 4.5%.