Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an overall increase in consumer demand for food and beverages, including alcoholic drinks such as wine and spirits, its positive impact on beer was relatively limited in 2020, and as Canada gradually reopens in 2021, beer sales see slightly greater decline. The consumption of beer is often for social occasions, and gatherings at home, such as parties, remained limited during the year compared to the review period.
The pandemic’s impact on the competitive landscape for beer was multi-fold. A number of major players saw their volume share tanked, due in part to the fact that foodservice sales account for a lion’s share of the total.
The pandemic has been driving e-commerce sales for a wide range of food and beverage products in Canada. The customer base has been expanding, attracting retail investment and raising the urgency of e-commerce infrastructure across the country.
Over 2022-2026, population growth, the health and wellness trend, the regulatory environment and taxation policies, and a growing consumer preference for other types of drinks are anticipated to lead to a contraction in the volume sales of beer, similar to what was seen during the review period. In addition to the shift back of retail sales to the on-trade, as the latter opens up more in the post-pandemic era, there is a tailwind due to the growth of beer sales in the grocery channel as seen over 2019-2021, which potentially might lead to incremental sales.
As the vaccination rate continues to rise, the world and Canada appear to head towards a post-pandemic era over 2022-2026. As such, leading multinational companies and their brands which performed better during the pandemic will likely see headwind.
Before the pandemic, there were already initiatives from players like Steam Whistle to promote greater transparency about the ingredients in beer. Other players followed suit, in anticipation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency changes in the definition of beer, and more importantly, in response to growing consumer demand for natural and healthier ingredients, and more transparency in supply chain management in general, as seen across food and beverage categories in Canada.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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