Premiumisation continues to be a key driver of robust growth in fine wines/champagne and spirits. Consumers are increasingly showing interest in drinking less but drinking better; showing a preference for more complex and expensive liquors across all categories, including wine, whiskies, gin and cognac.
Fine wines/champagne delivered a healthy performance in 2018, benefiting from the premiumisation trend and driven by solid growth in champagne, sparking wine and rosé wine. For example, in Ontario the government-owned LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) reported that its premium wines and spirits division (VINTAGES) saw rising popularity of ultra-premium products such as Dom Pérignon (CAD231.
All categories in fine wines/champagne and spirits are expected to see strong growth in both current value and volume terms in Canada in the forecast period, as per capita consumption is expected to continue growing. Value growth is expected to be higher than volume growth, indicating continued premiumisation.
Fine wines/champagne and spirits in Canada is highly fragmented and competitive, with multiple domestic and imported players holding established positions. The legislative authority for alcohol in Canada rests with the individual provinces, and laws for the sale and consumption of alcohol vary by province, which adds to fragmentation.
Government liquor stores dominate the distribution of fine wines/champagne and spirits in Canada. The Provincial Liquor Boards, which operate the liquor businesses in each province, are monopolies controlled by the provincial governments.
Canadian provinces have begun to deregulate alcohol sales in response to consumer demand. In 2017, Ontario allowed wine sales through grocery stores by issuing 70 wine sale licenses.
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