LCBO reveals fascinating drinking habits in Ontario


Published December 10, 2023 at 3:10 pm

LCBO data reveals interesting alcohol beverage trends

Ontarians redefined their alcohol shopping habits this year, making value-focused decisions with unwavering brand loyalty, as revealed by the latest findings from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

“As Ontarians looked to reduce their spending, there was a clear shift in their drinking choices,” said Abhay Garg, Vice President of Merchandising.

While some customers looked for value, others stuck to their favourite brands, LCBO noted.

According to the company’s data, Ontarians are gravitating towards sparkling wines, especially Prosecco and local sparklers, alongside a shift to lighter styles like rosés and white wines.

Wine enthusiasts are increasingly drawn to the quality and affordability of selections from Portugal and Chile. Notably, there’s a shift in packaging preferences, with a substantial 28% rise in 3L boxed wines and a 15% increase in 375 ml bottles.

The growing popularity of lighter, low-alcohol, and non-alcoholic wine options, surpassing their higher-alcohol counterparts by +2% and +7%, (respectively) emphasizes a prevailing trend towards more moderate drinking choices.

LCBO found that the “tequila frenzy” of last year continued into 2023, albeit at a slower pace with a 16% increase compared to the previous year, contributing to an overall growth of 44% since 2021.

Interestingly, brands backed by celebrities, featuring innovative finishes like wine-barrel aging, eye-catching packaging and a commitment to 100% agave, garners significant customer interest, LCBO said.

The appeal of ready-to-drink (RTD) products, including pre-mixed cocktails and coolers, remains on the rise with a 10% increase in popularity. Seltzers continue to dominate sales, securing the largest share once again for this year.

The company reported that canned cocktails also experienced substantial growth, marking a 40% increase from the previous year which was fueled by the introduction of new brands and an expanded selection.

In the beer category, while IPAs stand out as a top choice, LCBO data highlighted that mainstream Canadian beers continue to outperform craft options.

“We pride ourselves on having a product selection that caters to every taste and budget, so it remains easy to find the perfect choice,” Garg added.

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