Why Do Business In Canada?
As one of the World Economic League’s top ten global economies, with its stable political situation and low unemployment levels, Canada is a highly desirable export market. The nation sources nearly three-quarters of its wine from overseas making Canada the fifth largest wine importer in value terms.
According to a 2019 Wine Intelligence report, Canada shows significant 5-year wine sales value growth, with regular wine drinkers showing a sustained willingness to trade up.
How is Wine Sold Across Canada?
Alcohol distribution and retail is largely governed by provincial liquor monopolies (in all provinces except Alberta). These organizations offer the benefit of pricing transparency, long term sales opportunities, and guaranteed, timely payment.
Where Should I Start?
As the nation’s two most populous provinces, Ontario and Québec account for a combined 70% of wine imports to Canada.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is one of the world’s largest purchasers of beverage alcohol. Wineries are represented by local sales agencies, who submit wines to the LCBO via a tender system. A private, grocery wine retailing channel is also developing in Ontario.
Québec imports more wine than any other Canadian province. Per capita wine consumption is also the highest in the country, at 23 litres. The province’s liquor board, the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) operates similarly to the LCBO in terms of product selection and sales agencies.