Canadian wine eating into beer share

Oct. 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

TORONTO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Canadian wine sales are making dents in the market dominance of beer, an economic assessment by BMO Economics released in Toronto said Tuesday.

While beer slipped to 45 percent of total alcohol sales in 2011, domestic wine sales increased 11 percent per year between 1995 and 2004 and continues to climb, the release said.

"The industry is experiencing average volume growth of 3.1 percent and wine sales continue to grow faster than sales of other alcohol," the report said.

BMO economist Aaron Goertzen said part of the shift can be attributed to an aging population with higher incomes who can afford to experiment with wines, along with widely reported health benefits from wine consumption.

"While the climate in Canada may prevent the sector from becoming an international powerhouse, its reputation on the international stage has grown, and Canadians are increasingly reaching for a glass of pinot noir instead of pilsner," Goertzen said.

The analysis noted between 1995 and 2011, wine rose from 18 percent to 30 percent of Canadians' total alcohol consumption. During the same period, beer fell from 53 percent to 45 percent and spirits fell from 29 percent to 25 percent.

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