Alcohol Sales in Canada

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Release date: May 10, 2018
Infographic: Alcohol Sales in Canada
Description: Alcohol Sales in Canada

As per the guidelines, 'a drink' meansFootnote 1:

  • Beer = 341 ml (12 oz.)
    5% alcohol content.
  • Cider/Cooler = 341 ml (12 oz.)
    5% alcohol content
  • Wine = 142 ml (5 oz.)
    12% alcohol content
  • Spirits (whisky, gin, rum, etc.) = 43 ml (1.5 oz.)
    40% alcohol content

Number of standard alcoholic drinks sold per week, per person (over the legal drinking ageFootnote 2)

  • Beer: 4.2
  • Wine: 2.5
  • Spirits: 2.4
  • Cider / Coolers: 0.4
  • Total Standard Drinks: 9.6
Canadian vs import sales
  Canadian Import
Beer 85% 15%
Wine 40% 60%
Spirits 57% 43%
Cider and Coolers 69% 31%

While most Canadians choose to buy beer, there are regional differences.

  • Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage across Canada. In British Columbia and Quebec, they prefer wine.
  • Red is the most popular wine across Canada, but Prince Edward Island buys more white wine.
  • Over 70% of cider sales are in British Columbia and in Ontario.
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, almost 50% of spirit sales are rum.

Average sales of alcohol in Canada were $755 per person (over the legal drinking ageFootnote 2)

Average sales of alcohol in Canada By province and territory
Region Average sales of alcohol per person
N.L. $1,056
P.E.I. $630
N.B. $676
N.S. $789
Que. $782
Ont. $741
Man. $754
Sask. $730
Alta. $768
B.C. $864
Y.T. $1,261
N.W.T. $1,604
Nvt. $231

Governments earned an average of $411 per person over the legal drinking age from the control and sale of alcoholic beverages.

Source: Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages in Canada 2016-2017 survey

Data reflected in this infographic from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.


Footnote 1

Health Canada Guidelines

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Legal drinking age (19+ for all provinces and territories except for Alta., Man., and Que., which is 18+).

Return to first footnote 2 referrer

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