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Beer in Ontario grocery stores: it’s been a year already


Last year’s long awaited move by the Ontario Government’s to ease the sale of beer in Ontario grocery stores was a historical moment. In fact, Premier Wynne called it “the biggest event since the end of Prohibition.”

Let’s call a spade a spade, Ontario’s approach to the sale of alcohol hasn’t been very progressive compared to some other jurisdictions in the world but the change was welcomed by the beer industry and the consumers. See BNN’s interview with Cameron’s Bill Coleman and Mill Street’s Steve Abrams (before that brewer was purchased by Anheuser Busch Interbrew).

See BNN’s interview with Cameron’s Bill Coleman and Mill Street’s Steve Abrams

Beer battle brewing in Ontario

Beer was introduced in some grocery stores last December, and the government says those grocers received more than 532,000 cases of beer from the LCBO, amounting to net sales of about $24 million. Launched originally in approximately 60 grocery stores, the number of retailers has grown steadily to 130 stores and will eventually reach 450 stores by 2018.

“While this trend is changing with younger generations, for years, the primary grocery shopper has been the female head of the household. Wider exposure of our products (i.e. in grocery stores) to a different demographic segment can only be beneficial as women’s consumption of beer is trending up”, says Bill Coleman, President and CEO, Cameron’s Brewing Company.

Cameron’s is currently distributing our core products; Captain’s Log Lager, Cosmic Cream Ale and Ambear Red Ale, as well as our seasonal Brewmaster’s Selection 4 pack to 70+ stores across the province. “Our numbers are showing that consumers are changing their shopping patterns and are truly taking advantage of the one-stop shop convenience factor. What’s more, grocers are offering a nice selection of craft beers with more than 20% of the mandated shelf space allocated for craft brewers” says Eric Muller, Retail Channel Sales Manager, Cameron’s Brewing Company.

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