Throughout 2022, Ontarians were looking to discover something new at the LCBO as they gathered once again with family and friends in moments of celebration.
Within the spirits category, customers gravitated to tequila, which features innovative brands, interesting finishes, regional products (such as Mezcal), and cocktailing trends. As a result, tequila sales were up by 28% over the previous
Also trending upwards, were whiskies from America and new emerging whisky regions such as Ireland and Japan. New customers and collectors alike were eager for new innovations and special releases of highly sought-after collector brands. Our Whisky Shop Collection of specially released scotches and whiskies from around the world experienced growth of more
than 25% over the previous year.
When it comes to wine, Ontarians purchased ‘less but better’ in 2022. This means that while customers were buying less wine overall, when they did make a purchase, they were willing to spend more on a premium product, such as Vintages. Key product categories that are driving growth in wines include champagne, sparkling European wines, California wines
and rosé. Demand for Ontario icewine is also bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels in store and online with more than 52% growth over last year.
As we emerged from pandemic lockdowns, customers were more mindful of making positive drinking choices. Lighter wine choices – low sugar, lower calorie, lower in alcohol and even alcohol free – were a popular option at the beginning of the
year and continue to offer choice to those wishing to practice moderation.
Within the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) category, which includes pre-mixed cocktails and coolers, customer demand slowed compared to the previous year, but sales growth overall continued to outpace other categories. Customers tended to stick to their favourite RTD brands, even as new brands entered the market. Within this category, seltzers continue to be
the most popular segment with 39% of the overall RTD sales.
In response to the current economic environment, customers are seeking value when it comes to the beer category. Meanwhile, craft beer consumers continue to be adventurous in their tastes as full-flavored and innovation IPAs lead in popularity.
Across all categories, convenient formats were a popular trend throughout the year that met customers’ lifestyle needs, whether they were entertaining at a cottage or attending a backyard BBQ. Popular packaging trends included larger format RTD boxes and single-serve wine in cans or tetra packs.
“LCBO and our trade partners monitor purchasing trends throughout the year to ensure our selection reflects what Ontarians are looking for,” said Abhay Garg, Vice President, Merchandising. “We want to ensure that it’s easy for customers to find the perfect choice and there’s always something new to discover.”
Data and information pertain to January 1 – November 5, 2022.