Mississauga, Ontario – June 27, 2013 – Amidst the ongoing debate about introducing beer, wine and hard liquor into Ontario convenience stores, a new market survey of beer prices in three provinces where alternative private retailing models exist -- Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta -- confirms that beer is currently much cheaper here and Ontarians can expect significant price increases if any of these alternate retailing models are adopted in this province.
The beer price market survey by Ipsos Reid, Canada’s largest market and opinion research firm, collected hundreds of prices on 14 different beer brands in a variety of package sizes from 90 different privately operated retail locations in Quebec, BC and Alberta. The prices were then compared to the average price of similar pack sizes sold at The Beer Store.
The study found that BC beer prices were 45% - 51% higher than Ontario and Alberta prices were 30% - 36% higher. Ontario prices were also found to be on average competitive with those found in Quebec private stores, a province where provincial taxes are 35% less than Ontario beer taxes on a typical 24 pack. Quebec prices on average were found to be more expensive on 12 packs and 6 packs and slightly cheaper (1.5% less) on larger package sizes (e.g. 24 packs). When Quebec prices are normalized to the higher Ontario tax rate, the Ipsos study found that Quebec prices were 11% - 38% more expensive than Ontario.
“This Ipsos market survey demonstrates that the efficiency of Ontario’s current beverage alcohol retail system benefits Ontario beer drinkers with low, competitive prices” said Jeff Newton, President of Canada’s National Brewers. “When compared to Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta where alternative private retailing models exist – models with higher distribution costs and less overall system efficiency - the data in this survey provides evidence that a shift to a corner store model of alcohol sales would mean more expensive beer for Ontarians.”
The Ipsos beer price market survey was accompanied with a public opinion survey that examined Ontarian’s satisfaction levels with the current retailing system and their perceptions about price impacts if corner stores were permitted to sell beer, wine and hard liquor. The survey found that more than 80% were satisfied with the current retailing system.
On the question of beer prices under a corner store retailing model two thirds of Ontarians wrongly believe that beer prices would stay the same or fall if corner store sales of beer, wine and hard liquor were permitted.
“It’s clear many Ontarians have a misconception about the potential price impacts associated with alternate alcohol retail models,” said John Wright, Senior Vice President at Ipsos. “The price survey we conducted demonstrates that in other provinces where these models exist, prices tend to be much higher than Ontario, especially when prices are normalized to a common Ontario tax rate,” added Wright.
The Ipsos factum summarizing the findings of inter-jurisdictional price survey and Ontario public opinion survey can be accessed by clicking here. Detailed results from the two surveys can be found at: http://ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=6173
About Canada’s National Brewers:
Canada’s National Brewers (CNB) is the national trade association representing Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd. CNB has offices in Mississauga, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia and is responsible for representing its member companies on a wide variety of public policy, legal and regulatory affairs, community interest and public image fronts.
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Senior Vice President