Canada’s On Premise spirits sales rise, but volumes and distribution under pressure

Spirits sales by value in Canada’s On Premise have risen over the last 12 months, despite flat volumes and a drop in stockists.
Download the first edition of the OPM report here
Download the first edition here

Those are among the findings in CGA by NIQ’s new On Premise Measurement (OPM) Impact Report, the market-leading sales tracking service for Canada’s beverage suppliers, manufacturers and venue operators. It indicates that total spirits sales by value in bars, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and other out-of-home channels in the year to 7 October 2023 were 7.1% higher than in the previous 12 months.


This is despite static sales by volume, which were fractionally down by 0.1% in the 12-month period, and a 7.1% drop in distribution outlets. Growth by value has been powered by a 7.3% increase in average selling prices—a sign that consumers remain ready to spend on spirits if they feel satisfied with the quality and value they get.


CGA’s OPM service delivers extensive breakdowns of the spirits category by segment, province and much more, delivering the insights that suppliers need to craft successful strategies. The latest research shows vodka remains Canada’s most popular spirit, with a 22.1% share of sales in the 12 months to 7 October. Whiskey and tequila achieved growth of 0.8% and 2.7% respectively, but cordials, gin, rum and brandy all saw sales fall.


OPM’s province-by-province data meanwhile highlights the key target areas for spirits businesses. For example, whiskey takes its highest share of spirits sales (26%) in Alberta, where the category achieved 8% growth by volume over the 12-month period. Whiskey’s share is much lower in Quebec at 15%, although total spirits sales here grew 4.7%.


Mitch Stefani, CGA by NIQ’s Client Solutions Director – Americas, said: “It’s encouraging to see solid growth in the dollars earned by spirits in Canada’s On Premise. However, flat volumes and a drop in distribution show sales and stocking cannot be taken for granted. In a competitive landscape, it’s more important than ever to achieve a deep understanding of consumers’ preferences and the subtle but significant nuances from category to category and place to place. Our OPM service is here to provide that essential intelligence, and the CGA by NIQ team are excited to be supporting On Premise businesses in this dynamic part of the market.”


To discover more about CGA by NIQ’s On Premise Measurement solution, along with expert support for understanding trends at category, segment and brand level across Canada’s On Premise, contact Mitch Stefani at or find out more here

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