The Restaurants Canada Show: Beer Panel Key Takeaways 

Matthew Crompton, CGA by NIQ’s – VP Americas – On Premise, presented at The Restaurants Canada Show, offering market-leading BevAl insights, with a focus on beer market dynamics.
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Here’s an overview of the key insights presented:


The changing landscape of the Canadian On Premise 


Canada’s On Premise has experienced a +3.6% increase in total outlets, and as three in five consumers say dining and / or drinking out is an essential activity, it shows the vital role the On Premise plays in the lives of Canadians. The growth is being led by eating outlets, with Casual dining seeing the most growth (+9.9%), followed by a more modest growth (+3.4%) among fine dining outlets. 


Drinking outlets have seen a -6.8% decline, most notably in nightclubs (-16.4%). With a healthy proportion of drinking outlets aligning through independently managed operations, this sector has had a harder time rebounding compared to the dining segment. Other areas that can attribute to this decline include shifts in consumers’ daypart visitation.   


Despite the growth in certain segments, overall market sales, velocity (-3%) and ticket counts (-7%) have seen a downturn vs YA, in contrast, the increase in check values across core provinces, including Quebec (+8%) and British Columbia (+6%) mirror the rising costs in the On Premise. 


The state of the Beer Industry  


Exclusive On Premise Measurement data (OPM) reveals the visible growth in beer sub-categories such as Domestic/Premium beers (+2.6%), Imports (+3.2%), and Hard Seltzers (+7.7%). However, it’s a different story for Craft Beer, with volume decreasing -9.6%, which is heavily contributing to the decline for the overall beer category.  



The Four BevAl Trends for 2024 

  1. Shifting Occasions – Canadian consumers are driven by event-based visits-  Happy Hours, and sporting events remain popular for more than a quarter. Moreover, treat spending and celebrations are at the forefront. This reiterates the social nature of dining and drinking out, as more than half of consumers (and especially younger beer drinkers) prefer to go out for a meal with friends, and over 40% valuing the chance to catch up.  


  1. Dynamic Demographics – Evolving consumer demographics, including the emergence of Gen Z and a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, calls for suppliers and operators to adapt their offerings and experiences accordingly. Furthermore, social contexts and economic considerations play a significant role in the path to purchase  –44% of consumers are influenced before going out by the company they keep, while price becomes the most overriding factor for over half when selecting drinks at an outlet.  


  1. Moderation – Non-alcoholic options are gaining popularity as part of a broader trend towards moderation and healthier lifestyle choices, especially among younger consumers. A third of consumers report drinking less alcohol than in previous years to improve their health. By comparison, more than half choosing non-alcoholic drinks also mix things up with alcoholic drinks during a single visit, indicating a highly personalized approach to moderation. 


  1. Premiumization – Premium brands and experiences are increasingly on the radars of Canadian consumers, with 40% overall and 46% among beer drinkers willing to pay more for higher quality drinks, and 44% valuing quality over quantity. 


Matthew Crompton, CGA by NIQ’s VP Americas – On Premise said: “As the resilient and agile Canadian beer market transitions through current and future changes, it’s imperative drinks brands, suppliers and operators remain creative and nimble to decode the complexities of evolving consumer trends and market challenges.” 


CGA by NIQ uses best-in-class tools and analysis to provide beverage suppliers with actionable insights for the Canadian On Premise. Keeping you up-to-date with sales performance and consumer behaviour, CGA enables the growth of On Premise strategies in 2024 and beyond. To find out more, get in touch with Mitch Stefani here. 

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