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Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors watches liquor product trends closely. One reliable and detailed resource for liquor store consultants and store owners is the BC Liquor Distribution Branch Quarterly Liquor Market Reviews. BCLDB sales reports are snapshots of sales trends. However, government liquor stores sell a traditional inventory (i.e., beer, wine, spirits) and focus on high volume products called “listed SKUs”. While these include some new and trending liquor product categories, government store sales don’t generally capture this market well.
BC Liquor Store Product Trends Skewed by Pandemic
The challenge liquor license consultants and liquor store owners are currently faced with, is predicting future trends in BC. If you look at each product category graph in the latest BCLDB report for 2021/22 Fiscal Year Q4 and compare that to the previous four quarters, you’ll notice a steep increase in sales that reached its apex in 2021-2022 Q1. That steep incline was brought to us, courtesy of COVID-19. Sales then took a nosedive in Q4. While the decrease in sales in Q4 may be because we’re all getting somewhat “back to normal” as the pandemic winds down, Q4 (January – March) is also traditionally the slowest quarter for liquor sales.
Where then, can we find reliable trend information outside of the BCLDB bubble? The IWSR is the answer. International Wine & Spirits Research are drinks market analysts. While IWSR will sell you Canada research data, they also publish trends information on their blog and in news releases – all for free!
Tip: If you want to read IWSR research trend information that mentions Canada, use the website’s search feature and enter “Canada trend” as illustrated below.
The website will return many articles and press releases about trends and predictions. This is gold for liquor store owners and liquor store consultants.
Liquor Sales Trends According to IWSR
The following is a sampling of just a few of the trends researched by IWSR that are relevant to private liquor stores in BC.
“No and Low-Alcohol in Key Global Markets Reaches Almost US$10 Billion in Value”
The IWSR forecasts that no-alcohol and low-alcohol volume will grow by 8% compound annual growth rate from 2021-2025 in many parts of the world, including Canada.
“Drinks companies diversify as category lines blur”
Companies that once produced traditional alcohol beverages (beer, wine, spirits) are diversifying with new products for a younger, more health-conscious consumer. New categories such as hard seltzer, natural wine, herb-infused spirits and non-alcohol beverages are increasingly popular.
“New ready-to-drink products promote pure ingredients“
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, the UK and the US gained close to two thousand ready-to-drink (RTD) products between 2019-2020. The RTD category includes products such as hard seltzers, premix cocktails (cocktails-in-can). Product marketing for this category of products focuses on dietary and health benefits.
“Wine Consumption in US Declines for First Time in 25 Years”
For four consecutive years, U.S. beer and cider sales have declined by -2.3% and -3.8% respectively. Wines sales declined for the first time since 1994. Distilled spirits and RTD product sales increased by 2.3% and 49.7% respectively.
Our Liquor Products Experts Will Help Your Store Diversify & Grow
If you have questions about liquor product trends in BC, receive a free consultation from Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors. We stay on top of the market and can help your liquor store develop a diverse inventory that satisfies traditional liquor drinkers and consumers of new product lines, so you can stay ahead of the curve and keep up with demand.