Spirits Market in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Spirits, otherwise known as liquor or hard alcohol, are a type of distilled beverage which contains a minimum 20 percent alcohol content. Typically termed as alcohol by volume, the higher the alcohol content the harder or stronger the liquor. Different spirits are composed of different fermented products. Gin, for example, is produced from juniper berries, while tequila is made from blue algae. Other spirits include vodka, rum, whisky, brandy, schnapps and more. The most commonly produced spirit in Canada is whisky.

While the sales of spirits produced in Canada has remained consistent since 2010, the sales of imported spirits has increased by around 450 million Canadian dollars during that time, with the total sales of spirits generating approximately 4.92 billion Canadian dollars in fiscal year 2014/2015. Despite there being only 67 distilleries throughout Canada, approximately 310 million Canadian dollars of whisky was exported from Canada in 2015, exceeding whisky imports by more than 100 million Canadian dollars that year.

The value of the spirits industry was worth 6.12 billion Canadian dollars in 2014, with whisky accounting for an almost 30 percent share of the spirits market. Among the leading companies in the spirits market in Canada was French conglomerate Pernod Ricard. While Pernod Ricard also produces various wines and liqueurs, their most recognized spirits brands include Absolut vodka, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Havana Club rum.

Vodka and whisky were the most popular spirits in Canada, accounting for a combined 55 percent share of spirits consumed in 2014. Among Millennial consumers, 20 percent claimed they only drink spirits on special occasions, while eight percent drink spirits a few times a week.

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