Alcohol Consumption in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Alcohol is a common name for fermented or distilled beverages which contain ethyl alcohol, otherwise known as ethanol. Fermented alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine contain lower amounts of alcohol, typically between two and 20 percent, while distilled alcoholic beverages such as spirits and liqueurs contain 20 percent or more alcohol by volume. Despite the known and potentially hazardous effects on human health, alcohol has remained a commonly consumed beverage worldwide. In Canada, approximately 18 percent of consumers were reported as heavy alcoholic drinkers in 2014, with men consuming five or more drinks per sitting and women consuming four or more drinks, at least once per month for 12 months.

Annual household expenditure on alcoholic beverages in 2014 was 874 Canadian dollars on average. The most popular alcoholic drink among consumers was beer, which was consumed by almost 60 percent of respondents. Men were generally the biggest consumers of beer in Canada. Those aged between 19 to 30 years accounted for the largest share of beer consumers, while all women surveyed held a 42 percent share of the market.

In the three years since 2012, the consumption of distilled spirits in Canada has fallen by almost 315 million liters. Despite Vodka being the leading spirit consumed in Canada in 2014, it was forecast to see the greatest fall by 2018, while the consumption of Scotch whisky, gin, bourbon and tequila were forecast to remain constant till then.

Among consumers, 81 percent of females and 72 percent of male respondents agreed that they’d rather drink something that tastes good than worry about what people thought about them, based on their drink choice. Price and recommendation from friends or family were among the leading factors influencing beer, wine and spirits purchases among Millennial consumers in 2013.

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