Beer sales booming in Nunavut: StatCan
Beer accounts for two in three alcohol sales
Last year, beer sales were relatively flat in Canada.
But that was not the case in Nunavut, where people were drinking a lot more beer and far less spirits, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.
From March 2017 to March 2018, the report found beer sales increased by 76.6 per cent, compared to 0.8 per cent nationally, for a total of $5.7 million in sales.
Sales in wine grew by an even greater amount during that period, by 278.6 per cent to $2.3 million in Nunavut, while overall in Canada sales rose by 5.5 per cent during that period.
Meanwhile, spirit sales in Nunavut declined by 12.4 per cent to $1.3 million.
Beer also accounted for the largest market share of total alcoholic beverage sales in Nunavut.
Beer was the alcoholic beverage of choice in 60.7 per cent of all sales in Nunavut, according to the report.
It found that residents purchased 835,000 litres of beer over the report’s time period. That’s the equivalent of about 2.35 million beers.
One year earlier, Nunavut residents purchased 493,000 litres of beer.
Statistics Canada attributes the increase in beer drinking to the opening of the wine and beer store in Iqaluit.
The store opened in September 2017.
“Prior to the opening of this store, much of Nunavut’s liquor was purchased outside of the territory through import permits,” the report states. “The Nunavut Liquor Commission has seen a decrease in import permits following the opening of the new retail store.”
Nunavut’s liquor commission made total sales of $9.3 million and a net income of $1.4 million over the report’s time period.
These figures echo the information in the commission’s annual report from 2017-18.
Nationally, spirit sales were the lowest in Nunavut, at 13.6 per cent, although vodka accounted for the largest proportion of spirit sales in Nunavut, at 58 per cent.
Sales of ciders and coolers had the lowest market share Canada-wide in Nunavut of only 0.9 per cent.