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High time for wine: Study

Wine consumption in Canada will grow six times faster than the global average over the next three years. And more Canadians are slaking their thirst with wine rather than beer, says a study released Thursday in Toronto by Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade show.

Wine consumption in Canada will grow six times faster than the global average over the next three years. And more Canadians are slaking their thirst with wine rather than beer, says a study released Thursday in Toronto by Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade show.

The 28-country study forecasts that wine sales will grow by 19 per cent in Canada through 2014, while worldwide sales will grow by three per cent.

Beer sales, meanwhile, have been falling for the past 20 years, Statistics Canada says. While beer remains Canada’s tipple of choice, with more than $8.8 billion in sales and 46 per cent alcohol market share in 2009, that’s down from a peak market share of 53 per cent in 1993.

During the same period, wine jumped to 29 per cent from 18 per cent of the market.

“In every market but China, beer sales are falling,” said Vinexpo CEO Robert Beynat.

While the long-term trend for beer isn’t great, that doesn’t mean suds are dead in the country, says Jeff Newton. Newton, president of Canada’s National Brewers, a trade association, says beer is still the first thing Canadians reach for when they feel like popping a cold one.

“I don’t really see the day where wine will take over,” he said. He says sales of premium beer, including those from small craft breweries, are in fact growing.

 
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