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Updated: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:24:17 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

More wine, less beer, Canadian drinking data shows



More wine, less beer, Canadian drinking data shows

Canadians are drinking a lot more wine, a little bit more liquor and less beer, Statistics Canada data released Thursday shows.

Beer and liquor stores across Canada sold $21.4 billion worth of booze in the fiscal year that ended March 31, the data agency said. 

That was 2.2 per cent higher than the figure for the previous year, but the increases were not evenly distributed. About $9.1 billion worth of beer was sold across Canada last year, down 0.1 per cent from the level seen in the previous 12 months.

By volume, domestic beers fared a little better, with two billion litres sold (a decline of 1.7 per cent) while imports slipped by 3.8 per cent to 300 million litres.

That means about 78 litres of beer were consumed last year per person, down from 83.6 litres in 2003. 

Although it's declining, beer is still the most popular alcoholic drink in Canada. But the two other alcoholic categories — wine and spirits — are gaining ground.

Wine sales grew by 4.9 per cent in 2013 to $6.8 billion and sales of spirits were up 2.9 per cent to $5.4 billion.

In volume terms, Canadians drank 506.6 million litres of wine last year (an increase of 3.9 per cent) and spirits increased by 2.7 per cent to 222.4 million litres.

Per capita, that's 17.4 litres of wine per person, per year. For spirits, the figure was 7.6 litres per person.

In 2013, beer had 43 cent of the market in terms of dollar value, compared with half in 2003. Wine stood at 32 per cent last year, up from 24 per cent over the same time period.

Provincial and territorial liquor authorities netted $6.3 billion in the fiscal year ending in March on sales of alcohol, and earnings from liquor licences and permits.

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