End of LCBO monopoly opens gateway for Italian wine exports to Ontario

The Canadian provincial government is set to dismantle the LCBO monopoly on wine and beer sales by 2026. Presently, Italy holds a 24% share in the market for imported wines
End of LCBO monopoly opens gateway for Italian wine exports to Ontario

By 2026, Ontario is poised to dismantle the longstanding LCBO monopoly on wine and beer sales. The provincial government anticipates that this move will catalyze the establishment of 8,500 new retail outlets, offering Canadians expanded access to these libations.

In the dynamic world of wine commerce, where 500 million euros’ worth of imports flowed into Ontario in 2023 (cumulative January-November, source: Nomisma Wine Monitor), the province stands as the second-highest spender on foreign wines, trailing only Quebec. Italy commands a significant 24% share in this market, surpassing France but trailing the United States (which holds sway in Quebec).

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Breaking down the wine landscape, still and sparkling wines emerge as the dominant categories exported by Italian producers to Ontario, constituting a substantial 76%, while sparkling wines carve out a 22% slice.

Given a broader decline of -23% in wine exports to Canada in 2023 (compared to 2022), Ontario’s Italian wine purchases dropped by -24%. However, when juxtaposed against 2021 figures, this reduction is nearly inconsequential, contributing to an overall decrease of merely -7% at the provincial level.

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