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BACKGROUNDER: HOLIDAY TRENDS 2016

December 2, 2016

● LCBO holiday sales from November 6, 2016 to January 3, 2017 are expected to hit a record of $1.16 billion, up from $1.06 billion the year prior.

● The busiest shopping days of the year are anticipated to be December 23, followed by Christmas Eve.

● Sales on New Year’s Eve are about $38 million, which is more than twice the daily average for the week of New Year’s.

● The average transaction last year during the holidays was $46.28, compared to $39.06 at other times of the year. LCBO expects to see a similar increase for 2016.

● Top sellers during the holidays include premium Canadian whisky, premium vodka, gift cards, liqueurs, standard whisky and California Cabernet Sauvignon.

● Half of the annual LCBO gift card sales happen during the holidays.

● Ontario icewines and sparkling wines record approximately 34 per cent of their annual sales during the holidays. The Trius VQA Brut comes this year in a gift-worthy tin with two stemless wine glasses (LCBO# 466359 $34.95).

● Approximately one third of total annual sales for sparkling wine occur during the holidays. From Champagne to Prosecco to Cava, there is a sparkling to suit every budget, starting at $7.85. Trends this year highlight the flexibility of small serving formats – including the Sofia Blanc de Blancs from the famed Coppola Winery, packaged in 188mL cans (VINTAGES# 465492 $29.95) and the Bottega Mini Sparkling Icebag Set (LCBO# 463364 $29.95).

● Deluxe gins and sipping rums are on trend in Spirits for 2016. Building on the success of whisky and cognac, rum is next in line to be the “up-and-coming trend” in aged spirits. For those seeking complex/mature spirits with great value, our buyers recommend Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum (LCBO# 366633 $57.95) and El Dorado 12 Year Old Rum (LCBO# 60608 $39.90)

● Brandy, cognac, Scotch whisky and liqueurs record 20-30 per cent of their annual sales during the holidays. Cream liqueurs continue to be a seasonal trend with 38 per cent of sales happening during the holiday period.

● Canadian whisky is the largest whisky category and these perennial favourites make for popular gifts. Cocktail culture is trending this year for the holidays and the versatility of spirits make them a simple solution for entertaining that will also impress your guests.  A Canadian icon, Crown Royal, in a large format is a great starting point. (LCBO# 529826 $134.95).

● New & exciting liqueurs can spice things up for the holidays – try Kahlua Chili Chocolate (LCBO# 465252 $16.95) or experiment with a perfectly Canadian cream liqueur Cabot Trail Maple Cream (LCBO# 462424 $29.95)

●VINTAGES trends include classic Italian Brunellos, Cabernet Sauvignons from California and Australia and one of the most renowned wines from Chile, the exceptional Purple Angel Carmenere (VINTAGES# 62364 $59.95).

● In the beer category, trends for the craft beer enthusiast are all about variety and being able to try something new – look for new seasonal mix packs like the Mill Street Winter Sampler (LCBO# 481267 $14.15), the St. Bernardus Mixed Pack (LCBO# 385476 $20.95), or the Belhaven Brewery Merry Craftmas (LCBO# 476937 $15.65)

● Cider sales tend to peak in summer but the trend toward winter cider options is growing. The Brickworks Holiday Craft Cider Pack (LCBO# 470674 $17.95) is available now, for a limited time only.

● LCBO encourages everyone to enjoy responsibly this holiday season and to not drink and drive. For 0% Cocktail ideas, recipes and responsible hosting tips visit www.alwaystakingcare.ca 

● Through the LCBO’s funding of the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP) and municipal curbside Blue Box programs, 93 per cent of our bottles and cans are kept away from landfills. Please take your empty beverage alcohol containers to The Beer Store for a full deposit refund.


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Media Contact

Christine Bujold
LCBO Media Relations Co-ordinator
Tel: 416-864-6772
Cell: 416-587-3729
Genevieve Tomney
LCBO Media Relations Coordinator
Tel: 416 864-6875
Cell: 647 339-5428