BACKGROUNDER: SUMMER TRENDS 2016
May 18, 2016
● The summer season (June 1- August 31) is one of the busiest times for the LCBO. In fiscal 2015-16, sales were $1.7 billion, which represented close to 33 per cent of annual sales. This season, LCBO is projecting $1.8 billion in summer sales.
● The busiest summer long weekends in 2015, in order of sales, were: Civic Holiday ($86.4 million), Labour Day ($78.7 million) and Victoria Day ($78 million). Sales typically increase by about 30 per cent, with the busiest day being Friday.
● Vodka and beer are the top-sellers during warmer months. Summer sales in 2015 for vodka were $693 million, which is a lift of more than 16 per cent compared to the rest of the year. Craft spirits are trending this year and recently added to the portfolio are Beattie’s Farm Crafted Vodka (LCBO #446625, $34.25) and Georgian Bay Vodka (LCBO #446559, $39.95), which won double gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition
● Flavoured rums are perfect for summer cocktails and new this year is Captain Morgan’s Pineapple Rum (LCBO #454900, $26.45), Bacardi Coconut (LCBO #446021, $26.75) and Bacardi Tangerine (LCBO #454637, $26.75).
● New brown spirits for the summer include Drake’s much-anticipated Virginia Black American Whisky (mid-summer release), J. P. Wiser’s Last Barrels Whisky (LCBO exclusive), and Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend Whisky (Canadian exclusive to the LCBO).
● Ready-to-Drink cocktails and coolers experience a surge of more than 127 per cent this time of year ($98.2 million). The category is erupting with hard root beers including local products like Dusty Boots (LCBO #447904, $14.85) and Crazy Uncle Hard Root Beer (LCBO #448779, $2.95).
● More than 37 per cent of sales for beer and cider occur during the summer. Last year, Ontario beer represented nearly half of all sales in this category, while Ontario cider sales have more than quadrupled over the last three years. Single can purchases tend to drop this time of year, while multi-pack purchases increase.
● Customer interest tends to shift towards lighter, fruitier beers and ciders. New products this year include: Great Lakes Brewing Sunnyside Session IPA (LCBO #467019, $2.80), Mill Street West Coast Style IPA (LCBO #461483, $2.95), Belgian Moon (LCBO #457804, $2.65) and Stella Artois Cider (LCBO #455840, $3.25).
● Wine sales grow about eight per cent ($441 million in 2015-16) with white wines experiencing the highest sales increase. Similarly, rose wines are extremely popular this time of year and enjoy a sales increase of more than 56 per cent. Bag-in-box products, as well as Prosecco, are also customer favourites.
● New flavours and patio-friendly formats – including cans - are trending this summer in the wine category. Exciting additions include: Big House Cardinal Zinfandel and The Birdman Pinot Grigio (LCBO #444760, #444778, $3.95), the slightly-carbonated Perisecco Iced Melon and Perisecco Hugo (LCBO #448506, #448514, $11.95), and Girls’ Night Out Raspberry Rumba in a 3L pouch with spout for easy pouring and resealing (LCBO #464289).
● LCBO’s Vintages on Vacation program ensures that cottage country stores receive an enhanced assortment of premium wines to delight vacationers. With more Vintages locations and a bigger selection of wines, we’re making it easier than ever to uncork something great this summer. Recommendations include Malivoire Ladybug Rose (LCBO #559088, $15.95) and Tawse Quarry Road Riesling (LCBO #198853, $23.95).
● In the Vintages category, California reds lead in sales from June to August although there is a noticeable customer shift towards New Zealand whites. The strongest summer growth can be found in Ontario VQA whites, which accounts for more than 30 per cent of total VQA summer sales.
● Over the summer, the LCBO reminds customers to please drink responsibly and to never consume alcohol when driving or boating. Responsible hosting information, including 0 per cent cocktail recipes, is available at www.deflatetheelephant.com. Newly added for summer 2016 is the Pomegranate mojito and lemonade sangria.
● 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.
*All financial data provided is from fiscal 2015-16