Convenience store chains unveil major initiative to dedicate one-third of retailing space for Ontario wines and Ontario craft beer
New retail channel would create big opportunities for local craft beers and Ontario wines to be sold right in the communities where they are made and across the province
QUEEN'S PARK, TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario's leading chain convenience stores, including 7-Eleven, Mac's (Couche Tard), and Petro-Canada, a Suncor Energy business, announced today that when Ontario modernizes its alcohol retailing system, Ontario craft brewers and wineries will be the first to benefit. Retailers announced a plan to voluntarily set aside at least 30% of beer and wine retail space for Ontario wines and craft beer, creating significantly more consumer exposure and retailing opportunities than they currently have - especially in the communities where they operate.
"Convenience stores are local community retailers and we're perfectly suited to help promote and support Ontario's local craft breweries and Ontario wineries. Our pledge will mean that, in addition to the space LCBO provides, even smaller Ontario wines and craft beer will have guaranteed access to a large dedicated space in retailers around the province," said Dave Bryans, President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA). "Even better, by working with the LCBO as Ontario's wholesaler of alcohol, it would mean that the Ontario government would benefit too, through bigger profits for the LCBO and more revenue for priorities like education and health care."
Retailers signing the pledge include: 7-Eleven Canada, Mac's Convenience (Couche-Tard), Petro-Canada, Hasty Market, Rabba Fine Foods, Daisy Mart, Quickie Convenience, Winks, Avondale and more. Visit www.freeourbeer.ca
for the full list of retailers.
"Not only does our plan dedicate 30% of space to Ontario craft beer and wines, so they don't have to fight the big brewers for shelf space, it also allows small craft brewers and Ontario wineries access to a modern, established distribution and logistics system to get their products into stores," added Bryans. "Our distribution partners have the ability to cost-effectively ship even a single bottle of wine or six-pack of beer to individual stores. Gone are the days when stores needed to buy in large quantities and manufacturers needed to own fleets of trucks for distribution."
Convenience Store Ontario Craft Beer & Ontario Wine pledge
Ontario convenience stores already sell alcohol in almost 200 locations in Ontario through the LCBO Agency Store program.
Ontario Convenience Stores Association members have been shown through independent testing to be the best at age checks, stopping more minors from purchasing age-restricted products than the government-run LCBO or the foreign-owned Beer Store.
Ontario Convenience Stores Association members have demonstrated they're ready for the responsibility to offer alcohol at more locations, and to help the Ontario government grow the $1.7 billion in profit that the LCBO already contributes.
Convenience stores are local businesses and want to support the growth of the rich and diverse Ontario craft beer and Ontario wine industries in the province.
As local businesses, convenience stores want to create new opportunities for local craft brewers and wine producers to showcase their products right in their own communities.
To achieve this Ontario Convenience Stores Association members pledge to:
Voluntarily set aside a minimum of about one-third (30%) of alcohol retail space to promote, display and sell Ontario craft beer and Ontario wines when expanded alcohol retailing comes to Ontario.
Boost local craft beer and Ontario wines by focusing on stocking local brands, and giving them greater exposure right in the communities and regions where they're created.
SOURCE Ontario Convenience Stores Association