One half approve of beer sales in grocery and convenience stores

| Filed under: Ontario, Business

One half approve of beer sales in grocery and convenience stores

Most think The Beer Store is Canadian-owned

TORONTO APRIL 7th, 2014 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 928 Ontarians 18 years of age and older, one half approve of the job The Beer Store does selling beer (52%), whereas just more than a quarter disapprove (28%). Disapproval is highest among the youngest (35%).

Two thirds buy beer at retail

Two thirds of the adults in Ontario buy beer at retail to drink at home (65%), and incidence is, once again, highest among the youngest (69%) and the least wealthy (less than $20K - 72%). Beer is purchased, on average, about twice a month, or once every two weeks, but just less than a fifth (17%) purchase weekly or more often.

Half purchase beer at The Beer Store

Among beer purchasers, one half buy mostly at The Beer Store (51%), while 4-in-10 buy mostly at the LCBO. One tenth split their business equally between the two (8%).

The Beer Store, grocery stores and C-stores seen as appropriate for beer

While 3-in-10 select The Beer Store as the most appropriate place to sell beer (30%), just fewer think grocery stores (22%) or convenience stores (20%) are most appropriate. Fewer select the LCBO (10%) or brewery owned stores (6%), while a tenth think all of these channels are appropriate (11%).

Wide majority likely to buy beer in grocery/C-store

Seven-in-ten Ontario adults who purchase beer are likely to buy beer at a convenience store or grocery store (70%), while 3-in-10 are not. Fully one half say they are "very likely" to do so (54%).

Far fewer will buy at grocery/C-store with price premium

Just more than one quarter are likely to buy beer in grocery or convenience stores if there is 10% price premium over The Beer Store (28%), and just one eighth are "very likely" (16%), which indicates a high degree of price sensitivity in the beer category. Fully 7-in-10 are unlikely to buy in this environment if the premium applies (70%).

One half in total favour beer sales in grocery/C-stores

While just less than half of Ontarians in total approve of beer sales at grocery and convenience stores (48%), just less than this disapprove (44%). Few don't have an opinion (8%). Among beer purchasers, however, close to 6-in-10 approve of the alternate distribution channels (57%) and just more than a third disapprove (36%). Among non-purchasers, results are flipped (approve - 31%, disapprove - 59%).

3-in-10 rate The Beer Store as "Excellent"

Three-in-ten Ontarians in total rate The Beer Store as excellent for products and services (30%), while just one tenth rate it "poor" (9%). The Beer Store is given its highest ratings by Gen X (45 to 54 - 38%) and the least wealthy (less than $20K - 40%).

Two thirds believe The Beer Store is Canadian-owned

Almost two thirds of Ontario adults think The Beer Store is Canadian-owned (62%), whereas just one fifth correctly state it is foreign-owned (22%). This knowledge is most common to those who disapprove of the job The Beer Store is doing (39%).

It's not surprising that many Ontario beer drinkers will appreciate the convenience of buying their brew at the corner store, but beer is a very price sensitive product; aficionados know the price of every bottle. As little as a 10% retail premium may keep them going to The Beer Store, as much as some don't like to," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.