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End of the LCBO Monopoly, a revolution in the sale of wine and beer in Ontario

A truly interesting development is emerging from Canada, where the government of Ontario has announced that by or before 2026, consumers in the Canadian province will be able to purchase alcoholic beverages, excluding spirits, at gas stations, grocery stores, and supermarkets.

This market expansion will allow approximately 8,500 new points of sale to offer alcoholic products, representing the broadest expansion in terms of choice and convenience for consumers since the end of the prohibition era nearly 100 years ago.

The end of the LCBO monopoly is most likely strategically framed to generate:

  1. An increase in competition, which could result in lower prices for consumers.

  2. A greater variety of products available to consumers.

  3. An incentive for the growth of Ontario's craft beer and wine industries.

It is noteworthy that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) will retain the sale of spirits such as vodka, gin, and whisky, continuing to be the sole supplier for all retailers, bars, and restaurants. Competitive pricing will be introduced for private retailers, while minimum pricing policies will remain in place to preserve responsible consumption standards.

Finally, Ontario will eliminate all restrictions and exclusivity regarding the packaging formats of alcoholic beverages.


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