Three Irish gin producers are to be listed this week for sale by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which retails and distributes alcoholic beverages in Ontario, as the Irish gin category begins to make a splash in the Canadian market.
The LCBO has a monopoly of alcohol off-trade sales in the province of Ontario, which is home to 40% of the Canadian population.
The news follows a successful trade mission to Canada last year, led by minister for agriculture, food and the marine Michael Creed. The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) joined the trade mission which focused on increasing exports of Irish drinks categories to Canada following the completion of the new trade deal between the EU and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The CETA agreement removed the remaining tariffs on Irish gin entering Canada, as well as reforming provincial liquor board levels on imported spirits, which has helped the pricing of premium Irish gins in Canada.
During the trade mission, Creed, at the request of the ABFI, asked the president of the LCBO to consider listing Irish gin. This request and follow-up lobbying by the ABFI resulted in the decision by the LCBO to run the first-ever competitive process to select Irish gin for listing in their stores.
The three Irish Gins to be listed in LCBO are Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, Galway Gin and Glendalough Gin.
"Another Key Market"
ABFI director Patricia Callan commented, "Last year, Irish gin became increasingly popular among international consumers. The latest figures from the CSO show that the value of exports of Irish gin from the Republic of Ireland was up 213% to €4.2 million in the first nine months of 2018.
"Following last year’s successful trade mission to Canada and significant engagement by ABFI, the listing of Irish gin by LCBO will see Canada opening up as another key market for Irish gin producers.
"On behalf of the Irish gin industry, I would like to particularly thank Minister Creed for his support in opening-up the world’s largest controlled market to Irish gin."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.