Apparently, the best way for the Canadian beer business to grow and expand is to get more women on the sauce, according to a report by BMO Capital Markets. As the Toronto Star reports, “Canadians are aging – which means they drink more. But they’re still not choosing beer, which has seen flat sales, while wine sales have soared since 1995, BMO says.” Wait, Canadians drink more as they age!? Personally, I can’t say I’ve been on as many benders lately as I did in my college days, but I suppose that I might go back to drinking on Tuesdays once I’ve retired, so fair enough.
Mind you, that assertion is somewhat misleading. The BMO report states that we consume 18.2 gallons of beer per capita, the same amount as in ’95, while wine consumption has risen 70 per cent in 17 years—to a whopping 3.6 gallons per capita. To say that we’re not choosing beer when we drink five times more beer than wine, well, let’s hope the Star corrects that in its evening edition. In any case, it’s probably safe to say that beer is generally purchased in larger quantities; when was the last time you picked up a six-pack of merlot?
But back to the topic at hand. Beer sales have stagnated across the country, with people turning to foreign wines and imported craft brews to meet their alcoholic beverage needs. And a staggering 80 per cent of beer purchases are made by men, as per BMO. So, how do we solve this gender gap? In four words: Coors Light Iced T (or Bud Light Lime Mojito, if you prefer). “Brewers are already trying to attract more women with lighter beers, and with beer-based drinks that incorporate the taste of liquors that have a strong appeal to women,” the study notes. Wait, is this really a good thing?
Granted, it’s not like BMO Capital Markets is some small, boutique market-research firm, so chances are this report could find its way to the brewmeisters of this great nation. So, in order to stop the market from being oversaturated by girly near-beers that taste like toothpaste, we’re gonna hafta step up our game, guys. I hereby pledge to drink more real man’s beer in an effort to raise per capita consumption across the country. Please join me in doing the same.