Heads of six Canadian trade monopolies meet at Vinitaly

For the first time in the history of Vinitaly, six Canadian trade monopolies met Italian producers to discuss opportunities for Italian wine in the country, with 14% of its wine imports currently coming from Italy.

During Vinitaly 2018, the seminar “Destination Canada: Opportunities for Italian Wine” was organised by Vinitaly International and the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) with the aim of illustrate current trends and the interests of the Canadian market in Italian wine.

Managing director of Vinitaly International Stevie Kim and ITA-ICE representatives Anna Flavia Pascarelli and Matteo Picariello welcomed delegates from six Canadian Liquor Boards, who control the sale of alcoholic beverages across Canada.

On the opportunities for Italian wines in Canada, George Soleas, from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) said: “Italian wines in Ontario are doing great, the market is surely opening up. We are now issuing 450 licenses to stores that will be able to sell more Italian wines. Overall, Italian wines and Italian suppliers are doing very well in Ontario and we are very happy to have them as part of the selection of wines that we have at the LCBO. At LCBO we import wines and spirits from 84 different countries and Italy is right at the top.”

In 2017, Canadians drank 467 million litres of wine, marking a 1.2% growth from the previous year. Of this, 30% was locally produced, 14% was imported from Italy and 13% from the US.

On Italian wine trends in Canada, Barbara Philip MW, from the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), added: “I think there are many trends but at the fore front are classic wines and indigenous white grape varieties. On top of knowing the trends, to export to Canada it is important for a producers to have an agent importer who really understands the market. Sometimes that means having 2 or 3 agents within Canada.”

According to Euromonitor International over the next five years wine sales in Canada are expected to grow 2.9% in volume and 3.8% in value. While sparkling wines will register the highest growth, white wines sales will continue to grow faster than red wines. In 2017, Italy exported 80 million litres of wine to Canada (up 9% on the previous year), and is the number one importer to Canada by volume and second only to France for value.

On the importance of the event, Kim added: “This seminar would have been a dream session for wine2wine, the wine business forum which gathers professionals at the end of the year when producers have more time on their hands. During Vinitaly producers are busier selling their wines and rightly so. However, we did not want them to miss out on this exceptional opportunity, since it was the very first time that the delegation travelled to Vinitaly.”

For an archived link to the livestream of the event, click here.

One Response to “Heads of six Canadian trade monopolies meet at Vinitaly”

  1. Liam Young says:

    What an embarrassment for Canada that the heads of the provincial monopolies go to Italy to generate business with exporters, but refuse to back inter-provincial free trade. Sad, really.

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