Less than three months after revising its prices downward for some 1600 bottles of wine, the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) announced on Friday that it will lower their cost once more. In a notice published on its website, the SAQ indicated that the bottles concerned will cost at least $0.40 less than before, which is in addition to the $0.50 reduction introduced in November. The SAQ states that these changes respond to a request expressed by customers.
The good performance in the second quarter and during the holidays also allowed prices to fall immediately, according to the crown corporation. In the second quarter, which ended in September, the SAQ posted a 7.5% increase in net income. The price drop included bottles from Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe.
New Prices to Take Effect Immediately
The new prices will be in effect starting Wednesday. At the end of last October, the SAQ had announced that it would lower the cost of 1600 bottles of wine in “a first step to reduce wine prices,” said finance minister Carlos Leitao. “The SAQ continues to act prudently and rigorously in its approach to reducing wine prices,” he assured in the notice published Tuesday.
More Ways to Buy Wine Than Ever Before
Meanwhile Quebecers can now buy wine from their local grocery store. “As expected, several wines from Quebec will finally be on the grocery shelves” says Mr. Quirion, president of the Association des Vignerons du Québec. “With the law on the development of the industry of artisanal alcoholic beverages, the door to the sale of Quebec craft wines in grocery stores is now open for good and gives consumers privileged access to their production!”
The move is part of new regulations from Bill 88 which is aimed at giving small wineries more economic incentive and market share. Prior to the new changes, Quebec wine was only available for purchase in wineries and SAQs.
“It was essential to modernize our legislation in order to support artisans, by opening doors to new points of sale that will allow them to shine,” said Carlos Leitao. “It’s a big gift for consumers.”
Wine Clubs Are Another Alternative to the Liquor Store
Wine clubs are also becoming more popular across Canada and the U.S. With increased competition, wineries have become more focused on selling direct to the consumer (DtC). With incentives like free bottles, winery tours and reduced prices, wine lovers are ditching the traditional stores for a more curated experience. But the most obvious benefit of joining a wine club is that they deliver. Even some of the great wineries in the U.S. offer shipping to Canada. And, many Canadian wine clubs will also ship to the U.S.
With options to buy local wine at grocery stores and the increasing popularity of wine clubs, Quebecers now have more options when it comes to their favorite wines and it will be interesting to see what further progress is made.
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