Irish gin producers eye export opportunities in Canadian market

January 14, 2019

Three Irish gin producers are to be listed this week for sale by LCBO, which retails and distributes alcoholic beverages in Ontario, as the Irish gin category begins to make a splash in the Canadian market.

 LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) has a monopoly of alcohol off-trade sales in Ontario, the province where 40 per cent of the Canadian population lives. Ontario is the largest controlled market for alcohol sales in the world and LCBO is the largest buyer of alcohol in the world.

 The news follows a successful trade mission to Canada last year, led by Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food & The Marine. 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. It also reformed provincial liquor board levels on imported spirits, which has helped the pricing of premium Irish gins in Canada.

During the trade mission, Minister Creed, at the request of ABFI, asked the President of LCBO to consider listing Irish gin. This request by the Minister and follow-up lobbying by ABFI resulted in the decision by 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
  • Glendalough Gin

Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) said:

“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 per cent 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.”