Holiday 'spirits' to set record sales of wine, beer, alcohol in December: report

TORONTO – A new report says sales of wine, beer and spirits are likely to hit a record high this holiday season and also on an annual basis.

The report from BMO Capital Markets says alcohol sales typically surge more than 40 per cent above the monthly average in December, making it the highest volume sales month.

The average Canadian adult spent just over $85 last December on alcohol, a figure that translates into about one bottle of spirits, about three bottles of wine and 27 bottles of beer.

BMO says that figure is expected to increase this year as annual alcohol sales in Canada are on track to top $19 billion this year, about $700 million higher than in 2011.

The report says Quebecers have shown the most pronounced increase in holiday spending on alcohol, with sales rising about 65 per cent above average in December.

Ontarians are next with a 45 per cent increase.