The Quebec market is the largest importing wine province in Canada. In 2016, imports valued at $640 million. Per capita, wine consumption has significantly increased by over 30% in the last decade averaging 23 Litres in 2015. Furthermore, consumers in Quebec prefer wine than any other alcoholic beverage, 43% of total alcoholic sales were wine-related compared to just 30% in Ontario. Finally, Quebecers are spending on average $326 on wine per capita versus $199 in Ontario. This can be attributed to the francophone and deeper European connections compared to other Canadian provinces. To conclude, the wine industry is important and growing at a fast pace in Quebec.
The purchase, distribution and sale of all alcoholic beverages in Quebec is controlled by the Societe des Alcools du Quebec (SAQ), which is a governmental controlled agency. Distribution is split into three channels:
1) SAQ stores - Responsible for 80% of sales across over 400 stores.
2) Grocery and Convenience stores - Bulk Wine
3) Private Orders - Wines which are not available at the SAQ stores, for restaurants and individuals.
Wines by Alexander does not import bulk wine so we can forget the second channel. Why would a producer want to focus on the SAQ Stores and/or Private Orders? To put it simply it really depends, which might seem vague, but bear with me. Certain products might not be a good fit and might get 'lost' within the SAQ stores. This along with production, price and diversity for restaurants are some of the other reasons we might recommend products are sold either in the SAQ Stores or through Private Orders. Many restaurants prefer that products are kept away from general distribution, to allow for a certain exclusivity on their wine. We will always discuss and recommend the best strategy, based on every product which is imported.
Wines by Alexander will also offer the following services:
1) Assists the producer to enter the Quebec market by acting as a local agent with knowledge of both all government regulations, market conditions and pricing structure
2) Selling strategy of all products offered in Quebec and how to maximize sales
3) Marketing of all products sold either through the SAQ and/or through Private Orders.
What makes Wines by Alexander different than every other agency in Quebec?
1) Knowledge - Alexander is currently studying to be accepted on the Master of Wine program
2) Focus on the next generation
3) The story behind every bottle
4) Reviews of all wines by Wine Journal | Points on Wine
5) Sommelier expert food pairings
Wines by Alexander is different because as well as assisting with government regulations and pricing structure, we will act as local knowledgable ambassadors who will put as much energy and passion about telling your story and selling your wine as you did when you made it. We look forward to hearing from you soon