alcohol ontario

People in Ontario embarrassed by the province's top selling alcohol during the pandemic

New data has emerged about the kinds of alcohol people in Ontario have been using to drown their sorrows over the course of the pandemic, and the results are resoundingly embarrassing, residents seem to think.

According to an analysis of LCBO figures conducted by the Star, released on Tuesday, seltzers have been the drink of choice for Ontarians during the health crisis by a landslide, the most popular among them by sales being Black Cherry White Claw and by longevity, Smirnoff Ice Berry Blast.

Did people want to be taken back to the simple fruity flavours of their underage drinking days? Were they looking for the ease and convenience of a pre-mixed drink as they gave up on life in general? Was the plan to keep oneself away from full-blown alcoholism by imbibing with a five per cent beverage rather than going straight to the liquor? Who knows.

But the numbers show that from February 2019 to September 2021, Black Cherry White Claw was the top seller, while Berry Blast stayed in the top five drinks sold at the LCBO for a whopping 24 months.

Twisted Tea's Original flavour, Nutrl's Lemon flavoured soda and White Claw Mango were also fan favourites across the province, followed by other flavours of White Claw, Mike's Hard Blue Freeze (wtf, guys), Cottage Springs Ontario Peach and Georgian Bay Gin Smash.

When looking at Toronto specficially, the numbers shift a bit, with Nutrl Soda Lemon being the most consistent pick, placing within the top five for the longest time (34 months, compared to just 22 months for Smirnoff Ice Berry Blast and 20 for Black Cherry White Claw).

Looking exclusively at pandemic months, there is a clear jump from plain ol' vodka and Nutrls to White Claw, which completely dominates with most units sold and highest revenue sales from March 2020 to September 2021, aside from a brief appearance by Hennessy from Dec. 9, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021.

Another interesting takeaway are some of the outliers, such as Baileys Irish Cream being among the top five during the winter, which experts speculated via the Star could be thanks to people adding it to their coffee during Zoom calls.

Lead photo by

LCBO


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