Jun 05, 2018

Ontarians of all Political Stripes Seek Greater Alcohol Convenience & Availability

Authored by:

David Coletto

David Coletto

Ihor Korbabicz

Ihor Korbabicz

This ONPulse post is sponsored by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). While the RCC provided funding and subject matter direction, question design and analysis was conducted entirely independently by Abacus Data researchers.

Data from our latest ONPulse survey finds that Ontario voters of all stripes support loosening restrictions when it comes to shopping for alcohol. Our scan of the data makes two points immediately clear:

  1. Ontarians are quite pleased they can purchase beer beyond The Beer Store/LCBO.
  2. They are enthusiastic for changes to their alcohol retail system.

Having been in field surveying the province for the last week (May 28th - June 4th ) we find the majority of Ontarians (68%) support all grocery stores being able to sell beer and wine.


Ontarians are likewise interested in being able to purchase beer in greater volume. When asked if they support or oppose being able to purchase larger packages like 12s or 24s of beer at the grocery store, a still greater proportion of the public supports the proposition (73%).


While one in five Ontarians are unsure, more believe private retailers like grocery stores should be able to sell beer and wine online like the LCBO and Beer Store can. Half (49%) support the proposition while only 30% oppose. This is not just a millennial desire – consumers of all age brackets tend to be more supportive of online availability than opposed.


Age aside, clear majorities of every voter group are looking for greater choice and convenience when it comes to alcohol sales – even NDP & Liberal voters.


We’ve discussed many times on this blog how this has been a campaign absent big issues or ideas save one: the clear desire for change. Likely, if tracked against other issues, alcohol convenience measures would not score highly as a priority compared to more pressing issues like jobs, the economy, and healthcare. Regardless, modernizing and expanding the alcohol retail system around price, volume, and where consumers can purchase their beer and wine is a clear desire of voters’. Should an incoming government wish to signal it is in touch with the desires and preferences of the average voter, revisiting the current system may be a good place to start.

About the survey

Part of this survey was conducted online with 969 Ontario residents aged 18 and over from June 1st-4th, 2018. An earlier wave was conducted online with 1675 Ontario residents aged 18 and over from May 28th to 30th, 2018. In each case, a random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Ontario's population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Access more, more often

Subscribe to follow driving factors, receive customized insights and research findings that help provide important context along the 28 day journey to Queen's Park.

Never miss an update.

Join the ONPulse mailing list for updates as they occur — you can unsubscribe any time: