Wine will be on Ontario grocery shelves from October 28

wine in storesOntario has selected the first grocers that could sell both domestic and imported wine inside up to 70 grocery stores across the province, increasing convenience and choice for consumers.

The winning grocers from across Ontario were selected via a competitive bidding process held by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

The sale of wine in grocery stores is scheduled to begin October 28, 2016.

Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, said: “The changes to wine retailing in Ontario will help wine producers access a new retail channel, enable local grocers to expand their business and allow consumers greater convenience and choice. Being able to pick up wine alongside food offers more convenience for shoppers. It also provides consumers with greater selection of local Ontario wines as well as wines from across the country and around the world.”

Reflecting a mix of independent and large grocers and geographic representation to ensure fairness, the successful grocers are:

  • Canex Canadian Forces Exchange System
  • Coppa’s Fresh Market
  • Farm Boy 2012 Inc.
  • Fresh Market Foods
  • Highland Farms Inc.
  • Loblaws Inc.
  • Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.
  • Metro Ontario Inc.
  • Sobeys Capital Inc.
  • Starsky’s Fine Foods Hamilton Inc.
  • Uxbridge Foods Inc.
  • Wal-mart Canada Corp.
  • Yummy Market Inc.

While offering consumers more convenience and choice, Ontario maintains a strong commitment to social responsibility. By law, these grocers will have to abide by the requirements for the safe sale of alcohol overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), including designated sales areas and standard hours of sale, limitations on package sizes and alcohol content and staffing and social responsibility training requirements. Ontario is also developing a comprehensive alcohol policy to promote the responsible sale and use of alcohol.

  • Eventually, up to 450 grocery stores will be authorized to sell beer and cider and, of these, up to 300 may also sell wine.
  • Up to 70 existing winery retail stores that operate just outside a grocery store’s checkout will also be permitted to operate inside the store and share the checkout. These “wine boutiques” will broaden their assortment to sell wines made by other Ontario producers, and will be located at grocery stores that sell beer. These wine boutiques will be permitted to begin operating this fall, at the same time as wine is introduced to grocery stores.
  • Sales of beer in grocery stores started in December 2015. Between December 2015 and the second week of August 2016, grocers received more than 532,000 cases of beer from the LCBO, amounting to net sales of approximately $24 million.
  • Allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores across the province follows the final recommendations made by the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets. Other recent changes to beverage alcohol retailing in Ontario include the sale of beer in grocery stores last December, cider this June, and online shopping at


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