Whisky Remain Canada's Favourite Spirits in 2008

    TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Spirits Canada today confirmed that
beverage alcohol sales data from across the country indicated that Whisky
remained the largest selling spirits category in calendar 2008, representing
more than 28% of overall spirits sales.
    With 3 out of every 4 bottles of whisky sold being Canadian Whiskies,
Canada far outsells whiskies from Scotland, Ireland and the United States.
    Vodka and Rum sales, however, continue to close the gap with whiskies and
now represent 26% and 19% of overall spirits sales respectively.
    Spirits categories enjoying the largest percentage growth rates last year
included Irish Whiskey (+11%), Tequila (+7%) and Vodka (+5%).
    Overall, the total volume of spirits grew by 1.1% in line with Statistic
Canada's estimated population growth (1.2%).
    "Given the sharp economic downturn over the last quarter of the year, we
are certainly pleased and relieved that spirits sales continue to grow here in
Canada", explained Mr. Jan H. Westcott, President and CEO of Spirits Canada.
"Canada actually only represents about 30% of overall sales for Canadian
spirits producers, with the vast majority of production destined for
international markets, so we have to keep a close eye on all our key markets."
    "The United States represents over 80% of the Spirits Industry's foreign
sales and as such is incredibly important to the fiscal health of our local
manufacturing plants and unfortunately a combination of the U.S. economic
crisis and the volatility of the Canadian dollar have conspired to wreck havoc
on these exports", stated Mr. Westcott.
    The value of Canadian spirits exports to the United States declined by
15% ($60 million) in the first 11 months of 2008.

    Spirits Canada is the only national trade association representing the
interests of the Canadian Distilled Spirits Industry.

    Table 1: Summary Canada Domestic Sales Volume (9 Litres cases)

                                  12 months ending December 31
                                        2007              2008

    Canadian Whisky                3,630,885         3,578,503
    Scotch Whisky                    915,923           901,750
    Irish Whiskey                     52,973            58,689
    American Whiskey                 226,523           239,851
    Sub Total Whiskies             4,826,304         4,778,793
    Vodka                          4,229,725         4,453,144
    Rum                            3,141,251         3,202,944
    Liqueurs                       2,742,203         2,696,484
    Gin                              761,078           753,134
    Brandy                           639,370           624,196
    Tequila                          223,346           238,747
    Others                           214,202           221,390

    Grand Total                   16,777,479        16,968,832
    Source: Spirits Canada/ Association of Canadian Distillers sales

    Table 2: Summary Canadian Spirits Exports to the U.S. (Value in CND $)

                                11 months ending November 30th
                                        2007              2008

    Total Spirits Exports       $384,666,000      $324,690,000
    Source: Statistics Canada

For further information:

For further information: Mr. Jan H. Westcott, President & CEO, Spirits
Canada, (416) 626-0100, Cell: (416) 707-8851

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