2018 Annual Report

Top Brands

Represented Spirits

Through our affiliation with Pernod Ricard, we bring Canadians premium spirits catering to their appetite for unique brand experiences from around the world. Here’s how the top three brands performed.

Absolut Vodka

Absolut vodka remained a steady achiever, outperforming the vodka category once again despite an unusually challenging year brought on by heightened competition and the effects of lower ordering patterns as the LCBO normalized inventory levels built in the previous fiscal year in anticipation of threatened strike action.

Absolut Lime, introduced to Canada in time for summer 2017, lived up to our high expectations. The product, which uses all-natural ingredients and no added sugar, was exactly what consumers were looking for. By year end, it was the number one lime-flavoured vodka in the country and among the top 10 of all flavoured vodkas.

We continued to connect Absolut with its target market of influential young people, known as “progressive connectors”, through Absolut Nights programming. In fiscal 2018, this included partnering with community groups to celebrate emergent nightlife trends in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal. Absolut also became the official vodka of Live Nation, along with Ungava as the official gin, as part of a three-year agreement. More than 325,000 drinks are served annually at Live Nation’s Canadian venues and music festivals.

To demonstrate its commitment to equal love and the LGBTQ+ community, Absolut implemented more Pride activations than ever before. This included various activities in support of Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian-based charitable organization that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries and find a path to safety. Between the brand and Absolut drinkers, nearly $31,000 was raised for the charity.

556,000 9L cases shipped -9% compared to fiscal 2017 (results were negatively affected by the averted LCBO strike)

Absolut’s Kiss with Pride campaign was aimed at driving awareness of the fact that same-sex relationships are still illegal in 72 countries.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

The Irish whiskey category is growing strongly in Canada, and Jameson Irish whiskey is the clear leader. The brand benefits from a variety of creative, localized activations, innovations such as Jameson Caskmates, and strong endorsements from bartenders.

High-visibility, integrated St. Patrick’s Day activations in Toronto and Montréal were a big hit. As part of the program, Jameson partnered with the Toronto Transit Commission to wrap certain Queen and King Street streetcars in green and give free rides to passengers. We also invited Canadian indie band Hollerado to perform an acoustic set on board the streetcars while Jameson brand ambassadors handed out swag and maps to the best bars in the area.

225,000 9L cases shipped +19% compared to fiscal 2017

Jameson Caskmates is a modern whiskey aged in stout-seasoned oak barrels for a truly original finish.

The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch

Canadians’ taste for single malt Scotch whisky has shown no signs of waning. In particular, The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, with its introductory-level price point and taste profile, has been popular among new and younger consumers. Launched in Canada two years ago, Founder’s Reserve is now our best-selling malt whisky.

The brand was heavily supported through digital and social media, a strong brand ambassador program, and collaboration with liquor boards on retail tastings. For Father’s Day, consumers who purchased a bottle of The Glenlivet could go online to build their own personalized label and create a unique and memorable gift for dad.

68,000 9L cases shipped +16% compared to fiscal 2017

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve has quickly become a Canadian favourite.