The challenges that await Canada’s beer economy
Beer remains a key cog in Canada’s economic engine, even if the country is consuming less of it, according to a new study released Monday.
The Conference Board of Canada revealed that beer consumption in the country has declined 10 per cent over the past decade in its study ‘Brewing up Benefits: The Economic Footprint of Canada’s Beer Economy.’
However, the same study found that Canada’s beer economy – everything from the grains used to make it, to the people needed to serve and sell it – contributed $13.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2016 and supported nearly 149,000 Canadian jobs.
“While a variety of demographic, social, and economic factors have caused beer consumption on a per capita basis and exports of Canadian beer to decline,” the report said, “the beer economy continues to contribute significantly to Canada’s economic and fiscal prosperity and provide employment opportunities for many Canadians across the country.”
The number of jobs supported by Canada’s beer economy has dipped 8 per cent compared to a 2013 Conference Board report, which the study attributes to softer domestic sales and exports as well as an uptick in market share for imported beers.
However, the study did find that the provinces that had a large footprint in both the production and distribution of beer benefitted the most on the jobs front. In Quebec, for example, of the 43,000 jobs related to the beer industry, 84 per cent are believed to be tied to local beer activity.
“In most cases, provinces or territories that have a high share of beer economy jobs supported through local beer activity tend to also have significant brewing capacity and/or more diversified economies, which allows more of the supply chain needs to be met within,” the Conference Board said.