THE SAQ, A PARTNER OF QUEBEC PRODUCERS
June 5, 2013
The SAQ is committed to promoting Quebec products and providing an outlet for them, but at a pace determined by the producers. The company works closely with the various producers’ associations and has obtained good results to date. Around 300 locally made alcoholic beverages, wines, ciders, meads, berry-based products and maple-based liqueurs are found on the shelves of SAQ stores. Their constantly growing sales rose an overall 13% this year. For wines alone, the increase was nearly 40%.
Several initiatives developed in cooperation with the various producers’ associations have been taken. First, Quebec products are now placed in outlets’ regular sections. For example, Quebec red wines are displayed with all other red wines. In addition, all wines and ciders have been assigned a taste tag, which makes choosing which product to buy easier.
Quebec products are also part of the SAQ’s merchandising programs. The Terroir Products promotional campaign during the Fête nationale du Québec is a good example.
Note, too, that it was in consultation with the associations that the SAQ set at 250 the number of outlets that would increase their showcasing of Quebec products. This gives the products sustained visibility even as it avoids overstraining the producers’ production and marketing capacity, which is currently unable to supply all points of sale.
Besides providing visibility on its shelves, the SAQ assists local artisans with their business development by, among other things:
- helping with Quebec wine certification, which guarantees production quality;
- organizing constructive meetings, such as those between producers and outlet teams;
- opening doors to analysis and quality management services for free testing of their products under development; and
- organizing trade missions for promoting their products and enhancing their practices regarding production techniques and approaches to farm tourism.
The SAQ supports this industry, which is focusing not only on quality but also on increasing production, improving marketing and expanding recognition. And the company contributes at each of these steps. The SAQ intends to continue its efforts to promote Quebec products and to do so in compliance with international agreements.