The Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) will implement an upward price adjustment on Sunday, May 26. The prices of its regular and continuous- replenishment products will increase by an average of 0.7%. 

“Our teams were able to negotiate lower maritime transport costs, allowing us to limit the price increase we are announcing today, which is to the benefit of our customers,” said Jacques Farcy, President and Chief Executive Officer, SAQ. He added: “In other words, we’re keeping our prices fair and competitive, something that is an invaluable part of the SAQ customer experience. The depth of our product offering, along with the quality of our store associates’ expert advice, means that every customer will still be able to find a wine or spirit product to suit their expectations as well as their budget.”     

May 26 price adjustment to regular and continuous-replenishment products
Overall average price increase 0.7%
Number of products with stable prices 469
Number of products with price decreases 935
Average decrease -$0.35 (-1.5%)
Number of price increases 2,096
Average increase $0.53 (1.8%)


Value pick pricing maintained

After adding 30 new Value pick products, which retail for under $12, over the past year, the SAQ is maintaining its offering in this category, which now comprises 139 products. 

Factors influencing the price adjustments 

Moderate adjustment to the markup

The moderate markup adjustment that the SAQ announced this past February excluded wines that sell for $15 or less, which account for 41% of bottles that it sells. The adjusted markup on a $25 wine has resulted in an increase of 0.6%, and the impact will be the same for a  $45 bottle of spirits. This adjustment also comes into effect on Sunday, May 26. 

Higher production costs for suppliers

The SAQ’s suppliers are not immune to inflation; their costs have therefore increased. The SAQ received 1,377 upward-adjustment requests from suppliers and, following negotiations, proceeded with 814 price increases. 

Curbside recycling

To continue meeting its obligations toward Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), which oversees the financing of curbside recycling, the SAQ has revised the recycling component of its retail price-setting process. For products in containers other than  aluminum, the rate collected for recycling will increase by $0.01 per container, to $0.14 from $0.13. 

Lower maritime transport costs

In spite of geopolitical and climate-related disruptions, the shipping market is becoming more stable because of lower demand for imported goods and an increase in shipping lines’ capacity. This means that the cost of shipping goods has come down, which has had a favourable impact on the retail prices of products sold by the SAQ, to the benefit of its customers.

Increased excise duties on beverage alcohol

On April 1, the Government of Canada implemented a 2% annual increase in the excise duties on beverage alcohol. That increase is yet another factor influencing the price- adjustment process.