Montreal, October 30, 2023 - On Sunday, November 5, the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) will implement an average overall price increase of 0.7% on its regular and continuous replenishment products. The small size of this upward price adjustment is largely due to the SAQ’s success at keeping keep prices stable for more than 40% of these products.

In establishing its prices, the SAQ aims to maintain a balance between what is fair and competitive for customers and what market realities demand. The current high inflation rate is not a Quebec-only phenomenon but also affects the SAQ’s suppliers around the globe. However, market fluctuations are on the decline, which has led to a stabilization in price increase requests from producers. This enabled the SAQ’s price negotiation teams to limit the average overall price increase to less than 1% for continuous replenishment products. Including last June’s price adjustment, these products have seen their overall price increase 1.7% over a one-year period, despite the CPI in Quebec being at 4.8% in September.

November 5th price adjustment to regular and continuous replenishment products* (excluding products in 100 ml to 2 L aluminum containers)

Average overall increase 0.7%
Number of products with prices unchanged 1,221
Number of price decreases 87
Average decrease -$0.46 (-2%)
Number of price increases 1,877
Average increase $0.32 (1.2%)

*These products account for nearly 90% of the SAQ’s sales to consumers. Among the 1,877 products whose prices will increase, around 90 will not be adjusted upward until January 28, 2024, as they are currently on promotion.

Meeting Quebecers’ demand for affordable wines
At the time of its price adjustment in June, the SAQ announced that 30 new “value pick” products would be appearing on its stores’ shelves and on SAQ.COM. As of today, 18 of these products are available while the remaining 12 will be added to the product offer by year-end. When they are, the Value Picks category, which features products retailing for under $12, will have nearly 150 products.

It should be noted that the SAQ authorizes price increases only twice a year, in May and November, whereas price decreases are allowed on a continuous basis all year long.

Implementation of the expanded deposit system
To coordinate with the implementation of the expanded deposit system on November 1, the SAQ will, on that date, adjust the prices of the products it sells in 100 ml to 2 L aluminum containers. The elimination of selective collection fees will allow the prices of 213 products to be lowered. In response to requests submitted by SAQ suppliers, 22 products will see their prices rise. Effective Wednesday, November 1, the prices of products sold in aluminum containers will be adjusted downward an average 2.7%.

November 1st price adjustment to products in 100 ml to 2 L aluminum containers*

Average overall decrease -2.7%
Number of products with prices unchanged 16
Number of price decreases 213
Average decrease -$0.11 (-3.3%)
Number of price increases 22
Average increase $0.16 (3.1%)

*In accordance with the regulations governing the modernization of the Quebec deposit system, a 10-cent deposit amount will be added to the bottom of customers’ receipts. For more information about the expanded deposit system, the SAQ encourages you to contact the Quebec Beverage Container Recycling Association (QBCRA), the body designated to implement it, at the following link: QBCRA

Prices explained
To learn how prices are established at the SAQ and what factors cause them to fluctuate, listen to the Prices Explained episode of the SAQ podcast, Sous le bouchon (in French only), which makes the process clear and transparent.