(July 28/15) The long-awaited introduction of Miller Lite into the Canadian market comes with an added attraction to Ontario bars and restaurants: parity pricing.
Restaurants Canada has been fighting to stop Ontario from allowing brewers to charge licensees more than retail for beer. This inequity results in 30% higher prices for licensees, which translates to $75 million a year in extra costs.
Recent changes by the Ontario government do little to help. They will save the industry $5 million, and only help licensees that buy less than 250 cases a year.
SAB Miller launched its Canadian division on April 1, and also lowered the price of its Miller Genuine Draft brand, resulting in significant savings for licensees. We commend the company for addressing this long-standing disparity.
Last summer, Restaurants Canada worked with Brick Brewing to offer the Waterloo craft beer brand to licensees at parity pricing.