About liquor in Manitoba*
Manitoba’s liquor industry is a mix of both public and private retail, with approximately 65 Liquor Marts, 232 Hotel Beer Vendors, 171 Liquor Vendors and 8 Specialty Wine Stores contributing annually to approximately $800 million dollars in sales.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) oversees the gaming, liquor and cannabis industries in Manitoba.
- Administers and enforces the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act that govern pricing, importation, storage and distribution of liquor in the province; and
- Collects a markup from the sale of liquor and remits it to the Provincial Government.
- In 2018, MBLL contributed more than $283 million dollars in net income from the sale of liquor to the Province of Manitoba.
*Statistics quoted are as of November 7, 2019
How do I introduce new products into Manitoba?
New products are introduced into Manitoba by liquor agency representatives, manufacturers and suppliers in three ways:
1. Call for Listing Program
A scheduled process that identifies a specific product required to enhance the overall corporate assortment while supporting Liquor Operations strategic objectives and annual category strategies.
2. Innovative Products Program
An unscheduled process designed to enhance the speed to market for new and innovative products while supporting strategic objectives and category development.
New products introduced into the corporate assortment through this program are one or more of the following:
- Highly recognized brands or emerging product lines
- Reflect trends locally and abroad
- Generate a sense of excitement and consumer appeal
- Demonstrate trending styles through flavour enhancements
- Unique packaging
- Introduce new varietals to the market
- Exhibit leading edge manufacturing methods
3. Assortment Enhancement Program
A philosophy designed to enhance communication between the Category Management team and industry representatives that will allow for an open and efficient process to collect and source Distinctions, Allocations, Bordeaux Futures and One Time purchase opportunities in support of a shopper centric retail model.
For more information regarding listing opportunities visit MBLL Partners.
Labelling and packaging requirements
What are the labelling and packaging requirements in Manitoba?
All liquor products sold in Manitoba must meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency labeling regulations.
For more information regarding CFIA labeling visit Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Laboratory testing requirements
What are the laboratory testing requirements in Manitoba?
The Supplier represents and warrants (and it is a condition hereof) that the beverage alcohol described in each Purchase Order complies with the requirements of Health Canada and the Food and Drugs Act & Regulations (Canada) and further warrants and certifies that the beverage alcohol does not contain any contaminants, chemical or otherwise, or foreign materials which render the product unacceptable by Canadian standards.
What components make up the price of liquor in Manitoba?
Manitoba operates under a supplier driven pricing model, where suppliers determine the retail prices of their products.
The retail price includes:
- Suppliers invoice price
- Container deposits and recycling fees
- Provincial markup
- Federal customs and excise duties (as applicable) and the GST
- Commercial consideration on import products
For more information, visit MBLL’s Pricing Information Manual.
Sales channels and distribution
How does the sale and distribution of liquor products work in Manitoba?
- MBLL is the legal importer of record for liquor imported into Manitoba.
- MBLL operates a central distribution centre which receives, warehouses and distributes product throughout the province that was purchased from all over the globe. In addition, there are three beer distributors that are authorized to import, store and distribute beer.
- Liquor Marts receive their inventory requirements through a centralized model that forecasts and distributes product daily.
- Liquor Vendors, Hotel Beer Vendors, Licensees and Specialty Wine Stores purchase their inventory requirements from MBLL through an on-line ordering system or through a call centre who can place orders with any distributor. These products are also distributed throughout the province daily.
- Most liquor products are shipped to retailers from MBLL’s distribution centre, however, the majority of beer is purchased and shipped directly from one of several private beer distributors in Manitoba.
- Retailers sell these products to consumers. MBLL pays the designated payee (manufacturer, supplier or agency) for their products upon receipt. MBLL also collects the provincial liquor markup as well as any federal liquor taxes and levies.
Marketing and promotion policies
What are the rules for the marketing and promotion of liquor products in Manitoba?
Liquor advertising and marketing practices in Manitoba promote moderate, safe and legal consumption.
The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA) oversees these practices and has developed a guide to assist Manitoba businesses to meet these standards when advertising and marketing their products and services.
For more information, refer to Liquor Advertising and Marketing Practices.
Do I need a liquor licence to sell liquor in Manitoba?
Yes, to sell or supply liquor in Manitoba, you must have a liquor licence.
Liquor store licences are issued to MBLL for a Liquor Mart or to a business entering into an agreement with MBLL for a liquor vendor or duty-free store.
- Liquor Marts are operated by MBLL and include Liquor Mart Express stores located in other retail environments.
- Liquor vendors are located in rural areas without Liquor Marts. These are established through written agreement with MBLL that authorizes the liquor vendor to sell on their behalf.
- Duty-free stores are authorized through written agreement with MBLL to sell liquor at Winnipeg’s international airport and crossing points on the border between Manitoba and the United States.
Terms and Conditions
Liquor store licensees must comply with the terms and conditions set by the LGCA. This includes our general retail terms and conditions as well as the specific terms and conditions for your licence.
Hotel Beer Vendor:
This licence is available to hotel operators and authorizes the sale of beer, beer products and other types of liquor. The retail beer vendor must be located in a hotel operated by the licensee, on a building located on the same land as the hotel, or on land adjacent to the hotel such that the hotel and beer vendor operate as a single establishment.
To be eligible, hotel operators must operate a set numbers of guest rooms, as follows:
- at least 40 rentable guest rooms if the hotel is in Winnipeg or Brandon;
- at least 20 rentable guest rooms if the hotel is in a municipality with 8,000 people or more;
- at least 10 rentable guest rooms if the hotel is in a municipality with between 2,500 and 8,000 people; or
- at least 4 rentable guest rooms if the hotel is in a municipality with less than 2,500 people.
A retail beer vendor can only sell product purchased from MBLL.
Specialty Wine Store:
Legislation states that a maximum of eight specialty wine stores are authorized to operate in Manitoba to sell wine and wine-based products. No licences are currently available for this licence type.
Terms and Conditions
Specialty wine store licensees must comply with the terms and conditions set by the LGCA. This includes our general retail terms and conditions as well as those specific to specialty wine stores.
All licensees must also comply with legislation, regulations and any requirements or conditions placed on the licence.
For more information, visit Liquor, Gaming & Cannabis Authority of Manitoba.
How do I obtain a liquor licence?
To obtain a liquor licence, submit a completed application to LGCA, along with the application fee and supporting documents. For more information on the requirements for each type of licence and the steps to apply, visit LGCA – How to Apply.
Relevant legislation, regulations and policies
What rules apply to me?
All activities related to the sale, consumption, importation, manufacture, possession, storage and distribution/use of liquor in Manitoba must be undertaken in accordance with the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Act and the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act and LGCA policies, terms and conditions related to their licence.
Who can I contact for more information?
If you have any questions or would like more information, contact Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries.