Shortage of truth?

When I moved to Canada from Boston I went to the state-run liquor store to buy some tequila only to find that a 26 oz bottle was around $45. When I asked why the price was so high, the store staff told me that it was because of a worldwide shortage of tequila. When I was in California a few weeks later, the local BevMo store didn’t seem to be suffering from any shortage, with row upon row of 60 oz bottles for as low as $13.

Clearly there was no worldwide shortage of tequila; it is just an example of liquor price gouging. Even when the Canadian dollar was at par, a bottle of Patron that would be about $40 in the US was selling for $100 Canadian.

Today I saw this article about certain brands of scotch being pulled off the shelves in Canadian liquor stores:

NB Liquor’s spirits sales grew by 3.5 per cent last year to roughly $90 million. So Clendenning said it isn’t as if New Brunswickers aren’t drinking enough scotch, but the supplier is just trying to capitalize on more lucrative countries.

"There are more profitable markets in the world," he said. "I’m told there is a worldwide shortage of scotch that may be driving up these prices."

A price of a bottle of some of the blended scotches starts at $23 and the single-malt scotches went up to $80.

Once again, the dreaded world shortage.You would think that this would be headline news. But lo and behold, a quick Google search shows that the only news about a shortage is the above article. It’s a lot more likely that the more expensive scotches are being replace by those with a higher profit margin.


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