The in-store tasting requirements have been developed to ensure all participants are aware of their responsibilities. Before applying for in-store tastings and/or demonstrating at an in-store tasting, it is essential to read the entire document.

Participants are expected to have a full understanding of all the requirements. If you have any questions regarding the requirements, please contact the In-Store Tasting Administrator (ITA for clarification.


The In-Store Tasting Administrator (ITA)

The routine operation of the program is the responsibility of the ITA which is located at the LCBO Merchandising Division Head Office.

The ITA is the link between the supplier/agents and the stores for in-store tastings and provides the supplier/agent and the store with full details of all bookings through the online booking system.


The Supplier/Agent

The supplier/agent is responsible for ensuring that all in-store tastings are conducted in a socially responsible manner and in accordance with the current In-store Tasting Requirements.

The LCBO offers regular in-store tastings which typically take place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons/evenings, and/or Sunday afternoons.

Tastings may be conducted by:

  1. A qualified agency staff, or a third-party demonstrator at Stores that are A class or lower
  2. In selected stores, LCBO employees are also available to support your tasting
  3. At AA and AAA locations only LCBO employees may operate the tasting unless the product is produced in Ontario and the product will be demonstrated by an employee who works at the site of production (i.e., A winemaker or on-site specialist) or if the tasting is a pre-approved enhanced tasting event.


System Access and Applications

Agents may apply for in-store tastings by completing an online application.

To get access to the online booking system agents must submit a Trading Partner Access Request (TPAR) at this web location:

The In-store Tasting application must be made in accordance with the deadline dates which are listed on the bulletin board in the In-Store Tasting application. To keep up with any deadline updates you must look at the online bulletin board regularly.

The supplier/agent views all tastings booked for them by accessing the Recap Report online.

On review and acceptance of the bookings, a tasting may not be canceled by the supplier/agent without at least 6 weeks’ notice and the cancellation request must be completed prior to the period deadline in the system.


Selecting Demonstrator Type

Tastings may be conducted by:

  1. A qualified agency staff, or a third-party demonstrator at Stores that are A class or lower
  2. In selected stores, LCBO employees are also available to support your tasting
  3. At AA and AAA locations only LCBO employees may operate the tasting unless the product is produced in Ontario and the product will be demonstrated by an employee who works at the site of production (i.e. A winemaker or on-site specialist) or if the tasting is a pre-approved enhanced tasting event.
  4. A maximum of two demonstrators is permitted at a tasting.

Note: Enhanced events must include a food pairing component and be served by a person who holds a safe food handling certificate. There also must be other added components that make separate it from regular events. These components must be approved by the Events Team (Formerly Special Events) 9 weeks prior to the period deadline.

LCBO Employee Demonstrator

  1. Suppliers/agents wishing to arrange for LCBO employees to host in-store tastings must indicate this on the application.
  2. It may not always be possible to provide LCBO employees to conduct tastings and the agent will be advised if this is the case and the tasting will be removed from the application so they are not charged for the event.
  3. We ask that suppliers/agents provide a Brand Story sheet 5 weeks prior to the tasting or earlier. The store will reference this information when activating your event. More on the Brand Story can be found here.
  4. The stores will provide post-tasting feedback which includes key metrics such as how many people were served, how many units were sold during the period of the tasting, opening and closing numbers, and some additional notes about the store environment on the day and common customer comments. This will be sent to the person noted on the application following invoicing. If the contact information associated with your login information is incorrect please contact to have the information updated.
  5. The use of off-duty LCBO employees to conduct tastings on behalf of a supplier/agent is not permitted.
  6. LCBO employees are unable to serve food at tastings if you wish to have a food pairing, please plan for an enhanced tasting event using an external demonstration company.
  7. When selecting an LCBO employee to lead your tasting the price of the tasting includes all materials needed for the event including cups, ice, napkins, etc. but does not include any additional signage or POS material that may be requested.


Supplier or Third-Party Demonstrator Led Tastings

If a supplier/agent chooses to conduct the tasting using their staff or third-party demonstrators, it is their responsibility to ensure that the in-store tasting requirements are fully observed. The LCBO reserves the right to suspend and/or cancel a tasting if the requirements are not observed.

If third-party staff is used, the supplier must provide the ITA with the name, address, and telephone number of the company in advance of the tastings. The LCBO reserves the right to cancel tastings if they have concerns regarding the third party chosen to carry out the tastings.

If a supplier/agent wishes to conduct the tasting they must provide staff and all the necessary materials (plastic glasses, napkins, food, etc.) for each tasting. The LCBO will not provide anything other than the tasting bar and the product.

Execution Expectations

  1. All demonstrators (agency staff and third party) must meet all of the requirements established by the LCBO and be familiar with the products they are demonstrating.
  2. The agent/supplier is responsible for any damage caused by the demonstrator to store fixtures including the tasting bar.
  3. The demonstrator must clear and clean the tasting bar/table prior to and following the tasting event.
  4. We ask that the demonstrator remove and seal any garbage generated from the tasting when the event is complete.

Additional Notes:

The store will provide blank pricer cards for the demonstrator and ensure there is product available at the table when the demonstrator arrives in the store.

If the product requires chilling prior to the demonstrator’s arrival, please contact the store in advance.

The supplier/agent will contribute $25.00 to the Spirit of Sustainability for each tasting.

The supplier/agent will be invoiced at LCBO landed cost after the in-store tasting for any product used.


Product Selection and Quantities

  1. The supplier/agent may choose two products to demonstrate during an in-store tasting.
  2. In the case of low-alcohol products (7% alcohol/volume or less), three products may be requested for in-store tasting.
  3. The product must be listed in the store in order to apply for an in-store tasting and the stock used for the in-store tasting must come from store inventory.
  4. If it is a new product the agent must provide the ITA with the LCBO forced list of stores for the product via email. The email must contain the period requested, the LCBO number and name of the product, and the stores from the LCBO forced list where they would like to book tastings.
  5. If the product is no longer carried by the store at the time of the tasting, the Store Manager is not required to bring it in and may choose instead to substitute product(s) or cancel the tasting.
  6. In the event that a product is not available for tasting due to delays caused by the LCBO (e.g. new product listing or warehouse stock transfer) the LCBO may grant approval to conduct a tasting for another product, but will have no further liability of any kind to the Applicant.
  7. We ask that the agent contacts the store 15 days prior to the tasting to ensure that sufficient inventory is available or on order for the tasting.
  8. If for some reason an external demonstration company or agent is unable to attend a tasting and the tasting does not operate as a result the agent may be asked to move excess inventory from the store to alternate locations.
  9. The agent is responsible for all fees associated with a tasting if it is not canceled before the period deadline.


The Store Manager should have at least the following minimum quantities available at the start of an in-store tasting:

Picture of quanties

We ask that the supplier/agent or their demonstration/tasting company contact the Store Manager two (2) weeks prior to the tasting to confirm the scheduling of the tasting and ensure adequate stock availability.


Allocation of Tasting Logic

The system allocates based on predetermined logic; first, any products that have additional paid programming such as LTOs or End Aisle Displays. It then is based on a first come first serve basis. The ITA allocates every morning through the “pick-up” period (the week between the submission deadline and the final period deadline) at 9:30 am. You then have up until the end of the business day on the final deadline to decline any tastings you have been allocated.

Exceptions to allocation


Vintages Tastings

Vintage release products must be sampled on the day they are released in order to ensure there is sufficient inventory available on the day of the tasting. Please select “Y” in the field that asks if the tasting is a Vintages Release Tasting and follow the steps outlined in the system. The ITA will process your application prior to the deadline and select the date requested on your behalf.


Pre-paid programming

Any prepaid programming that includes tastings is scheduled in advance of the allocation deadline and receives the dates requested by marketing.


Celebrity Appearances or Special Requests

In cases where there is a visiting principle or celebrity who is going to be in a location for a period, we can make an exception to the allocation rule. Please send details of the circumstance to the ITA prior to the submission deadline.