Poll includes questions on retail privatization, expansion of spirits sales to other outlets and overall sentiment on current system

The majority of Pennsylvania consumers – both Democrats and Republicans – support major changes to the current government-run retail sale of wine and spirits in the state of Pennsylvania, according to a new poll released today by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

The poll, conducted by the Tarrance Group surveyed consumer attitudes on a range of issues related to state ABC stores.

Key findings include:

  • 64% favor or strongly favor a state constitutional amendment to end government retail sale of wine and spirits in the State of Pennsylvania
  • 76% favor or strongly favor allowing beer distributors and grocery/convenience stores to sell pre-mixed and ready-to-drink cocktails
  • 61% believe systems like in Ohio and West Virginia – where the state distributes wine and spirits but allows private businesses to sell these products – is the right system

“This poll makes it clear that Pennsylvania residents across the political spectrum are supportive of modernizing the retail sale of spirits and expanding the number of stores that carry these products,” said David Wojnar, senior vice president and head of state government relations at DISCUS. “With only 600 state stores, Pennsylvania lags behind other control states, and voters want change. We have long worked with control-state systems to ensure consumer needs are being met and are hopeful we can do the same in Pennsylvania.”

Act 39, signed into law in 2016, allowed the sale of wine in grocery stores but failed to allow spirits products the same market access.

“Spirits consumers should have the same opportunity to purchase their favorite distilled spirits products that wine and beer consumers do,” Wojnar added. “Allowing retail outlets that already sell beer and wine to also sell spirits products would be a great start towards answering consumer demand.”