President’s Choice Founder Dave Nicol Dies at Age 73

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TORONTO, ON – Dave Nicol, the Canadian marketing guru best known from his stint as President and spokesperson for Loblaws in the 1980s and early 1990s, has died at age 73.

While the iconic President’s Choice brand that he founded was – and still is – used primarily as a label for grocery products sold at Loblaws stores, it is also a well-known beer brand available in several Canadian provinces.

Introduced in 1992 via the Brewers Retail chain (now known as The Beer Store) in Ontario, the President’s Choice beers were among the first discount beer brands in Canada. Initially brewed under contract at Lakeport Brewing in Hamilton, production of the brands later moved to Labatt, and then to Brick Brewing in Waterloo where they continue to be brewed today.

Following his departure from Loblaws in 1993, Nicol joined soft drink maker Cott Corporation where he launched another discount beer line – Dave Nicol’s Personal Selection –  in late 1994. Teaming up again with Lakeport, the brand was designed as a direct competitor to the President’s Choice brands, using similar packaging and what were claimed to be the original recipes that were not passed on to Labatt. While initially successful, the line was discontinued with Nichol’s departure from Cott in 1997.

Interestingly, Nicol himself was not a beer drinker.

[Photo of Dave Nicol from the Toronto Star]

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