Canada's Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Industry

The Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food industry, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 3114, comprises establishments that are primarily engaged in manufacturing frozen fruit and vegetables, frozen entrées and side dishes including several ingredients (except seafood), and fruits and vegetables preserved by pickling, canning, dehydrating and similar processes.

Significance

Consumer interest in healthier food products is contributing to increased consumption of some categories of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Technology and innovation have benefited this industry, with dramatic improvements in food quality and value-added product formats that allow consumers to enjoy the full flavour and nutritional value of fruits or vegetables throughout the year. Technological changes have also facilitated the proliferation of high quality, innovative food products with fruits and vegetables forming major component, such as frozen dinners and entrées, pizzas, breakfast products, juices and soups.

Frozen potato products, mainly French fries, are Canada's leading fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food export, accounting for 38% of exports in 2014. Frozen blueberries were the sector's second leading export, representing 12% of exports.

Structure

In 2012, 491 establishments were operating in Canada with the majority in Ontario (211), Quebec (118), and British Columbia (71). The industry generated revenues of $6.2 billion and employed over 20,100 people in the same year. Canada is a net importer of fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food products, importing $3.9 billion in 2014 while exporting $2.6 billion. The United States accounts for 82% of exports and the majority of imports come from the United States (66%), followed by China, Brazil, and Mexico.

Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food products imports, exports and sales of goods manufactured (2012)
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The following figures are in millions of Canadian dollars.

Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food products imports, exports and sales of goods manufactured (2012)
Imports 3,355.00
Exports 2,392.90
Domestic shipments 3,763.70
Canadian market (imports and domestic shipments) 7,118.70
Sales of goods manufactured (exports and domestic shipments) 6,156.60

Source: Statistics Canada

Performance

Between 2004 and 2012, sales of goods manufactured by the Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food industry increased 5.6% from $5.8 billion to $6.2 billion. Over the same period, exports of fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food products grew at an average annual rate of 2.4% and imports experienced an average annual growth rate of 7.0%. Imports as a percentage of the domestic market climbed steadily from 33.6% in 2004 to 47.1% in 2012, while direct employment declined from 24,126 employees to 20,107 employees.

Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and speciality food products sales of goods manufactured and employment (2004-2012)
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Canadian fruit and vegetable preserving and speciality food products sales of goods manufactured and employment (2004-2012)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Sales of goods manufactured (in millions of Canadian dollars) 5,830.37 5,445.50 5,815.66 5,885.21 5,796.60 6,037.46 6,022.57 6,067.06 6,156.56
Employment (number of people) 24,126 21,308 21,182 19,599 20,263 21,105 22,111 20,166 20,107

Source: Statistics Canada

Note: The manufacturing statistics cited in this profile are taken from Statistics Canada's Annual Survey of Manufactures and Logging, which lags behind the current date by at least 2 years.

Fruit & vegetable preserving & specialty food manufacturing, 2004-2013

Table showing principal statistics in the canadian fruit & vegetable preserving & specialty food industry for 2004-2012
Principal statistics [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012/11 AAG [b]
2007-12
Employment total (number of employees) 24,126 21,308 21,182 19,599 20,263 21,105 22,111 20,166 20,107 −0.3% 0.5%
Employment – production (number of employees) 19,256 16,187 16,013 14,846 15,203 15,991 16,663 14,858 14,592
Employment - administration (number of employees) 4,870 5,121 5,169 4,753 5,060 5,114 5,448 5,308 5,515 3.9% 3.0%
Total revenue (millions $) 6,651 6,427 6,401 6,670 6,608 6,935 6,986 6,645 6,754 1.6% 0.3%
Revenue from goods manufactured (millions $) 5,830 5,446 5,816 5,885 5,797 6,037 6,023 6,067 6,157 1.5% 0.9%
Value-added, goods manufactured (millions $) 2,445 2,207 2,410 2,651 2,615 2,596 2,519 2,561 2,667 4.1% 0.1%
Value-added/worker, goods manufactured (millions $) 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.18 0.17 0.16 0.15 0.17 0.18 6.0% 0.5%
Value-added as % of revenue from goods manufactured 41.9% 40.5% 41.4% 45.0% 45.1% 43.0% 41.8% 42.2% 43.3%
Domestic market (millions $) 5,794 5,550 6,045 6,072 6,185 6,609 6,692 6,787 7,119 4.9% 3.2%
Domestic penetration 66.4% 63.1% 62.5% 59.6% 55.8% 56.9% 59.0% 55.9% 52.9%

Note:

  • [a] Statistics Canada, Annual survey of manufactures and logging (ASML) (note there is at least a 2 year lag in ASML figures)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate
Table showing global trade statistics in the canadian fruit & vegetable preserving & specialty food industry for 2004-2013
Global trade statistics [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013/12 AAG [b]
2008-13
Exports (millions $) 1,985.2 1,944.8 2,035.4 2,268.5 2,347.7 2,275.0 2,076.1 2,272.2 2,392.9 2,479.0 3.6% 1.1%
Exports as % of revenue from goods manufactured 34.0% 35.7% 35.0% 38.5% 40.5% 37.7% 34.5% 37.5% 38.9%
Imports (millions $) 1,949.3 2,049.3 2,265.0 2,455.4 2,736.3 2,846.8 2,745.8 2,991.8 3,355.0 3,543.6 5.6% 5.3%
Imports as % of domestic market 33.6% 36.9% 37.5% 40.4% 44.2% 43.1% 41.0% 44.1% 47.1%
Balance of trade (millions $) 36.0 −104.5 −229.6 −186.9 −388.6 −571.8 −669.7 −719.5 −962.1 −1,064.6 10.7% 22.3%

Note:

  • [a] Industry Canada trade data online (Statistics Canada data)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate
Table showing trade statistics with the United States in the canadian fruit & vegetable preserving & specialty food industry for 2004-2013
Trade statistics with the United States [a] 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013/12 AAG [b]
2008-13
Exports (millions $) 1,626.8 1,556.1 1,617.6 1,784.7 1,896.1 1,835.6 1,661.7 1,780.9 1,914.7 2,049.9 7.1% 1.6%
Imports (millions $) 1,256.0 1,311.1 1,427.7 1,569.8 1,722.0 1,833.4 1,749.4 1,866.6 2,156.4 2,321.3 7.6% 6.2%
Balance of trade (millions $) 370.7 245.0 189.9 214.9 174.1 2.1 −87.7 −85.7 −241.6 −271.4

Note:

  • [a] Industry Canada trade data online (Statistics Canada data)
  • [b] Average annual growth rate

Contact us

For more information about Canada's food industry, read Significance of the Food and Beverage Processing Industry in Canada or contact the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate at sdad-ddas@agr.gc.ca.

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