Canada’s Snack Food Industry
The Canadian snack food industry, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 31191, comprises establishments that are primarily engaged in salting, roasting, drying, cooking or canning nuts; processing grains or seeds into snacks; manufacturing peanut butter; or manufacturing potato chips, corn chips, popped popcorn, hard pretzels, pork rinds and similar snacks.
Snack foods have been one of the fastest growing product categories in the domestic market in recent years and are widely available in all retail channels across the country, including major chain grocery retailers, large format outlets, corner stores, drug stores, gas stations and vending machines as well as in movie theaters and at sporting events. This industry has been very responsive to consumer preferences for flavour, healthier products and convenience. The snack food industry has developed innovative products with new ingredients (such as hemp seeds, grains, and pulses), less salt, reduced fat, new flavours, and gluten-free options.
In 2012, 105 establishments were operating in Canada with the majority in Ontario (43), British Columbia (19), and Quebec (17). The industry generated revenues of $2.3 billion, and employed over 8,000 people. Production facilities making snack food products range in size from small to very large. The largest four firms account for 82% of the value of production. The industry is a net importer; Canada imported $676.7 million in snack food products in 2014, while $251.0 million was exported in the same year. The United States accounts for 90% of exports and the majority of imports come from the United States (85%), followed by Vietnam and Thailand.
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The following figures are in millions of Canadian dollars.
|Canadian market (imports and domestic shipments)||2,618.20|
|Sales of goods manufactured (exports and domestic shipments)||2,264.30|
Source: Statistics Canada
Between 2004 and 2012, sales of goods manufactured by the Canadian snack food industry increased 28.7% to $2.3 billion. Exports of snack food products grew at an average annual rate of 4.1% over the same period, while imports had an average annual growth rate of 11.2%. Imports as a percentage of the domestic market increased consistently from 12.5% in 2004 to 20.7% in 2012. Between 2004 and 2012, direct employment grew from 7,291 employees to 8,052. The domestic market is the industry’s most significant market, absorbing 91.6% of Canadian production. Demand for convenience foods in recent years has driven snack food sales and has generated growth both in the Canadian market and in export markets.
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|Sales of goods manufactured (in millions of Canadian dollars)||1,758.84||1,820.49||1,679.47||1,876.81||2,075.80||2,129.02||2,154.11||2,246.77||2,264.29|
|Employment (number of people)||7,291||7,107||6,975||7,139||7,433||7,635||7,809||7,931||8,052|
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.
Snack Food, 2004-2013
|Principal statistics [a]||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012/11||AAG [b]
|Employment total (number of employees)||7,291||7,107||6,975||7,139||7,433||7,635||7,809||7,931||8,052||1.5%|
|Employment – production (number of employees)||5,021||4,786||4,728||4,763||4,966||5,060||5,195||5,270||5,319||0.9%|
|Employment - administration (number of employees)||2,270||2,321||2,247||2,376||2,467||2,575||2,614||2,661||2,733||2.7%|
|Total revenue (millions $)||2,009||2,115||1,976||2,200||2,407||2,472||2,523||2,606||2,628||0.8%||3.6%|
|Revenue from goods manufactured (millions $)||1,759||1,820||1,679||1,877||2,076||2,129||2,154||2,247||2,264||0.8%||3.8%|
|Value-added, goods manufactured (millions $)||1,097||1,142||1,045||1,108||1,220||1,255||1,294||1,349||1,358||0.7%||4.1%|
|Value-added/worker, goods manufactured (millions $)||0.22||0.24||0.22||0.23||0.25||0.25||0.25||0.26||0.26|
|Value-added as % of revenue from goods manufactured||62.4%||62.7%||62.2%||59.0%||58.8%||59.0%||60.1%||60.0%||60.0%|
|Domestic market (millions $)||1,853.0||1,942.3||1,820.4||2,055.3||2,307.7||2,337.0||2,381.0||2,554.4||2,618.2||2.5%||5.0%|
|Global trade statistics [a]||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2013/12||AAG [b]
|Exports (millions $)||137.3||132.1||141.3||134.0||148.4||166.5||157.8||152.8||189.1||208.1||10.0%||7.0%|
|Exports as % of revenue from goods manufactured||7.8%||7.3%||8.4%||7.1%||7.2%||7.8%||7.3%||6.8%||8.4%|
|Imports (millions $)||231.4||253.9||282.1||312.5||380.4||374.5||384.7||460.4||543.0||591.6||8.9%||9.2%|
|Imports as % of domestic market||12.5%||13.1%||15.5%||15.2%||16.5%||16.0%||16.2%||18.0%||20.7%|
|Balance of trade (millions $)||−94.1||−121.8||−140.9||−178.5||−231.9||−208.0||−226.9||−307.6||−353.9||−383.5|
|Trade statistics with the United States [a]||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2013/12||AAG [b]
|Exports (millions $)||131.4||121.3||128.1||119.7||130.7||152.2||142.6||136.9||167.4||186.6||11.5%||7.4%|
|Imports (millions $)||186.7||206.8||231.5||264.9||324.7||322.6||329.5||399.2||464.1||505.5||8.9%||9.3%|
|Balance of trade (millions $)||−55.2||−85.5||−103.4||−145.3||−193.9||−170.4||−186.9||−262.3||−296.7||−318.9|
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 email@example.com.
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