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Product Launch Analysis – Honey as an ingredient in Canada

Note: This report includes forecasting data that is based on baseline historical data.

Executive summary

Honey production in Canada fell 15.4% from a year earlier to 80.4 million pounds in 2019 in the wake of a cold, wet spring and summer on the Prairies. This was its lowest level in seven years

From January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020, there were 1,200 products launched in Canada that contained honey as in ingredient. Of these 1, 200 product releases, 1,108 were categorized as food products, 82 were categorized as drink products, while the remaining 10 were categorized as pet food products.

From the prescribed period (January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020), snacks (323), breakfast cereals (153), bakery (147), sauces & seasonings (102) and processed fish, meat and egg products (89) were the top five categories launching products containing honey as an ingredient in the Canadian market.

Honey was the fourth largest segment of sweet spreads attaining Can$137.1 million in retail sales in 2019, declining in growth by 2.9% from Can$145.5 million in 2017. Honey, also declined in volume by 7.3% from 14.3 tonnes in 2017 to 12.3 tonnes in 2019.

The top three distribution channels of new products launches with honey as an ingredient were through supermarkets (56.0%), followed by mass merchandise/hypermarket (21.5%) and natural/health food store (7.4%) from January 2016 to October 2020.

The top (five) companies who launched new products containing honey as an ingredient in Canada between January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020 were Loblaws who launched 62 products (5.2% market share), followed by PepsiCo who launched 49 products (4.1% market share), General Mills who launched 45 products (3.8% market share, Walmart who launched 42 products (3.5% market share) and Overwaitea Food who launched 40 products (3.2% market share).

Sector overview

Honey production in Canada fell 15.4% from a year earlier to 80.4 million pounds in 2019 in the wake of a cold, wet spring and summer on the Prairies. This was its lowest level in seven years.

In Alberta, the largest honey-producing province, production fell 35.0% to 25.1 million pounds, the lowest level in the province since 2000. Production was also down in Manitoba (−1.9%) and Saskatchewan (−1.4%). Since 2000, about four-fifths of the annual honey production in Canada has come from these three Prairie provinces.

Nationally, the total value of honey sold was down 13.8% year over year to $173.0 million in 2019, its lowest level in three years due to lower yields.

The number of beekeepers in Canada fell by 317 from a year earlier to 10,344 in 2019. Over half of the beekeepers in Canada were located in British Columbia (2,763) and Ontario (2,506).

Bees in British Columbia and Ontario are valued more for their pollination of fruits and vegetables than for their honey production. In fact, the 5,269 beekeepers in these two provinces combined produced less than half the amount of honey produced by the 1,474 beekeepers in Alberta in 2019.

The number of bee colonies in Canada was down 2.1% from a year earlier to 773,182 in 2019. (Statistics Canada, 2019

New products containing honey

From January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020, there were 1,200 products launched in Canada that contained honey as in ingredientFootnote 1. Of these 1, 200 product releases, 1,108 were categorized as food products, 82 were categorized as drink products, while the remaining 10 were categorized as pet food products.

From the prescribed period (January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020), snacks (323), breakfast cereals (153), bakery (147), sauces and seasonings (102) and processed fish, meat and egg products (89) were the top five categories launching products containing honey as an ingredient in the Canadian market. The top five categories were further sub-categorized as follows:

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 15 categories, from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
Category 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 (January to October) Total
Snacks 94 38 83 60 48 323
Breakfast cereals 55 23 32 23 20 153
Bakery 44 22 31 24 26 147
Sauces and seasonings 29 22 12 8 31 102
Processed fish, meat and egg products 25 24 17 8 15 89
Chocolate confectionery 18 22

12

16 14 82
Sweet spreads 13 4 5 9 24 55
Sugar and gum confectionery 11 7 3 28 4 53
Meals and meal centers 6 9 10 6 6 37
Dairy 9 7 2 7 0 25
RTDs 1 1 5 11 4 22
Desserts and ice cream 6 4 5 1 4 20
Alcoholic beverages 4 4 3 4 1 16
Juice drinks 1 4 2 6 1 14
Pet food 2 3 1 1 3 10
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200

Source;Mintel, 2020

In Canada, new variety/range extension (421), new packaging (416) and new products (296) were leading launch types of honey as an ingredient in products from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020.

Of the three leading launch types, new variety/range extension had the largest decline in compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.1% as the amount of launch types decreased from 127 in 2016 to 66 as of October 31, 2020, followed by new packaging with a CAGR of 11.9% as amount of launch types decreased from 111 to 67, during the same period.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by launch type, from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Launch type 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 (January to October) Total
New Variety/Range Extension 127 81 84 63 66 421
New Packaging 111 68 92 78 67 416
New Product 83 50 39 66 58 296
Relaunch 10 7 17 15 13 62
New Formulation 2 0 1 1 1 5
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200

Source: Mintel, 2020

Market segmentation of honey in Canada

Retail sales of sweet spreads in Canada were valued at Can$896.2 million in 2019, representing a growth of 1.3% from Can$872.9 million in 2017. Honey was the fourth largest segment of sweet spreads attaining Can$137.1 million in retail sales in 2019, declining in growth by 2.9% from Can$145.5 million in 2017.

Retail volume of sweet spreads in Canada reached 123.1 tonnes in 2019, representing 1.4% decline from 126.7 tonnes in 2017. Honey, as the fourth largest sweet spread, also declined in volume by 7.3% from 14.3 tonnes in 2017 to 12.3 tonnes in 2019.

Canada - Sweet spreads: Retail market segmentation by value, Can$ (millions)
Segment 2017 2018 2019
Total 872.9 874.6 896.2
Nut butter/spreads 314.1 305.9 332.9
Jam 192.1 193.2 202.9
Chocolate Spreads 158.9 159.7 160.9
Honey 145.5 153.7 137.1
Other sweet spreads 62.3 62.1 62.4
Source: Mintel market sizes, 2020, The Nielsen Company, Trade Interviews, Mintel
Canada - Sweet spreads: Retail market segmentation by volume, (000) tonnes
Segment 2017 2018 2019
Total 126.7 122.8 123.1
Nut butter/spreads 68.2 64.9 66.7
Jam 22.1 22.1 22.7
Chocolate Spreads 17.4 17.2 16.9
Honey 14.3 14.1 12.3
Other sweet spreads 4.7 4.5 4.5
Source: Mintel market sizes, 2020 (Statistics Canada, The Nielsen Company, Trade Interviews, Mintel)

The top three distribution channels of new product launches with honey as an ingredient were through supermarkets (56.0%), followed by mass merchandise/hypermarket (21.5%) and natural/health food store (7.4%) from January 2016 to October 2020. The use of both supermarkets and mass merchandise/hypermarkets as primary and secondary distribution channels of these products however, have declined in growth by 12.2% and 15.6% respectively, while natural/health food stores have grown by 29.4% during this same period. Of note, specialist retailers have also declined in growth by 26.0% from January 2016 to October 2020.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 5 distribution channel, from January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Distribution Channel 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 (January to October) Total
Supermarket 200 114 124 115 119 672
Mass Merchandise/Hypermarket 69 42 70 42 35 258
Natural/Health Food Store 10 17 3 31 28 89
Drug Store/Pharmacy 23 12 17 17 11 80
Specialist Retailer 10 8 4 7 3 32
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200

Source: Mintel, 2020

The top (five) companies who launched new products containing honey as an ingredient in Canada between January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020 were Loblaws who launched 62 products (5.2% market share), followed by PepsiCo who launched 49 products (4.1% market share), General Mills who launched 45 products (3.8% market share, Walmart who launched 42 products (3.5% market share) and Overwaitea Food who launched 40 products (3.2% market share). Of these top five companies, only Loblaws experienced a growth rate in new product launches of 9.6% as product launches increased from nine in 2016 to thirteen as of October 2020. Of the top ten companies, in addition to Loblaws, Mondelez also experienced a growth in product launches of 7.5% as new products launched increased from three products in 2016 to four products as of October 2020. Further, companies who have launched products with honey as an ingredient in Canada have declined in growth by 11.4% as total new product launches by companies have decreased from 333 products in 2016 to 205 products as of October 2020.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 10 companies, from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Top 10 Companies 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
Loblaws 9 17 18 5 13 62
PepsiCo 13 8 10 16 2 49
General Mills 14 8 7 8 8 45
Wal-Mart 13 9 10 3 7 42
Overwaitea Food 19 11 10 0 0 40
Sobeys 14 9 3 2 10 38
Biscuits Leclerc 10 0 7 7 8 32
Mondelez 3 8 5 8 4 28
Nature's Path Foods 4 5 7 8 1 25
Kellogg 10 3 0 4 5 22
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200

Source: Mintel, 2020

Of the top 10 brands, Western Family (Overwaitea Food) recorded the largest number of new product launches (37 of the 46 total) with honey as an ingredient in Canada from January 2016 to October 2020. Remaining brands such as Great Value (Walmart) released 26 of these products, followed by Quaker Chewy (PepsiCo) released 25 products, PC President's Choice (Loblaws) released 22 products and Compliments (Sobeys) released 17 products.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 10 brands and companies, from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Top 10 Brands Loblaws PepsiCo General Mills Wal-Mart Overwaitea Food Sobeys Biscuits Leclerc Mondelez Nature's Path Foods Kellogg Total
Western Family 0 0 0 0 37 0 0 0 0 0 46
Great Value 0 0 0 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 26
Quaker Chewy 0 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25
PC President's Choice 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22
Compliments 0 0 0 0 0 17 0 0 0 0 17
Nature's Path Organic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 0 12
Leclerc Go Pure 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 11
Toblerone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 11
Kii Naturals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
General Mills Honey Nut Cheerio 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
Total 62 49 45 42 40 38 32 28 25 22 1,200

Source: Mintel, 2020

According to Mintel, there were 640 recorded flavours (including blends) of those new products launched with honey as an ingredient, in Canada from January 2016 to October 2020. Of those 640 flavours (including blends), the top 15 flavours (including blends) represented a 33.8% market share, with unflavoured/plain and honey as the top two flavours, 8.2% and 7.0% market shares respectively.

Honey flavour, despite being the second largest flavour released in Canada, has recently declined in growth by 13.3% from 23 products in 2016 to 13 products as of October 2020. Chocolate flavour (the third largest flavour) has also declined 12.6% from 12 products in 2016 to 7 products as of October 2020. Of note, Honey and mustard flavour (ninth largest flavour) released 12 new products during this same period and grew by 41.4% as product releases increased from one in 2016 to four by October 2020.

Honey as an ingredient and flavour,according to Mintel, is increasingly being incorporated by ready-to-drink (RTD) tea brands around the world as uniquely suited to deliver sweetness as a healthier form of indulgence and who prominently emphasis honey's role as a flavour element by using on-pack imagery such as bees, hives and honey comb to convey this message.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 5 flavours (including blends), from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Flavours (including blends) 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
Unflavoured/Plain 30 9 14 14 31 98
Honey 23 17 20 11 13 84
Chocolate 12 5 12 9 7 45
Honey and Garlic 13 10 8 3 9 43
S'mores 5 4 5 1 3 18

Source: Mintel, 2020

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 15 flavours (including blends), from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
Flavours (including blends) 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
Unflavoured/Plain 30 9 14 14 31 98
Honey 23 17 20 11 13 84
Chocolate 12 5 12 9 7 45
Honey and Garlic 13 10 8 3 9 43
S'mores 5 4 5 1 3 18
Honey and Almond and Nougat/Turron 4 4 1 2 4 15
Almond 4 0 3 6 2 15
Honey and Nut 3 2 4 1 2 12
Honey and Mustard 1 4 0 3 4 12
Honey Roasted 4 2 5 0 0 11
Raspberry 4 2 0 1 4 11
Honey and Almond 6 0 2 1 2 11
Peanut Butter 4 1 1 3 2 11
Vanilla/Vanilla Bourbon/Vanilla Madagascar 5 1 2 1 1 10
Honey and Lemon 2 2 1 3 1 9
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200
Source: Mintel, 2020

The top five ingredients of new product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada during the prescribed period (January 1, 2016 to October 31, 2020) were as follows; honey (food) (94.3% market share), honey powder (food) (5.4% market share), Manuka honey (food) (0.8% market share), White honey (food) (0.7% market share) and Wild flower honey (food) (0.4% market share). Of the top five ingredients of new product launches with honey as an ingredient, honey powder had the largest decline in growth of 33.1% as new products released declined from twenty-five in 2016 to five as of October 2020. Honey (food) attained the second largest decline of 11.6% as new products released declined from 321 in 2016 to 196 in 2020.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, by top 10 ingredients, from January 1 2016 to October 31, 2020
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Top 10 ingredients 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
Honey (Food)[1] 321 192 223 200 196 1,132
Honey Powder (Food) 25 12 11 12 5 65
Manuka Honey (Food) 0 0 0 6 4 10
White Honey (Food) 0 6 0 2 0 8
Wild Flower Honey (Food) 0 0 2 3 0 5
Beechwood Honey (Food) 0 0 0 4 1 5
Acacia Honey (Food) 2 1 0 1 0 4
Amber Honey (Food) 0 0 1 2 0 3
Clover Honey (Food) 0 1 0 0 1 2
Bakers Honey (Food) 0 0 1 0 0 1
Total 333 206 233 223 205 1,200

1: Honey (Food) according to Mintel's definition; Honey is the natural sweet substance produced by Apis mellifera bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant-sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in honeycombs to ripen and mature. Honey consists essentially of different sugars, predominantly fructose and glucose as well as other substances such as organic acids, enzymes and solid particles derived from honey collection. The colour of honey varies from nearly colourless to dark brown. The consistency can be fluid, viscous or partly to entirely crystallized. The flavour and aroma vary, but are derived from the plant origin. (Council Directive 2001/110/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to honey).

Source: Mintel, 2020

The number of product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada has declined in growth by 11.4% from the highest of its launches (333) in 2016 to its lowest and most recent, (205) as of October 2020, peaking again to its second highest launch of (233) products in 2018.

Kosher, followed by no additives/preservatives and ethically-environmentally friendly packaging are top claims associated with new product launches released from January 2016 to October 2020. Notably, vegan claims in sweet and savoury spreads, according to Mintel, in new product development (NPD) has seen substantial growth in North America, with increases of seven percentage points in the five years to May 2019 to account for 15% of NPD in the 12 months to April 2019. Such an example of a vegan product claim is 'NutRaw Pistachio + Macadamia Butter', an organic real food spread with 5g of plant protein and 3g of fibre. The brand additionally claims the spread contains no preservatives, artificial flavours, added sugars, dairy or soy.

A flexible packaging type (599) with shelf-stable storage (989) are the more prevalent product attributes associated with new product launch releases during the prescribed period, while branded (943) versus private label (257), and available most commonly in 500 gram total pack sizes, represent other product attributes released during the same period.

Canada and the United States (U.S) are top manufacture locations, representing a 39.0% market share, for recent new product launches of honey as an ingredient within Canada, while blown glass and injection blown glass represent 15.4% of the top five productions methods used.

New product launches with honey as an ingredient in Canada, 2016-2020, by 2020 product attributes
Product attributes Yearly launch counts
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 (October 31) Total
Yearly product launches 333 206 233 223 205 1,200
Top five claims[1]
Kosher 139 68 125 89 90 511
No Additives/Preservatives 80 59 73 74 72 358
Ethical - Environmentally Friendly Package 110 59 91 89 64 413
Low/No/Reduced Allergen 102 68 86 57 64 377
Ethical - Recycling 108 58 84 87 60 397
Imported status
Imported 81 40 58 79 64 322
Not Imported 79 45 58 37 49 268
Top five packaged types
Flexible 162 91 126 124 96 599
Bottle 28 26 18 30 31 133
Jar 14 6 11 7 27 65
Flexible Stand-Up Pouch 35 25 26 20 15 121
Carton 13 8 16 5 13 55
Top five location of manufacture
Canada 79 45 58 37 49 268
United States 57 27 45 41 30 200
Switzerland 5 4 2 3 7 21
Taiwan, China 1 3 2 5 7 18
China 1 0 0 2 3 6
Private label
Branded 263 149 172 200 159 943
Private label 70 57 61 23 46 257
Top production methods
Blown glass 18 21 12 21 36 108
Injection blown plastic 21 12 15 19 10 77
Thermo-formed plastic 29 13 12 9 5 68
Extrusion blown plastic 5 0 2 0 5 12
2-piece metal 5 4 4 3 2 18
Storage
Shelf stable 268 153 195 194 179 989
Frozen 29 22 18 9 14 92
Chilled 36 31 20 20 12 119
Top five total unit pack size (millilitres/gram)
500 grams 9 9 3 8 12 41
180 grams 1 1 1 1 4 8
360 grams 2 1 0 2 2 7
400 grams 17 6 2 0 7 32
40 grams 4 7 16 1 7 35

Source: Mintel, 2020

1: Products may have more than one claim associated with product.

New product launches

Zero Calorie Green Tea with Ginseng
Source: Mintel, 2020
Company Arizona Beverages
Brand AriZona
Category Ready-to-drinks
Sub-category Ready-to-drink (Iced) Tea
Market Canada
Store name Provigo
Store type Supermarket
Date published October 2020
Launch type New packaging
Price in local currency Can$0.99
Price in US dollars 0.75

AriZona Zero Calorie Green Tea with Ginseng has been repackaged in a newly designed 960 millilitre recyclable pack. The product is claimed to be great hot, and has been sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame-potassium.

Swiss Milk Chocolate with Honey and Almond Nougat
Source: Mintel, 2020
Company Mondelez
Brand Toblerone
Category Chocolate confectionery
Sub-category Seasonal chocolate
Market Canada
Store name Walmart
Store type Mass merchandise/hypermarket
Date published December 2019
Launch type New packaging
Price in local currency Can$7.98
Price in US dollars 6.02

Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate with Honey and Almond Nougat has been repackaged for Christmas 2019. The seasonal and kosher certified product retails in a 360 gram pack, bearing a Facebook link.

Macadamia & Milk Chocolate Cookies
Source: Mintel, 2020
Company Desserts On Us Baklava
Brand Desserts On Us Laceys
Category Bakery
Sub-category Sweet biscuits/cookies
Market Canada
Store name Costco
Store type Club store
Date published December 2018
Launch type New packaging
Price in local currency Can$13.99
Price in US dollars 10.45

Desserts On Us Laceys Macadamia & Milk Chocolate Cookies have been repackaged. The product is said to be deliciously irresistible, and retails in a 709 gram pack.

Okinawa Brown Sugar Grass Jelly Deluxe
Source: Mintel, 2020
Company AGV
Brand AGV
Category Desserts and ice cream
Sub-category Shelf-stable desserts
Market Canada
Store name Price Smart
Store type Supermarket
Date published June 2020
Launch type New product
Price in local currency Can$9.99
Price in US dollars 7.09

AGV Okinawa Brown Sugar Grass Jelly Deluxe is described as a healthy and light dessert with red bean, mung bean and brown sugar flavoured jelly. It contains brown sugar molasses and honey to help maintain beauty. This ISO 22000 and HACCP certified product is said to be chewy and tender, is free from sodium bicarbonate, artificial colourings and preservatives, and retails in a pack containing six 340 gram units with disposable spoons.

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Resources

Product Launch Analysis – Honey as an ingredient in Canada
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Laurie Bernardi, International Market Research Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2021).

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