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Sector Trend Analysis – Cider market trends in the United States and the United Kingdom

February 2019

Executive summary

Cider is frequently positioned as an alternative to beer and it caters to a wider audience, including a growing number of female consumers. Over recent years, cider has become a welcome alternative to beer, especially among younger consumers.

A growing number of millennials prefer cider over beer as cider is gluten free, sweeter and more refreshing during the hot summer days. Also, millennials are increasingly choosing quality and experience over quantity. As such, they are willing to pay more for what they perceived as premium products, such as an authentic craft cider.

While craft beer in the United States is already more or less developed with regard to the number of microbreweries, craft cider is still underdeveloped. Consumers' changing tastes are likely to play into the further development of craft cider, which will probably position itself in the premium segment.

Today, cider is one of the fastest-growing drink categories. Despite a slowdown over the past two years, the growth among small producers (retail sales), is in double digits.

Innovation and marketing is a key factor in cider present and expected growth. Cider is increasingly appealing beyond middle-aged men (45 years old +) to younger men and women. However, the strong image associated with the seasonality of cider in the United States is still negatively impacting sales after the summer period.

Trend analysis

Young consumers

In the United Kingdom, cider is very popular among 18 to 24 year olds and split equally among genders. Oppositely, cider producers in the United States (U.S.) are mostly targeting consumers between the ages of 30 and 45. The U.S. cider market is predicted to mimic the marketing plan of the United Kingdom (U.K.) to capture the millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) that are coming in the market. The millennia are the segment of the population, per capita, that shows the greatest interest in cider. (Euromonitor International, 2018)

Healthier lifestyles

The trend is upward in the United States and the United Kingdom, where millennia are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Originally, due to the simple list of ingredients used in its production and the fact that it is gluten free, cider found favour with consumers looking for alternatives to beer and heavily processed ready-to-drink mixes (RTDsFootnote 1). However, consumers are giving greater importance now on moderating their sugar consumption, which has a significant impact on U.S. cider's sales. Growing negative attitudes among consumers regarding higher sugar content in alcoholic drinks will continue to strengthen in the United States and in the U.K. markets over the forecast period (2018 to 2022). Cider consumers continued to seek less sweet cider variants; a trend set to gain further traction in the coming years (2018 to 2022) that could negatively impact the cider industry within these markets.

In the United States, cider products are facing greater competition by various new innovative RTD products launched early 2016. Especially alcoholic sodas-type products that performed well in 2016 and 2017 by attracting new consumers interested in gluten-free alternatives to beer in the former case and in the latter, consumers concerned with avoiding beverages with high sugar content. (Euromonitor International, 2018)

Craft cider

Cider drinkers' expectations are growing, and overlap with those of craft beer drinkers. The craft cider movement is emerging hard in the United States, with smaller producers delivering small and customized orders to local distributors. The factors behind the rise of the craft cider sector are generally the same as they were for the craft beer sector. Consumers increasingly want to buy from local producers that offer unique products with their own signature style and taste. This has caught the attention of consumers, particularly younger people open to new trends who seek alternatives to mainstream products.

In the United Kingdom, consumers are increasingly buying ciders that are perceived as having a "craft touch" or that are produced regionally. They are looking for more authenticity within cider brands, increasing competition between different established cider brands.

According to Beverage Information Group Research, in the United States, the general public (not the usual cider drinkers) doesn't necessarily know what cider is, where it comes from and more importantly, how it is made. When a cider maker creates a new cider, there is a great level of complexity that the average consumer is not aware about; such as the balance between sweetness, tannin level and acidity. There's a big opportunity to grow the industry through education, marketing and advertising.

Seasonality of cider

Cider in the United States has long been marketed almost exclusively as a refreshing type beverage for the summer. Any particularly hot or cool summer has the potential to influence demand while many consumers enjoy cider only in summer. Consequently, cider is a seasonal beverage, with considerable volume sales recorded during summer and a low sale volume during winter, especially within the northern states.

Market sizes

In volume terms, cider was about 18.9% of the beer market in the United Kingdom and close to 1% of the American and Canadian beer markets. According to beverage dynamic, there is significant room for expansion in the U.K. (the most developed cider market) where demographics and consumer preferences look set to support further increases in cider sales. However, the cider industry in the U.K is being predominantly produced domestically and has a well-established network of national producers.

In the United States, cider sales are predicted to record a negative −5.1% total volume CAGR (compound annual growth rate) decline over the forecast period (2018-2022), declining to 155 million litres in 2022. In the United Kingdom, cider sales records a total volume decline of 1% to 848 million litres in 2017 and it is expected to increase by a CAGR of 1% in total volume terms over the forecast period (2018 to 2022), reaching 877 million litres in 2022.

Historical and forecast, cider total retail volume sales in 000 litres, in selected markets, 2013-2022
Country 2013 2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2013-17 CAGR* % 2018-22
World (total) 2,060,455.3 2,305,277.7 2,331,002.7 2,530,795.8 2.8 2.1
United Kingdom 882,289.6 848,363.4 849,135.9 877,069.7 −1.0 0.8
United States 138,114.1 218,897.0 190,281.3 154,608.4 12.2 −5.1
Canada 29,105.1 55,987.6 63,065.8 92,611.6 17.8 10.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Historical and forecast, cider retail sales in selected markets, total value, US$ million, 2013-2022
Country On-trade/off-tradeFootnote 2 2013 2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2013-17 CAGR* % 2018-22
World (total) Total 9,691.3 12,287.8 12,807.8 16,179.8 6.1 6.0
United Kingdom Total 3,904.8 4,102.2 4,239.5 4,761.1 1.2 2.9
Off-trade 1,657.8 1,615.3 1,662.7 1,906.9 −0.6 3.5
On-trade 2,247.0 2,486.9 2,576.8 2,854.2 2.6 2.6
United States Total 940.0 1,539.3 1,294.8 1,167.3 13.1 −2.6
Off-trade 398.1 684.7 648.5 548.6 14.5 −4.1
On-trade 541.9 854.6 646.3 618.7 12.1 −1.1
Canada Total 141.7 310 359.2 597.4 21.6 13.6
Off-trade 111.2 245.1 284.3 475.9 21.8 13.7
On-trade 30.6 64.9 74.9 121.5 20.7 12.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Some cider producers in the United Kingdom will be challenged by the introduction of minimum unit pricing for all alcoholic beverages in Scotland from May 2018. While this will only initially impact Scotland's mainstream cider products (low-cost cider); Wales and England are expected to follow suit over the forecast period (2018 to 2022).

This should lead to all mainstream cider producers having to increase their off-trade unit prices to the level of mid-priced products. In addition, a higher duty band targeting cheap, high-strength white ciders is expected to be implemented in February 2019. This will create even more obstacles for mainstream cider and eventually drive consumers towards more premium brands. (Euromonitor Internationale, 2018)

Canadian exports

In 2017, the United States accounts for almost all of Canadian cider exports abroad (98.8%). By comparison, Canadian exports to U.K. amounted to just under Can$40,000. Cider consumers will be relatively unaffected by the UK's decision to leave the European Union (EU)Footnote 3. National cider consumption is being predominantly absorbed by the domestic level of production.

However, companies which import their products from abroad are expected to face obstacles once the UK has left the EU single market. The situation regarding possible tariffs remains to be monitored for any Canadian producers wishing to export to the United Kingdom.

Canadian cider exports to the United States by province, Canadian dollars, 2013-2017
Provinces 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Total 24,659,940 28,535,718 40,249,002 57,883,172 61,474,622 25.7
Quebec 17,995,887 22,498,033 34,016,031 42,710,894 57,235,537 33.5
Ontario 6,327,132 5,753,597 5,574,388 14,904,341 3,709,983 −12.5
Alberta 33,102 0 229,856 14,997 293,277 72.5
British Columbia 210,329 280,275 428,727 232,759 205,442 −0.6
Nova Scotia 0 3,813 0 20,181 30,383 N/C

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Harmonized system code: 22060000

N/C: not calculable

Canadian cider exports to the United States by state, Canadian dollars, 2013-2017
Partner states 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
All US states 24,659,940 28,535,718 40,249,002 57,883,172 61,474,622 25.7
North Carolina 4,717,296 6,872,742 10,107,476 11,951,387 13,904,129 31.0
Virginia 2,966,821 3,865,694 6,743,620 8,644,665 9,811,880 34.9
Tennessee 305,667 43,391 0 362,081 6,932,155 118.2
Mississippi 3,050,502 3,249,617 3,788,937 4,128,499 5,247,900 14.5
Georgia 571,962 1,289,583 2,522,933 3,441,897 4,024,693 62.9
New York 1,814,028 1,660,072 1,840,102 2,437,794 3,417,492 17.2
Texas 420,249 565,337 1,118,109 1,767,867 2,835,628 61.2
Wisconsin 704,010 766,351 1,737,936 1,659,067 2,129,456 31.9
Florida 13,370 0 421,614 1,000,739 2,051,851 252.0
West Virginia 870,929 985,168 1,497,838 1,694,355 1,894,463 21.4
South Carolina 449,164 756,576 1,449,921 1,652,445 1,893,087 43.3
Alabama 976,847 1,149,901 1,263,752 2,437,119 1,771,011 16.0
Ohio 241,610 582,724 1,001,981 1,064,519 1,252,722 50.9
Pennsylvania 1,943,508 2,023,230 1,704,606 1,031,177 851,273 −18.6
Louisiana 194,737 475,597 771,615 757,121 769,846 41.0
Maryland 49,407 163,991 492,750 601,097 631,227 89.1
Illinois 242,675 1,013,058 564,783 11,952,874 444,688 16.3
California 233,267 172,896 484,799 183,761 442,199 17.3
Washington 268,891 513,218 601,631 457,184 406,515 10.9
Kentucky 1,822,042 815,061 853,199 324,670 312,719 −35.6
Minnesota 8,266 0 182,489 20,807 130,328 99.3
Missouri 41,181 43,391 140,263 54,482 95,406 23.4
Arizona 0 47,124 73,958 9,955 79,094 N/C
Delaware 0 0 108,070 99,194 63,751 N/C
New Mexico 21,155 13,688 0 23,518 20,048 −1.3
Maine 6,617 26,092 23,799 33,196 17,089 26.8
Colorado 0 0 0 0 14,079 N/C
Connecticut 9,697 4,874 56,750 25,018 12,929 7.5
Michigan N/A N/A 285,377 6,756 7,984 N/C
New Jersey 41,416 60,821 136,783 17,407 5,834 −38.7
Oregon 35,769 22,423 13,540 6,605 3,146 −45.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Harmonized system code: 22060000

N/C: not calculable

N/A: not available

Brands and companies

After five years of impressive growth, some producers might have worried about dipping into the red last year as overall cider sales fell for the second year in a row. However, according to Michelle McGrath, Executive Director at the United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM): "The declines are driven by dips in the sales of national brands. If you look closer at the data, the real story to tell is continued double-digit growth of regional and local cider brands".

Market concentration of cider by company, % share of total volume, from 2008 to 2017
Company 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States Top three companies 77.6 79.9 78.4 70.0 59.2 76.6 77,0 77.8 75.4 73.9
Others 22.4 20.1 21.6 30.0 40.8 23.4 23,0 22.2 24.6 26.1
Canada Top three companies 79.1 79.4 84.4 84.8 79,0 72.1 63.3 62.7 63.4 63.9
Others 20.9 20.6 15.6 15.2 21.0 27.9 36.7 37.3 36.6 36.1
United Kingdom Top three companies 63.4 64.1 63.2 60.5 56.6 53.9 53.1 52.4 52.5 53.5
Private label 4.7 4.7 5.2 5.0 4.9 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3
Others 31.9 31.3 31.5 34.5 38.5 41.6 42.3 43.1 43.1 42.2
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018
Market concentration of cider by brand, % share of total volume, from 2008 to 2017
Brand 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States Top three brands 57.2 58.9 61.0 60.6 50.5 70.8 67.3 68.7 67.6 68.5
Others 42.8 41.1 39.0 39.4 49.5 29.2 32.7 31.3 32.4 31.5
Canada Top three brands 72.6 73.0 74.3 74.5 70.7 65.4 59.4 60.9 61.6 62.2
Others 27.4 27.0 25.7 25.5 29.3 34.6 40.6 39.1 38.4 37.8
United Kingdom Top three brands 47.6 48.3 45.4 41.9 37.8 34.0 30.3 28.5 28.8 29.6
Private label 4.7 4.7 5.2 5.0 4.9 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3
Others 47.7 47.1 49.3 53.1 57.3 61.4 65.1 67.1 66.8 66.0
Source: Euromonitor International, 2018
Top five brands for cider by selected countries, total volume sales by % market shares, 2013-2017
Country Brand name Company name 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Canada Growers (Constellation Brands Inc) Constellation Brands Inc 39.8 35.3 34.9 34.2 32.9 −4.6
Strongbow (Heineken NV) Molson Canada 19.3 17.0 18.0 18.7 19.6 0.4
Somersby (Carlsberg A/S) Carlsberg Canada Inc 5.7 7.1 8.0 8.8 9.6 13.9
Okanagan (Anheuser-Busch InBev NV) Labatt Brewing Co Ltd 0 0 0 5.3 5.5 N/C
Blackthorn (C&C Group Plc) Premium Beer Co, The 6.3 6.5 5.9 5.4 4.9 −6.1
United States Angry Orchard (Boston Beer Co Inc, The) Boston Beer Co Inc, The 47.9 53.3 55.6 54.0 52.2 2.2
Strongbow (Heineken NV) Vermont Hard Cider Co 5.8 4.3 6.3 7.7 9.6 13.4
Stella Artois Cidre (Anheuser-Busch InBev NV) Anheuser-Busch InBev NV 1.8 3.9 4.2 5.9 6.7 38.9
Woodchuck (C&C Group Plc) Vermont Hard Cider Co 16.2 8.9 6.8 5.5 4.4 −27.8
Smith & Forge (Molson Coors Brewing Co) MillerCoors LLC 0 0 0 4.6 3.4 N/C
United Kingdom Strongbow (Heineken NV) Heineken UK Ltd 25.1 21.7 19.9 18.7 18.6 −7.2
Strongbow Dark Fruit (Heineken NV) Heineken UK Ltd 1.3 3.0 4.5 5.5 6.1 47.2
Thatchers (Thatchers Cider Co Ltd) Thatchers Cider Co Ltd 3.2 3.4 4.1 4.6 4.9 11.2
Kopparberg Mixed Fruit Cider (Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB) Cider of Sweden Ltd 2.2 2.7 3.3 3.7 4.1 16.8
Westons (H Weston & Sons Ltd) H Weston & Sons Ltd 2.9 3.1 3.4 3.6 3.8 7.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/C: not calculable

Product launch analysis

Number of new cider products launches in selected markets, 2014-2018
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Number of new launches
United Kingdom 54 59 85 58 72 328
United States 45 34 42 39 20 180
Canada 24 20 28 13 26 111
Total 123 113 155 110 118 619
Source: Mintel 2018

Flavors

Flavoured cider products, such as dark fruit ciders, continue to grow and increase their shares. In 2019, cider is expected to introduce even more flavours and exotic products on the back of the craft revolution.

Premium products, both local and imported, also drive growth in cider. While cider sales tend to soar in warmer months, more exotic and weather-adapt offerings such as mulled or spiced cider are expected to keep sales afloat over winter months.

Flavors of new cider products launches in selected markets, 2013-2017
Country Top five flavours Number of launches
United Kingdom Apple 180
Lime 34
Raspberry or strawberry 41
Ginger 4
Berries and other fruits 30
United States Apple 108
Lime 2
Raspberry or strawberry 3
Ginger 12
Berries and other fruits 20
Canada Apple 76
Lime 2
Raspberry or strawberry 3
Ginger 6
Berries and other fruits 21
Total sample 619
Source: Mintel 2018

Rosé ciders in the United States

In the United States, pink ciders have been circulating for several years on a smaller scale, starting with small batches, sold in bottles and cans. The growth of rosé cider has been largely driven by women consumers, especially millennial women living in metropolitan areas.

According to Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the U.S. Association of Cider Makers: "I think what rosé cider is going to achieve is bringing new drinkers to the cider category, where they will start to explore the other varieties out there other than rosé." Consequently, this type of product can be a good "gateway" for new consumers, who will potentially be attracted to the other products that the brand has to offer.

Packaging

In order to create greater shelf presence, products are increasingly using colourful and illustrative styles to create a unique package. As it is the case for craft beer products, cider brands and products need to explore new territories to stand out amongst competitors and have greater shelf presence. In the United States, the craft beer has paved the way for this shift in packaging design, yielding the bottle aisles in our supermarkets into modern art exhibitions of colour, asymmetric design and striking typography. Local cider producers increasingly utilise all their creativity to design some beautiful packaging that will sell the image of their brand by just being on the shelves.

Most commonly used packaging type for new launches, 2013-2017
Country Package type utilized Number of launches
United Kingdom Bottle 189
Can 75
Flexible 3
Carton 2
Flexible stand-up pouch 2
Flexible sachet 1
United States Bottle 179
Can 31
Canada Can 52
Bottle 46
Source: Mintel 2018
Flavors of new cider products launches in selected markets, 2013-2017
Country Unit pack size (millilitres (ml))(top five) Number of launches
United Kingdom 500 ml 137
330 ml 85
440 ml 48
568 ml 13
750 ml 17
United States Other 4
354 ml 72
340 ml 10
750 ml 16
500 ml 12
Canada 473 ml 15
473 ml 43
355 ml 27
500 ml 14
330 ml 11
Source: Mintel 2018

Claims

Constantly refining their diet in search of having a better diet and lifestyle, consumers in the selected markets, are increasingly buying healthy beverages. This trend also applied to their personal consumption of alcoholic products where consumers are increasingly looking for low sugar or gluten free products. Also, manufacturers have developed new packaging that are environmentally-friendly to meet the environmental expectations that many customers have.

Claim (listed on pack) of cider products in selected markets, 2014-2018
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
ClaimFootnote 4 United Kingdom United States Canada Total
Low/no/reduced allergen 72 146 39 257
Gluten free 72 146 38 256
Ethical - environmentally friendly package 146 71 36 253
Recycling 146 71 36 253
Premium 95 14 15 124
Social media 74 22 8 104
Vegetarian 84 1 0 85
Vegan/no animal ingredients 74 2 1 77
Seasonal edition 10 28 5 43
No additives/preservatives 19 14 5 38

Source: Mintel, 2018

Claims (listed on pack) of cider products in selected markets, 2013-2017
Country Claim (Top 10) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total
United Kingdom Ethical - environmentally friendly package 17 26 40 26 37 146
Recycling 17 26 40 26 37 146
Premium 16 17 25 9 28 95
Vegetarian 5 20 15 22 22 84
Vegan/no animal ingredients 7 12 15 20 20 74
Social media (active) 10 15 14 17 18 74
Gluten free 10 10 16 18 18 72
Low/no/reduced allergen 10 10 16 18 18 72
Not specified 12 6 12 5 5 40
No additives/preservatives 1 5 2 3 8 19
Other 1 1 1 0 2 5
United States Gluten free 36 28 29 36 17 146
Low/no/reduced allergen 36 28 29 36 17 146
Ethical - environmentally friendly package 21 7 16 16 11 71
Recycling 21 7 16 16 11 71
Seasonal 9 5 8 5 1 28
Not specified 6 5 9 0 2 22
Social media (active) 4 5 7 3 3 22
All natural product 5 2 4 5 1 17
Kosher 3 1 2 5 6 17
No additives/preservatives 1 2 2 7 2 14
Other 2 0 1 0 0 3
Canada Low/no/reduced allergen 6 5 9 5 14 39
Gluten free 6 5 8 5 14 38
Ethical - environmentally friendly package 8 5 11 5 7 36
Recycling 8 5 11 5 7 36
Not specified 8 6 8 3 9 34
Premium 4 4 4 0 3 15
Social media (active) 1 2 2 0 3 8
No additives/preservatives 0 0 1 1 3 5
Low/no/reduced calorie 5 0 0 0 0 5
Seasonal 0 0 1 1 3 5
Other 0 0 2 0 0 2
Source: Mintel, 2018

Product examples

Original Cider
Company HP Bulmer
Brand Strongbow
Country United Kingdom
Store name Tesco
Store type Supermarket
Date published November 2017
Price in local currency £11.00
Price in US dollars 14.44
Pack size 440.000 ml
Alcohol By Volume (%) 5.00

Strongbow Original Cider has been repackaged with an updated design. This thirst quenching product is a dry apple cider, contains sugar and sweeteners, and is described as the ultimate cut-through refreshment. It retails in a recyclable pack, containing 20 × 440ml recyclable cans.

Wakefire Cider
Company Blake's Hard Cider Co.
Brand Blake's Hard Cider Co.
Country United States
Store name Giant Eagle
Store type Supermarket
Price in local currency $10.49
Pack size 12.000 fluid ounces (fl. oz) (US)
Alcohol By Volume (%) 6.50

Blake's Hard Cider Co. Wakefire Cider has been infused with Michigan cherries and orange peel. This naturally gluten free product retails in a pack of six 12-fl oz cans.

Granny Smith Hard Cider
Company Vermont Cider
Brand Woodchuck
Country United States
Store name Publix
Store type Supermarket
Date published October 2017
Price in local currency $9.99
Pack size 12.000 fl. oz (US)
Alcohol By Volume (%) 5.00

Woodchuck Granny Smith Hard Cider have been repackaged in a newly designed recyclable pack containing six 12-fl. oz. bottles and bearing the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram logos. This refreshing tart cider is made with 100% granny smith apples and is pale in color with a sharp crisp taste that finishes dry and tangy. The lightly carbonated product is gluten free.

Revival Hard Apple Cider
Company Reverend Nat's Hard Cider
Brand Reverend Nat's
Country United States
Store name QFC
Store type Supermarket
Store address Seattle 98126
Date published August 2017
Price in local currency $5.49

Reverend Nat's Revival Hard Apple Cider is now available. It is made with the American apples, farmhouse saison yeast from Hainaut in Belgium and features an exotic secret culture yielding notes of pineapple, mango and dried pear as well as a sprinkle of Michoacan piloncillo. This product is gluten free and retails in a 500ml pack.

The Saint Unfiltered Hard Apple Cider
Company Crispin Cider
Brand Crispin Artisanal Reserve
Sub-category Cider
Country United States
Store name Safeway
Store type Supermarket
Store address Seattle 98116
Date published August 2017
Price in local currency $6.99

Crispin Artisanal Reserve The Saint unfiltered hard apple cider has been repackaged. The kosher certified product is described as a naturally fermented cider that is made with raw and unpasteurized juice of fresh-pressed American apples with Belgian trappist yeast and pure maple syrup which balances the bold flavors of sweet and ripe apples. It is said to provide authentic flavors and unique aromatic notes and retails in a 22-fl. oz. pack.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis – Cider market trends in the United States and the United Kingdom
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: François Thériault, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2019).

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