Canada has a surface area of 10 million km², with a population of 37 million inhabitants, of which approximately 80% live within 150km of the southern border with the USA.
According to the World Bank, the nominal GDP of Canada in 2017 was 1.65 billion USD, ranked as the 10th strongest in the world. In 2017, Canadian per capita GDP was USD 46,705 which is similar to countries such as Belgium, Finland, UK, France or Japan, but higher than the EU average (USD 41,119).
Population, where can your company make profit?
The territorial organization is split into 10 provinces and 3 autonomous territories. It is a fragmented market and unique feature in the different provinces so the market has to follow a strategy that takes this provincial reality into account.
The integration of distribution channels tends to be stronger in the north-south direction with USA than between the Canadian Provinces themselves.
The most important provinces for business are Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. These four provinces represent more than 85% of the Canadian population and GDP.
Food & Beverage, an industry to consider in Canada
The Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry sales reached USD 84,8 billion in 2016. This is the second largest manufacturing industry and accounts for 2% of GDP.
Besides, most of Canada’s Food manufacturers are located in Ontario, the most populous province.
Meat product manufacturing is the largest segment with approximately one quarter of the market share, followed by dairy product manufacturing.
Trends and specifications of this market
The Canadian consumer is characterized by an inclination to a healthy lifestyle, privileging natural, organic and functional products that are friendly to the environment and in accordance with fair trade standards.
Thus, opportunities for promoting European exports with added value are present.
Here below some examples:
In addition, Canada has signed free trade agreement with the EU, the CETA (Canadian European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), came provisionally into effect in September 2017.
Its aim is the elimination of barriers to trade through a progressive free trade process which covers virtually every sector for each side, eliminating taxes that European companies formerly paid at Canadian customs.
Under this agreement, Europe will be able to export almost 92% of its agricultural and food products to Canada without paying fees. This will create new export opportunities for European farmers and manufacturers particularly in the following sectors:
- wines and spirits
- fruits and vegetables
- processed products
- traditional European specialties (those with "geographical indications")
Since signing the agreement, both sides have seen increased exports/imports. Europe exported over CAD 63 billion of total goods and services in the first year, representing at 10.3% increase over pre-CETA numbers.
To sum up
There are huge opportunities for the Belgian Food industry in Canada. Are you interested to learn more about the Canadian market? Stay tune for the next chapter: “Exporting to Canada”.
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Statistics Canada, June 2018