Canada, a market where 81% of fruit is imported

It is one of the most attractive markets in the Americas due to the high purchasing power of its population, its economic stability and robust demand for fresh products.
Tue 24/01/2023 by Gloria Zorrilla
The Canadian market is one of the main destinations for Spanish exports outside of the EU.

The Canadian economy is strong and growing, ranking 14th worldwide for its global economic competitiveness. It is the world’s tenth-largest economy in terms of GDP. Its unemployment rate is very low and wages are rising, with per capita income up by 15% in recent years. Market prospects are very attractive. In addition, Canada is part of several international trade agreements, such as CUSMA (Canada, the United States, Mexico) and CETA (with the EU) and it is the only country in the group of seven (G7) that has trade agreements with the other six, which opens the door to global markets and more than 1.5 billion consumers.

Limited production capacity

The Canadian fruit and vegetable market is one of the main destinations for Spanish fruit and vegetables outside the EU. It is dependent on foreign trade for its supply of fruit and vegetables due to the weather conditions that make local production very complicated, which is why imports supply 81% of the fresh fruit Canadians consumes. Another challenge Canada faces is its dependence on foreign workers in its F&V sector.

Canada’s main fruit production is in apples and blueberries (accounting for 60% of cultivated area between them), as well as cherries. As for vegetables, the leaders are tomatoes, carrots and onions.

Canada depends on imports to meet its demand for fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year.

Among the most imported products from Spain are citrus fruit, persimmon, pomegranates, celery, peppers, cauliflower and broccoli. Canadian consumers prefer to visit local businesses to buy local products, followed by national products, then North American and, finally, international ones.

The rise of e-commerce in 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of e-commerce among buyers – due to the temporary closure of non-essential establishments – as well as sellers, to meet the growing online demand and remaining economically active. Thus, B2C e-commerce was valued at C$29.9 billion in 2020, up 18.2% on the previous year, and the average spend per person per year was C$1,147. According to e-commerce DB, e-commerce in Canada is growing at a rate of 9% per year and expected to reach a value of US$38.8 bn by 2024, up from $32.4 bn at the end of 2021. Electronics and multimedia is the category generating the most e-commerce revenue in Canada, but the fastest-growing sector is food and personal care, at 18%. Regarding the means used to make purchases online, it is very likely that computers will maintain first place in the ranking, although the steady rise in the use of smartphones for purchases and payments is likely to change this trend in the future.

Source: ICEX

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