Health-consciousness continues to rise in Canada, significantly impacting consumers’ choices of foods and beverages over 2017-2018. In baked goods, the clean label movement, with the desire for shorter ingredients lists and products free from artificial ingredients, further evolved.
In contrast to the overall stagnation in packaged bread, which accounts for the lion’s share of sales of baked goods in Canada, flat bread, including tortillas, naan and pita, saw robust growth in 2017-2018. This was driven mostly by the widening of distribution in retail, with such products now present in most mainstream grocery outlets across Canada.
As a staple food, baked goods will always have a place in Canadians’ shopping cart, whilst their preferences are increasingly leaning towards higher-quality premium ranges, particularly gourmet-type products, referred to as “gourmetisation”. In response to this trend, manufacturers and brands have used claims and highlighted features more often than before, such as “authentic”, “artisanal”, “stone-baked”, “slow baked” and “high-quality ingredients”.
Grupo Bimbo emerged as the leading player in baked goods in GBO terms in 2015, thanks to a series of acquisitions it made in 2015, of Canada Bread and Saputo Bakery, and in 2017, of Stonemill Bakehouse. With its rich experience in the bakery business, these deals were very positive in terms of driving growth of these acquired businesses.
In 2018, Grupo Bimbo was closely followed by George Weston in GBO terms, whilst no other single player held a double-digit value share in this year. George Weston and Loblaw, one of the largest grocery chains in Canada that the company owns, have been under scrutiny after an alleged bread price-fixing scheme was made public in 2017, which could potentially impact its relationship with suppliers.
Due to the fresh nature of baked goods, many categories remain highly fragmented. Cakes and pastries, for instance, are mostly regionalised or localised, with suppliers largely being small and medium-sized bakeries.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.