ERP Manufacturing Insights

The Largest Canadian Food Manufacturing Companies

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The largest canadian food manufacturing companies

Canada’s weather may be cold, but its business climate is actually quite nice — and its commitment to great food goes far beyond making delectable poutine. Many successful corporations are based in Canada, and its economy includes a sizable (and growing) manufacturing sector, of which food manufacturing forms a significant part. In fact, some of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers are among the world’s most innovative, powerful and forward-thinking.

As the world’s demand for food grows, Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers are stepping up to take on the challenges of the 21st-century consumables supply chain. Many of them are making big moves to foster continued growth in the decades to come, such as forming new trade organizations and making investments in advanced ERP for food manufacturing software. Others have made smart acquisitions of innovative companies around the world. These seven companies are Canada’s largest and most successful food and beverage manufacturers, and they’re moving together into what could be Canada’s strongest years for manufacturing yet. 

1. Kraft Heinz Canada

The Canadian arm of this North American food giant is the country’s top dog, with C$13.46 billion in 2017 revenue and nearly 10 percent of Kraft Heinz’s global sales. But their roots run deep, with Kraft founder James Lewis Kraft originally hailing from Ontario. Their parent company has experienced several years of choppy waters after their creation in a 2015 merger, but Kraft Heinz Canada has a new president in 2019 and a plan to bounce back.

2. Saputo Inc.

One of the world’s largest processors of dairy products, Montréal-based Saputo was founded in 1954 and has continued to grow through smart acquisitions of leading dairy producers around the world. The company has a truly global reach, from the United States to Argentina to Australia, and their corporate philanthropy includes initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles and help young people learn to cook. That commitment to creating a better world is an increasingly popular strategy among food and beverage manufacturers looking to capture the hearts and minds of consumers concerned about the global and health impact of the food they eat.

3. McCain Foods Limited

Anyone who has eaten French fries in North America in the past 60 years has probably enjoyed McCain products at some point. The New Brunswick company is the world’s biggest purveyor of frozen potatoes and, lately, they’ve been pushing forward into the red-hot market of plant-based meat alternatives. McCain led a group of companies that invested $7 million in NUGGS, a start-up that manufactures chicken nugget alternatives from pea protein and claims that their products have double the protein and 20 percent fewer calories than real” nuggets. Meat alternatives have proven to be a smart investment for many F&B companies, so expect to see others follow suit soon.

4. Agropur Cooperative

Agropur is a Montréal-based dairy cooperative with a long and rich history. They were one of the hundreds of Montréal dairy co-ops formed in the 1930s to address an economic crisis. Today, they’re the single largest dairy processor in North America. The democratic and cooperative spirit of their founding still drives their business today, with big investments in social responsibility programs. On top of that, they’re pushing their business into the future and making plays into the health foods market by signing deals with companies like health supplement company OptiBiotix and developing new dairy technologies through their Inno programs.

Erp for large manufacturing food companies
Manufacturing ERP solutions are critical for large food manufacturing companies

5. Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Maple Leaf Foods has long been the king of Canada’s processed meat industry, but that’s changing quickly under the leadership of CEO Michael McCain. Maple Leaf is another company that’s doubled down on meat alternatives, pouring millions into plant-based protein options that they’re betting will help them control a market that’s exploding in popularity. In fact, they’ve taken on a truly ambitious mission: to become the most sustainable protein company on Earth,” according to McCain. With that kind of smart and aggressive investment, Maple Leaf has positioned itself as a relevant player in North American food markets for years to come.

6. Cott Corporation

One of North America’s largest beverage producers, Cott is a company with deep roots in both the U.S. and Canada. Cott was founded as a soda company in 1923 in Port Chester, New York, before expanding to Quebec in 1955, and the company has been equally at home in both countries ever since. They’re a big player in the bulk beverage market, with subsidiary companies that are among the largest distributors of bottled water, coffee and tea to offices, convenience stores and other businesses across North America. Cott has spent the past decade making international acquisitions, including one of Europe’s largest water delivery brands. They’ve also done some smart divestments, including selling off all of their soda business in the face of a weak North American market for soft drinks.

7. Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

Since their founding in 1917 as Fletcher Foods, Premium Brands Holdings have carefully curated a huge variety of food brands on both the distribution and manufacturing sides. In addition to big names like Oberto beef jerky, Premium Brands has invested in a wide variety of specialty food brands that have enabled them to stay competitive in a market that’s changing quickly. Consumers in today’s markets want their food both fast and fresh, and Premium Brands is well-positioned to take advantage of that trend – thanks to their large investments in packaged sandwich and deli products companies. One particularly smart acquisition: SK Food Group, a U.S.-based artisan sandwich manufacturer that supplies pre-made sandwiches to Starbucks. 

Canadian food manufacturing erp
Food manufactured in Canada

Whatever the next decades hold for Canadian food and beverage manufacturing, it’s a safe bet to say that all of these companies will help drive it forward. They’re committed to addressing the challenges of the world food supply, and if they continue working together and investing in the latest food and beverage manufacturing technology, there’s almost no limit to what they might achieve. 

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