Soy is a major ingredient in the food industry comprising of meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, grains, snacks, cereals, meal replacements, protein powders and formulas. Meat alternatives made of soy are tofu, tempeh, vegetarian burgers and frankfurters, meatless luncheon slices, canned meat analogs, ground soy burger and soy bacon. Soy dairy alternatives are soy milk, soy creamers, soy yogurts, tofu-based butter alternatives, soy whipped toppings, soy cheese and non-dairy desserts. It is usually sold in bulk, fresh, frozen, and dried soybeans. Soy is used as a protein in meal replacements and protein powders. Various soy foods are soy sauce, tamari, soy nut butter and miso. Dairy is a staple food and an essential part of human diet. Low-fat, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free dairy products are governing the dairy market due to continuous demand and health awareness. A wide range of dairy product such as butter, cheese, milk, cream, yoghurt, buttermilk, ice cream, and lactose-free dairy products are available in the country.
According to the study “Country Profile: Dairy & Soy Food in Canada”, Canadian dairy and soy food market has witnessed a declined in the recent years due to various factors. The country’s macroeconomic headwinds impacted consumption of dairy and soy foods altering consumers’ habits, thereby, reducing the demand for top dairy and soy products. Canadian dairy and soy food market is dominated by the milk category followed by the other categories such as butter, spreadable fats, cream and yogurt. Consumers demand for products labelled reduced fat which are the main drivers of health and wellness concerns.
Hypermarkets, supermarkets and retailers are the leading distributors in Canada’s dairy and soy foods market. The leading competitors in Canada’s dairy and soy foods are Saputo Inc, Groupe Lactalis SA, Agropur, Danone Group, General Mills Inc., Unilever, Dairyland and Ultima Foods Inc. However, Saputo Inc, Groupe Lactalis SA, and Agropur are the leading players within the industry. Rigid plastics, flexible packaging, paper and board are the most commonly used packaging materials in Canada’s dairy and soy food sector. Butter, spreadable fats, cheese, dairy-based deserts, soy-based desserts, drinkable yogurt, fromage frais, quark, milk, soymilk, soy drinks and yogurt categories experience a continuing growth due to their everyday demand.
E-commerce within Canada’s dairy and soy foods industry is increasing the popularity of various products, providing vendors an online platform to enhance their profit margin and revenues. The rising internet penetration and ease of online transactions are the key factors driving the growth in dairy and soy foods online platforms. Canada’s e-commerce in dairy and soy food category is convenient and saves time with easy payment options, thus exposing a wide range of dairy alternatives. Advanced technological developments, increasing growth opportunities, and market projections are the factors driving the dairy and soy foods market in Canada. The market is witnessing a tremendous demand and is expected to continue over the next few years due to increasing manufacturers and health awareness.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications