Industry Lens: Food Manufacturing—September 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, September 21, 2021
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This industry profile provides a five-year forecast for Canada’s food manufacturing industry.

Document Highlights

  • Canada’s food manufacturing industry performed comparatively well during the pandemic. GDP growth of 2.3 per cent is expected in 2021, followed by a further 3.4 per cent growth in 2022.
  • The industry adapted well to the abrupt shift in demand from food services to food retail. The easing of pandemic restrictions is allowing a recovery of food services, and we will see the profile of food demand shift again.
  • Labour shortages, which were exacerbated by the pandemic, continue to be a battle. Recruitment challenges are driven by several factors, including an aging workforce, skills gaps, low wages, and demanding working conditions.
  • Recruiting workers from abroad is becoming increasingly important in the industry.
  • Exports of food products will increase over the forecast period, allowing the long-standing trade surplus to increase.
  • Labour scarcity and increased costs will see firms seeking out efficiency gains through automation.

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