Giving thanks for our neighbours to the south

As Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t help but think that Canadians are lucky to have such a great relationship with our American neighbours.

Launching a food product in Canada

In 2018, the USA shipped more than $20 billion worth of agricultural products into Canada1 and as a result, Canadians got to enjoy many delicious food products throughout the year when our local products are not available.

If you are reading this from south of the border you may not have realized that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day than Americans, and you may not know that in the Maritimes (provinces that touch the Atlantic Ocean) Thanksgiving is not an official holiday.  These small differences contribute to our Canadian culture and if you are thinking of launching a brand or product in Canada or looking to further differentiate your content strategy or campaigns, our marketing and public relations team can help you get the inside scoop on what makes Canadians tick.

So what’s making Canadians tick this Thanksgiving?

Well, with plant-based foods currently the #1 food trend in Canada, it’s not surprising that this year’s Thanksgiving feast may feature a few twists on tradition. While turkey is still the most common main dish for Canadian Thanksgiving dinner (4 million households ate turkey in 2018!), plant-based turkey rolls and other main dishes such as butternut squash lasagna, lentil and veggie casseroles and quinoa, sweet potato and kale patties are gaining in popularity and are likely to get a seat at this year’s Thanksgiving table. And these foods are not just for your vegan relatives – more than 3.5 million Canadians now consider themselves flexitarians, who are looking for other protein meal options.

Family members with food sensitivities are another consideration that Canadians will keep in mind when they are preparing dinner this year.  Although this concern is not new, it has given rise to even more gluten free and other free-from foods, such as gluten-free gravy mixes, appetizers and desserts.

And what about convenience?  Most Canadian families are time-starved and when it comes to a creating a big family meal, many are looking for some ready-made soups, salads and side dishes and “speed-scratch” options, such as readymade pie crusts for the pumpkin pie that they will lovingly make and present as homemade.

While Thanksgiving is a time for food traditions, Canadians are keen to try new products. If you are considering bringing your product to Canada why not give us a call or send us an email? We can help your brand breakthrough and get noticed, even when it’s not linked to a popular Canadian holiday.

1USDA/FAS export trade data

Harbinger is a Toronto-based North American marketing agency with expertise in product launches. We help brands get noticed and purchased.


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