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A growing hunger for Manitoba Food Manitobans want to Eat Local!

Posted on: September 7th, 2017 by

The Manitoba Consumer Monitor (MCM) Food Panel results are in; proving that Manitobans from around the province are increasingly hungry for made in Manitoba food products with Canada and the rest of the world racing to our table!

Manitobans – province wide – flocked to farmer’s markets at least twice in 2012.  According to the panel responses, 40% of Manitobans shopping at farmers markets are there for product quality and freshness and to support local farmers and businesses.  In fact, only 19% of Manitobans never made it to a farmers market, but it does not mean they missed out on local Manitoba food products.

Manitoba panelists care that the foods they purchase are contributing to community growth. The MCM Food Panel presented a response rate of 62% who chose to purchase local food when given the choice over food not originating from Manitoba.  When panelists were asked why they did not purchase local, 16% admitted that local food was not an option where they purchased food. It’s evident that the local food sector is important to Manitobans, as 10% of the panel spoke with their local food store manager about stocking shelves with local foods.

Canada’s food and beverage processing industry accounted for 16% or $27.7 billion of the manufacturing sector’s total GDP in 2014 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada , 2016)  Food and beverage accounted for the largest share of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Within the manufacturing sector in Manitoba’s food processing industry it represents 4% of the total value of food and beverage shipments in Canada. (Jeff Kraynyk – Leader)

It’s no surprise that food is one of our province’s largest industries.

“There is a crazy demand that results in two components, (one being) a healthy economy in America.  They are the world’s largest group of organic eaters purchasing close to half [of] all [the] world’s organic foods.  They look to Canada as their ingredient basket, so Manitoba would be considered as a main function of our sector and as an ingredient basket for American food processors,” said Dr. Laura Telford, Business Development Specialist-Organic Marketing, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

Dr. Telford explained that since last year there had been shortages in organic grain and organic beef creating larger global demand in addition to the growing demand in the USA.

Manitoba is also home to 300 food processing companies according to Mr. Dave Shambrock, Executive Director, Food & Beverage Manitoba (formerly the Manitoba Food Processors Association). Shambrock pointed out that there are a lot of new and exciting local food products being developed all the time to enhance mealtime experiences.

“There’s a new company called Smak Dab Foods.  It’s a one-person company, with Carly, a red seal trained chef, making some interesting gourmet mustards using a lot of unique ingredients,” said Shambrock.  Smak Dab, named one of the most delicious Canadian artisan food products by Foodie Pages, creates several unique local blends including beer chipotle, red wine and plum mustard; and all the items are sourced from local brokers. “It’s so important for a small (processing) company to build up their sales in the local market first to be able to manage properly, build cash flow and be able to easily supply to market.  There are programs in-house for companies to ramp up for that,” added Shambrock.

Manitobans have been found to trust quality food products produced in the province. MCM Food Panel indicated the following local food brands were listed as the most trusted Bothwell Cheese (78%), Grannies Poultry (68%), Bee Maid Honey (60%) and Old Dutch (59%).

The local Manitoba market continues to expand with some small processors creating a demand for their product beyond our borders like that of The Canadian Birch Company. They have developed a very distinct line of Manitoba birch syrups with new technology harvested from a secret pristine forest stand within the province that has piqued interest beyond Canada’s borders. To see more interesting facts about Manitoba food, visit

Works Cited

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada . (2016, 05 09). An Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food System 2016. Retrieved 08 30, 2017, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada :

Jeff Kraynyk – Leader, I. D. (n.d.). Food and Beverage Processing. Retrieved 08 30, 2017, from Agriculture about the sector:,about-the-sector.html

(2012). A survey: Access to food and farmers’ markets. Questions 05, 15, 24, 27. Retrieved from [Powerpoint Presentation].

(2016). Access to food: trends and patterns. Retrieved from [Powerpoint Presentation].


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