Saturday, July 20, 2024

More than maple syrup: Canadian food companies are expanding in Mexico

It is easier for Canadians in Mexico to find their main staples and favorite products on shelves in Mexico than ever — from classics like maple syrup to ice cream, cookies, chips and a lot more.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into force 30 years ago, updated recently to the Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement (CUSMA), and has helped develop strong trade ties in agribusiness among other sectors, including the automotive and aerospace industries.

Signage advertising Canadian products in Soriana
Canadian foods and flavors can be found in Soriana supermarkets across Mexico. (Courtesy)

One of the places where Canada and Mexico showcase their deep connections in the agribusiness segment is in the Mexican supermarket chain Soriana.

Soriana started as a small Mexican family-owned business in 1905 and is the perfect example of growth and transformation in Mexico. With over 800 stores, Soriana is the second-largest retail company in the country. Soriana’s stores currently offer top quality Canadian products, each with their own great story.

For example Top Glaciers, a Quebec company founded in 2016 by four of the top master glaciers in the city.

With 50 employees in their newly renovated factory, they have invested in developing innovative machinery while maintaining their primary focus: a pure artisanal recipe and traditional know-how.

Top Glaciers ice cream
Top Glaciers is one of the Canadian treats now available in Mexico. (Courtesy)

Top Glaciers currently produces more than a hundred frozen desserts, all sweetened with pure maple syrup. Top Glaciers is now one of the most recognized frozen desserts in Canada.

This year, Top Glaciers will be exporting to Mexico for the first time and their products will be in Soriana’s freezers.

Another example is Three Farmers — a small company from Saskatoon with a passion for farming and a strong belief that high quality, fresh and healthy foods should be available for everyone.

Three Farmers is a women-led business that has been closing the gap between rural and urban living.

Three Farmers chickpeas
Three Farmers is another Canadian brand coming to Soriana’s shelves. (Courtesy)

Through sustainable methods, they grow and roast chickpeas, one of the most used plant-based proteins in the world. In 2018, Three Farmers began collaborating with Soriana to offer healthy snacks to consumers in Mexico.

A third example is Daiya Foods, a pioneer company of plant-based, dairy-free products from British Columbia. Daiya’s name means mercy, kindness, and compassion in Sanskrit. For over 17 years, Daiya Foods has been a leading company in vegan cheeses, and their promise goes beyond the super-melty cheeses, offering pizza margherita, cream cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese in Soriana’s freezers as well as meatless pepperoni pizzas and other vegan products.

Soriana currently collaborates with over 60 Canadian agrifood companies that never imagined they would end up exporting their products internationally, thanks to its mature relationship with Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

Sabores de Canadá display at a Soriana supermarket
A “Sabores de Canadá” display at a Soriana supermarket. (Courtesy)

Through the EDC’s Business Connection Program, we have been working with Soriana to help those Canadian exporters bring Canadian goods to Mexican grocery stores. Since 2017, the two Canadian agencies have introduced almost 400 companies to Soriana through EDC’s exclusive Business Connection program for helping meet the demand from international companies looking for Canadian innovation and expertise. The goal in this program is to enable more trade for Canada as a whole and seize the opportunities for Canadian businesses to export, trade and immerse in the Mexican market.

This year the EDC is celebrating its 80th anniversary, and as a Crown corporation fully owned by the Government of Canada, we truly believe in our mission in Mexico. We have been present for over 20 years, with offices in Mexico City and Monterrey. In a search for long-term partnerships, along with EDC, Soriana is committed to offer the consumers in Mexico the best Canadian products on their shelves.

Whether you are a Canadian in Mexico looking for comforts from home, or just want to try a bit of what makes Canada special, we encourage you to be part of these Canada-Mexico trade connections.

Felipe Sanmiguel is the Business Development Director and Country-head for Mexico for Export Development Canada.

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