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Market Information Papers

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Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Canadians spend an estimated $11.2 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables per year, purchasing these items at least once per week and consuming an average of three to five servings per day. Customer expectations for quality fresh produce year-round has driven a high level of globalization in the food industry. In 2013, Canada’s imports of fruits remained stable at $3.7 billion, while imports of vegetables reached a five-year high of $2.2 billion. While the U.S. and Mexico remain Canada’s principal food suppliers, the popularity of nutrient-rich “superfoods” and mainstream adoption of ethnic grocers offer promising opportunities for exporters from around the world. The largest increases in Canadian fruit consumption in 2013 were seen in exotic fruits, including limes, avocados, dates, guavas and mangoes. Green vegetables such as Kohlrabi, Brussel sprouts, rapini and leeks also experienced strong growth, in addition to sweet potatoes, okra and manioc. The new Safe Food for Canadians Act will bring important changes to rules for importing food to Canada, particularly in labelling and inspection, and is expected to come into force by mid-2015.

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