Canada's sweet spot for confectioners

Our business-friendly environment, superb transportation infrastructure and a significant raw sugar cost advantage make Ontario, Canada the place to expand your confectionery business – be a part of a $2.4 billion industry.

A cost competitive, business friendly environment

All raw sugar imports enter Canada duty free.

Raw sugar is cheaper in Canada.

All raw sugar imports enter Canada duty free. Canada is one of the few countries in the developed world with no regulated sugar program. Aligning prices closely with world market raw sugar prices means you can sell at prices below those of almost all other industrial nations – often two to three times lower than in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Additionally, most manufactured products containing sugar trade freely in the $20-trillion NAFTA region, giving Ontario manufacturers a significant cost advantage in competing internationally.

Confectioners in Ontario have access to a reliable supply of raw and refined sugar at a great price.

Bulk raw sugar reaches Ontario ports in ocean-going cargo vessels carrying on average 25,000 tonnes at a time. Here it is refined to separate the pure sugar crystals from molasses, plant residue and impurities.

More value for your money: lower taxes, lower operating costs.

Canada's lower manufacturing business costs provide the greatest cost advantage in the G7. You'll get more for your money in Ontario. The combined federal-provincial manufacturing income tax rate is one of the lowest in North America and lower than neighbouring jurisdictions.


Business costs in manufacturing
Country Cost advantage/disadvantage relative to the US (%)
Canada 3.8
Netherlands 3.1
United Kingdom 3.0
France 1.2
Japan 0.5
Italy 0.4
United States Baseline
Australia -0.5
Germany -0.9
Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2014


Combined Federal and State/Provincial Corporate Income Tax Rate in Manufacturing (Per Cent)
Country Percentage
Ontario 25.0
New York 29.3
Texas 31.4
Ohio 31.9
Florida 34.2
Georgia 34.5
Great Lakes States Avg. 34.7
Michigan 34.9
Indiana 35.2
Illinois 35.6
Wisconsin 36.2
Kentucky 36.4
New Jersey 36.4
California 36.8
Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives, 2016


In Ontario your bottom line benefits from generous government incentives and credits, competitive corporate taxes, labour costs, R&D costs and more. Combined with federal R&D programs, Ontario's R&D program can reduce your after-tax cost of every $100 in R&D to between $61 and $37 . You'll also save on costs and streamline your business's healthcare and health insurance operations through Ontario's universal healthcare system. Ontario offers lower health care insurance costs than the U.S. In fact, the average cost to employers in the U.S. is about double the cost as it is in Ontario.


Employer health costs for a typical firm
Country Thousands US$
U.S. 997
Ontario 360
Note: Typical firm defined as having approximately 91 employees.
Source: MMK Consulting, 2016


A thriving North American confectionery market - a sweet opportunity

Ontario is at the centre of the US$20-trillion market under NAFTA, and a $2.4 billion industry in our province.

Ontario puts you at the heart of the US$20-trillion North American market

Located in the heart of North America, Ontario is at the centre of the US$20-trillion market under NAFTA, and a $2.4 billion industry in our province. Our superb transportation infrastructure (road, rail, air, water) provides you with:

  • just-in-time delivery of sugar, cocoa and other key ingredients and goods, reducing your overhead costs
  • efficient, seamless delivery of your confectionery products to North American markets.

Ontario has 14 convenient land border crossings into the U.S. and over 250,000 kilometres of roads and highways. Marine lines offer shipping options to ports throughout the Great Lakes and around the world. Our rail networks reach across North America. Ontario's five major international airports and 80 regional airports put you and your team just a short flight from major North American business centres and markets including Detroit, Chicago, New York and Boston.

Truck crosses at the Canada and U.S. border

Sell to the booming Canadian and U.S. private label markets.

  • There is strong North American market potential for private label sales growth. Canada is North America's strongest private label market (23.5% of grocery dollars spent in 2011). In the U.S., the private label market is rapidly growing.
  • Ontario offers great opportunities for you to build and expand private label sales in both Canada and the U.S.
  • Lower your cocoa bean import costs — no import restrictions on cocoa beans means lower tariff rates and lower overhead for you.
  • Canada's 6.4 lbs. per capita chocolate consumption is the world's second highest, providing huge domestic market potential for chocolate confectioners manufacturing in Ontario.

A critical mass of suppliers supporting the confectionery industry

Many other large and small Ontario businesses support the confectionery sector.

Redpath refinery

Many other large and small Ontario businesses support the confectionery sector, with high quality raw ingredients, and specialized technology, packaging and transportation.

Ontario is home to four sugar facilities.

  • Built in 1959, Redpath Sugar's refinery on the Toronto waterfront has an output capacity of more than 2,000 tonnes of cane sugar per day.
  • Redpath Sweetener Solutions in Belleville produces value-added sugar products, such as iced tea mixes, drink crystals, hot chocolate and sugar gelatin blends.
  • Lantic's Toronto distribution centre and sales office delivers the complete line of Lantic sugar products in central Canada.
  • Lantic Blending in Scarborough produces value-added sugar products, such as crystal drink mixes, iced tea, cocoa blends and gelatin mixes.

Get fast, just-in-time delivery of abundant, high quality locally grown produce via Ontario's excellent transportation infrastructure.

Lantic distribution centre
Chocolate being extruded on production line

Companies including Barry Callebaut, Blommer Chocolate Company, Cargill and Ingredion Incorporated provide ingredients for the confectionery industry, such as sugar, sweeteners, cocoa, chocolate, corn syrup, maple syrup and honey.

With nearly 40% of Canada's sugar and confectionery manufacturing companies located in Ontario, our packagers, warehousing, distribution, equipment, specialized storage and transportation suppliers know your sector and can provide customized solutions to fit your specific needs.

A highly skilled, educated and reliable workforce

You'll find it easy to recruit the talent you need to grow your investment in Ontario.

Lower your hiring and training costs.

You'll find it easy to recruit the talent you need to grow your investment in Ontario. About 68% of adults in Ontario have completed their post-secondary education—a higher rate than any OECD country (including the U.S.). Ontario's manufacturing workers average 10+ years of on-the-job experience, translating into lower training costs for you.

Our network of 44 universities and colleges is training the next generation of workers through world-class programs in agriculture, food and nutritional sciences, culinary arts, engineering, technology, entrepreneurship and business management.

A diverse talent pool

Do you have customers in China and suppliers in Brazil? No matter what language they speak, it's likely to be one of the more than 200 languages spoken in Ontario. These include Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Hindi, French, Spanish and German. That's a definite advantage if you're part of a 24/7 global supply chain.

An environment of innovation

Numerous research and technology initiatives in Ontario support the food sector.

Ontario's impressive R&D infrastructure generates over $14 billion in R&D work annually.

We're doing amazing things in nutritional and agri-food sciences, food safety, packaging, and food production processes and technology. Our universities, colleges, government agencies and industry groups are doing groundbreaking R&D, from functional foods and nutrigenomics to shelf-life improvement and advanced robotics that can help you fully automate your confectionery manufacturing operations, stay competitive and stay ahead.

Nearly half of Canada's full-time R&D personnel are in Ontario. Each year, our private and public sector organizations perform over $14 billion in R&D. This translates into exciting opportunities for you to develop breakthrough concepts and technologies and bring them to North American and other markets.

Numerous research and technology initiatives in Ontario support the food sector. They include:

  • Agri-Tech Commercialization Centre: Part of a federal-provincial initiative, the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre provides market knowledge and industry expertise for entrepreneurs, researchers and companies focused on agriculture and biotechnology.
  • NSF-GFTC: This membership-based organization is the result of a merger between NSF International, a global public health and food safety organization, and the Guelph Food Technology Centre, a Canadian leader in food safety certification, training, quality and technical solutions.

Who's here?

Investors continue to choose Ontario because they succeed in a thriving and viable market.

It's no surprise that confectionery manufacturers are investing in Ontario, given the advantages that Ontario's low sugar costs and Ontario's cost competitive, business-friendly environment, mature supply chain and transportation infrastructure offer. Investors continue to choose Ontario because they succeed in a thriving and viable market.

Join other confectionery manufacturers who have chosen Ontario
Flag of Italy
  • Ferrero
Flag of Spain
  • Natra
Flag of Switzerland
  • Barry Callebaut
  • Nestlé
Flag of the United States of America
  • Blommer Chocolate Company
  • Cargill, Incorporated
  • Farley's & Sathers Candy Co.
  • Mars Incorporated
  • Mondelēz International
  • Oak Leaf Confections
  • Rockets Candy Company
  • SweetWorks Inc.
  • Tootsie Roll Industries
Flag of Canada
  • Niagara Natural Food Snacks
  • Dare Foods Limited
  • Johnvince Foods Company Ltd
  • Karma Candy Inc.
  • Kerr Bros. Ltd

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