Region/Countries: Canada, North America Industry: Food and Beverage Date: February 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The sector is growing and adapting in response to recent trends.

The food service industry in Canada represented approximately 4 percent of the national GDP in 2014, and industry sales for 2015 are expected to increase by 4 percent, or $2.8 billion, to $74.1 billion. The food service industry in Canada is divided into commercial (full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants and drinking establishments) and non-commercial sectors, with commercial food service sales projected to increase by 4 percent to $59.8 billion.

There are a number of trends in the food service industry, including a growing demand for healthier food choices and an increasing consumer interest for ethnic food options as a result of Canada’s diverse population. Food processors and restaurants are getting rid of artificial flavors and colors and going natural. As an example, by the end of 2016, Kraft Dinner products will no longer contain artificial preservatives or synthetic colors.

Other trends in the food service sector include cashless payment options, technology-driven food delivery and a focus on reducing the environmental footprint of food service operations.