Grocery Innovations Canada Event: Opportunities for Ontario Food and Beverage Processors

Food and beverage producers Ontario government grants

This summer Ontario food and beverage manufacturers will have the opportunity to showcase their unique, locally made products at the Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) 2015 trade show. Presented by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), this year’s show held at the Toronto Congress Centre provides space for a greater number of exhibitors to join and show their product selection to a number of public participants and retail representatives. Similar to previous years, GIC will include a “Choose Ontario” section which is exclusive to food and beverage processors in Ontario.

Ontario Exhibitors Access Retail Opportunities

The “Choose Ontario” section of GIC will focus on specialty products such as health and wellness, gourmet and artisan, organic, and locally-sourced items. In addition, producers of food and beverages may now sell and provide samples of products to participants at the show. This will allow businesses to directly connect with potential customers and forge relationships with representatives from some of Canada’s largest distributors and retailers. Exhibitors may provide “trade show specials” to retailers in the form of special prices, in-ad coupons, reduced minimums, free shipping, and more. Food and beverage producers who would benefit from making more retail connections are urged to register for this year’s event.

Why Attend GIC 2015?


Exhibitors will have the unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with retailers. For many small independent producers in Ontario, one of the biggest barriers to achieving large-scale success is the inability to meet with retail giants who control the brands which are represented in supermarkets. At this convention, OMAFRA and CFIG staff will be directing and guiding retailers on both days to ensure all exhibitors are able to receive the valuable perk.

Public Participants

Members of the public who are not attending the conference to facilitate business will also enjoy GIC for their ability to have a first look at products which will soon become commonplace in grocery stores across the country. Individuals with dietary restrictions will gain an inside look into how these products are made instead of only consulting ingredient lists before purchase. All participants of GIC 2015 will leave as more informed consumers able to make better purchase decisions.

Register for Grocery Innovations Canada 2015

September 28, 2015: 12:00pm/noon to 5:00pm and
September 29, 2015: 11:30am to 4:30pm

Where: Toronto Congress Centre – North Building
Cost: $1,600 per package (Valued at over $5,000)
Register via Email: Rolster Taylor, Sales Manager, (416) 492-4878 or

Canadian Government Funding Opportunities

Ontario food and beverage processors hoping to gain contracts or promote new product launches at GIC should take note of some relevant small business funding opportunities available to support this growth.

Growing Forward 2 Ontario (GF2)

Growing Forward 2 Ontario is a provincial variant of the federal Growing Forward 2 funding program for agriculture and agri-food initiatives. Businesses interested in improving the productivity, developing new products/processes, or adopting new technologies to improve production capabilities, food safety, and animal welfare will find this program valuable. This program will cover 35-50% of eligible costs, including third-party assessments, equipment (up to $100,000), labour, training, materials, and engineering expenses to name a few.

Agri-Marketing (Market Development)

Although most attendees of GIC 2015 will be Canadian, food and beverage manufacturers looking to explore international markets should investigate the Agri-Marketing program’s Market Development stream. This export expansion grant is available for SME’s who are legally incorporated and looking to expand into foreign markets excluding the United States. This government grant funding program will support up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of $50,000 per year in small business grants. Agri-Marketing will subsidize project expenses such as the production of advertising materials, in-store food service promotions, trade seminars designed to inform representatives about Canadian agriculture and food products, and exhibit booths and related costs at international trade shows.

Discover more Funding Opportunities with Mentor Works

The above mentioned programs are just two of the many government grant funding initiatives available for processors and producers in the food and beverage industry. In order to properly leverage funding resources and maximize the impact your business has at trade shows domestically and internationally, contact Mentor Works today to discover all of the small business funding opportunities currently available. Sign up for our free Canadian government funding newsletter to have the best funding news delivered to your inbox every Monday. Can’t wait that long? Follow Mentor Works on Twitter and like our Facebook page to receive daily updates.

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