Canada’s Artisan Candy Companies Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Candy is big business. Confectionery companies with operations in Canada are projected to earn nearly US$16 billion in revenue by the end of 2022, and the market is expected to grow by more than 30 per cent in the next five years. Big Sugar dominates (Nestlé, PepsiCo and Mondelez are among the top players), but what’s most interesting about the category’s recent history is the rise of homegrown sugar-centric entrepreneurs—those putting Instagram-friendly, delicious Canadian-made products on the marketplace. Here, a roundup of the sweetest-tasting—and sweetest-looking—treats.
Ashley Wittig’s Toronto shop, Honey’s, makes outstanding premium plant-based ice cream. Gourmet-food shops can’t keep flavours like Niagara Grape Sherbet and Birthday Cake (the stuff in this divine sundae) in stock.
$13 a pint, honeysicecream.ca
Puffs of glory
Cotton candy by Lucky Elephant, a Canadian classic since the 1950s, has had a major resurgence thanks to nostalgic hipsters who love its unadulterated sugary punch.
From $4, thecandybar.ca
Vancouverite Tara Bosch launched Smart Sweets in 2016, and in 2020 she sold it to an investment company for US$360 million. Her gummy fish have less than three grams of sugar per bag.
$4 for 50g, smartsweets.ca
Blue (and red and yellow) ribbon
Montreal-based Squish has a thriving online business and boutiques in Hudson’s Bay stores where it sells treats in buzzy flavours like these vegan sour fruity belts.
$17 for 400g, squishcandies.ca
Quebec brand Apéro Candy has deals with Walmart, Loblaws and other major retailers to sell its cocktail-flavoured gummies. Above: its daiquiri and mojito flavours.
$5 for 120g, aperocandy.com
The chocolate bar
Made in Warkworth, Ont., Centre & Main’s beautiful bars come in grown-up flavours like Raspberry Rose Pink Peppercorn.
From $10 for 75g centreandmainchocolate.com
Toronto-based healthy-snack brand Handfuel has its flavour-packed blends of nuts, seeds and fruits in over 2,400 retail outlets across the country.
$3 for 40g handfuel.ca
Vancouver company Healthy Hippo makes plant-based non-GMO sour gummies sweetened with monk-fruit-juice concentrate.
$4 for 50g healthyhippo.ca
The French mix
C’est Bon Bon’s candies include gummy polar bears and sea turtles that benefit non-profits. The brand was founded in Montreal in 2018 as a spinoff of a candy-subscription service.
From $4 for 150g cestbonbon.ca
Victoria-based beer-maker Phillips Brewery also makes flavourful craft pop. The Daredevil Orange Cream is splendidly Creamsicle-like.
$7.80 for four cans phillipssoda.com