GraceKennedy Foods

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GraceKennedy foods are packed with the flavour of the Caribbean

The aisles of Canada’s grocery stores tell the Canadian story best: A smorgasbord of ethnicities, flavourful and diverse. It’s what makes Canada so great.
Representing the Caribbean culture in food is GraceKennedy Canada, a subsidiary of GraceKennedy Jamaica, which deserves the distinction as one of the Caribbean’s largest and most dynamic corporations (and whose mission it is to satisfy the unmet needs of Caribbean people wherever they live in the world).
For 25 years, Grace Kennedy has been importing the most popular Caribbean brands to Canada, much to the delight of ex-pats and epicureans alike.

GraceKennedy’s house brand is called Grace, and it is also one of the Caribbean’s most loved and recognized brands.

Expansion and diversification

The company has based its success on continued expansion and diversification. The parent company operations go beyond food to cover insurance, finance and even hardware retail. GraceKennedy Canada, however, concentrates on the food and beverage market.

“Our operations span the areas of food processing and distribution, banking and finance, insurance and remittance services, together with an investment in building materials retailing. In 1995, GraceKennedy developed our 2020 vision, our objective being to transform ourselves from a Jamaican trading company to a global consumer group with our roots in Jamaica,” says GraceKennedy President Lucky Lankage.

“Our specialty is bringing Caribbean foods and the experience of the Caribbean to Canadians and those who want to experience through food,” says Lankage. Grace Foods and Services are adaptive to a changing market and continually unveil new and dynamic products. Recently, the company released frozen meals, vegetarian mans and quick cook porridge for Canadians who are looking for the taste and flavour of the Caribbean can experience it without having to cook from scratch.

Beverages

Major part of Grace Services is beverages. Grace Coconut Water is the number one coconut water in Canada. “These products cross ethnicities. It is hard to keep it on the shelf,” says Linkage.

After 25 years as a viable business, the company revenue growth, productivity and profits and market value are substantially larger and stronger.  Lankage boasts that Grace products can be found in all major supermarkets in Canada, bringing “ethnic” foods to the millions of Canadians who crave the delicious flavors.

“Everyone knows jerk chicken. So how do we actually serve it to many Canadians who don’t want to start from scratch? We are increasing the profile of Caribbean food in the Canadian market and are continuing to increase market share continually. Our sales keep growing and the awareness of the products is growing. We bring the uniqueness of the flavours, be it in food or beverage,” says Lankage.

Scotiabank Caribana Festival 2010

The annual weekend festival of all things Caribbean is held on the weekend of July 31st, and is always a perfect venue to promote GraceKennedy. The party culminates with a huge parade that swells to over a million people each year celebrating all that is Caribbean. There are thousands of costumed masquerades and trucks proudly displaying their pride for their homelands.

Grace is heightening its presence at this year’s Caribana and will introduce the inaugural “Grace Tropical Rhythms Food Festival” at the Ontario Place. The venue will be set from 12pm to 8pm up so party goers can sample the Caribbean cuisines with dishes like BBQ Jerk Chicken and fish, rice and pies and sweet or salty plantains.

“Grace is predominate in the Caribbean islands, so when they come here they recognize and gravitate towards the taste from home,” says Lankage. “We provide something they can relate to from their roots. And we make available through supermarket or ethnic stores and have a good basket of products easily. Customers say they can relate to their roots and have the same home cooking available at their supermarket.”

www.gracefoods.com

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