Effective sales and marketing have always been important for SMEs in Canada’s food manufacturing industry, but the types of sales and marketing needed to survive and remain competitive in this sector are changing dramatically. Developments in technology, new forms of competition, and changing customer preferences and demands are forcing food manufacturing firms to re-evaluate and make radical changes not only to the ways in which they distribute and market their products, but also to their underlying business strategies and ways of working.

This article identifies the key developments, challenges and opportunities affecting Canada’s food manufacturing sector and discuss the implications for sales and marketing by SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) in this sector. Recommendations for successful sales and marketing by small and medium-sized food manufacturing firms in this sector are set out, reflecting an “art and science” based framework which has become essential for the adoption of best practice marketing tools and techniques combined with a focus on the crucial people-related aspects of sales and marketing.