How to #BuyCanadian during the US-Canada trade war

Jun 14 2018, 1:32 am

Update: A prior version of the article incorrectly stated that all OIKOS yogurt is produced in American manufacturing facilities. While OIKOS yogurt sold in America is made at the American facilities that were listed, OIKOS yogurt sold in Canada is manufactured at a plant in Boucherville, Quebec. 

Given the trade war that Canada and the US are currently embroiled in, Canadians may want to reconsider a few items on their grocery lists starting July 1.

President of the United States Donald Trump recently imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports into the US, which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to with tariffs on both US steel and everyday consumer products.

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The Canada-imposed tariffs are set to take effect on Canada Day, which could potentially raise the price of American-made products for consumers up here in the Great White North.

Trudeau’s plan is to place 25% tariffs on steel and aluminum from the US, and 10% tariffs on all other chosen products.

If you’re looking to save some cash (or to stick it to the country that started the tariff war in your own small way) we’ve put together a list of brands you can avoid during your next trip to the grocery store — and some Canadian-made alternatives to pick up in their place.


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It can be argued that Canada’s already-existing tariffs on US dairy are at the heart of this whole mess (well, that and the “fact” that Canada allegedly burning down the White House during the War of 1812 — 53 years before we even became a country, but whatever), and Canada will only pile on with a 10% tariff on American yogurt products.

Canadian shoppers will be happy to hear that they can continue to place OIKOS yogurt into their carts, as the product is manufactured by Danone, which produces all OIKOS yogurt sold in Canadian stores at a facility in Boucherville, Quebec.


Some of the largest names in coffee are manufactured in America, including Maxwell House (made in Jacksonville, Florida) and Folgers (New Orleans, Louisiana).

Canadian company Nabob may be a suitable alternative until this whole tariff mess blows over. Or even better, hit up your local coffee shop for a local brew.

Maple sugar and maple syrup


Screenshot from “How to be Canadian”‘ YouTube Video (IFHT Films/YouTube)

We have a feeling that this one was just added in as a point of Canadian pride, as most maple syrup on the tables of Canadians is made in Ontario or Quebec, anyway.

However, when you’re out there shopping for the perfect topping to pair with those weekend pancakes, keep in mind that many products on the market aren’t technically maple syrup, and are instead syrup alternatives — Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Buttersworth are both American companies.

So if the label says “Pure Maple Syrup,” odds are it was made right here in Canada, but maybe look for a Made in Canada indicator, just in case.

Licorice, toffee

This one may be a bit of a hit for those of you with a sweet tooth, but licorice mainstay Twizzlers does much of its manufacturing in Memphis, Tennessee.

However, there are plenty of Canadian sweets to keep those cavities nice and deep, including Dare Real Fruit Gummies, Maynards Wine Gums, Mackintosh Toffee, Kerrs Mints, Y&S Cigars, and Dare Jujubes… sorry, dentists of Canada!


Just because Hawaiian pizza was a Canadian invention doesn’t mean that all Hawaiian pizzas are made in Canada — or in Hawaii, for that matter.

Luckily for Canadians, many of the larger frozen pizza companies have manufacturing inside the country, including Delisso, whose pizzas are made at one of the 20 Nestle in Canada manufacturing plants.

Other Made-In-Canada pizza options include Dr. Oetkers, as they opened a plant in London, Ontario in 2014, or CauliPower, a healthy take on an old favourite, which brought production up to Canada along with its expansion to Canadian stores last month.

Strawberry jam

Sorry, Jam lovers, but the ever-popular Smuckers will be hit by the Canada Day tariffs. The company had a plant in southern Quebec, but were forced to close it down in the summer of 2013. Now production of Smuckers jam is primarily based at their plants in Ripon, Wisconsin and Orrville, Ohio.

There aren’t too many big name Canadian manufacturers of jam on the market, though Bon Maman is from France (so no tariffs there), and your local Farmers’ Market should have something even tastier than what you’d find at the Superstore.

Orange juice

You’ll be able to avoid purchasing US OJ as long as you stick to Minute Maid, as the orangy goodness flowing out of their Peterborough, Ontario facility is entirely Canadian — pulp or no pulp.

Ketchup and mustard

Heinz may have left the Leamington, Ontario manufacturing facility for more southern skies back in 2014, but Highbury Canco stepped up to take over the plant, in part due to the business they would do with French’s — a rival of Heinz’s.

Once July 1 hits, French’s will be the Canadian choice for Canada Day BBQ condiments.

Toilet paper

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Don’t let the bears in the ads fool you; Charmin is not a Canadian-made product, no matter how familiar we are with those big furry animals.

The toilet paper brand relies on Proctor & Gamble for its manufacturing, and their plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania is where that soft white stuff comes from.

On the other side of the border you’ve got Royale products, which are created by Irving Tissue, a company with facilities in Dieppe, New Brunswick and Toronto, Ontario.

Kruger Products are another option, as they produce their Cashmore and Purex bathroom tissue lines in BC, Ontario, and Quebec facilities.

Sleeping bags

Canadians don’t lack in options when it comes to Canada-made sleeping bags — it makes sense, seeing as we love our (sometimes seriously cold) outdoors.

Some Canada-made sleeping bag producers include TaigaKluane Mountaineering, Woods, and Outdoor Survival Canada, though we’re sure there are plenty more to choose from at outdoor gear stores near you.

Playing cards

Yes, Canada is even placing a tariff on trading cards!

While it’s clear that this is probably more to do with Canadian casinos that buy the packs by the thousands, we can’t help but point you towards this Canadian company that makes customizable playing cards — you could even put a commemorative photo on them, like say, this one:


Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau at the G7 Summit. (Mark Knoller / Twitter)

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