Who’s hungry? A discussion about food production in Ontario with Christina Mack
A lot of technology goes into getting food on the table in Ontario.
On this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’, Nick (and Brendan) are joined by Christina Mack, the President and CEO of Mississauga’s Kingsway Food. Kingsway Food produces vitamin premixes, ice cream flavouring, dips and dressings (including Dip-a-Chip brand products), and a new series of plant-based products.
Food manufacturers employ more than 85,000 people in Ontario, and are second only to the automotive industry in terms of their impact on the province’s economy. In addition to being absolutely essential to our well-being, food manufacturers are an important source of export revenue and innovation. The latter was made abundantly clear during our conversation with Christina.
A graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Chemical Engineering program, Christina brings a wealth of experience from her time working in the oil and gas industry, in meat processing, and in the financial services sector. Her entrepreneurial spirit, when combined with her passion for process improvement, product innovation, and her team at Kingsway, is infectious and key to the success of this small but well-established part of Ontario’s manufacturing ecosystem.
Throughout our conversation, we learn about how regulations related to food safety and weights and measures help create a competitive advantage for Canadian food manufacturers…regulations that are baked into manufacturers’ quality and process improvements (pun intended). We also learn about the different customers that food manufacturers serve, including retail, foodservice, and private labels, and the impact of COVID-19 on these market segments.
Grab your favourite Ontario-made snack (bonus points if you can pair it with one of Kingsway’s dips) and take a listen to this episode of ‘Making it Ontario’ to learn more about how industry leaders like Christina are bringing nutritious and delicious food to grocery stores and restaurants near you.
00:00-02:36 – Nick’s Intro
02:36-08:41 – Christina and her winding path to Kingsway Foods
08:42-11:06 – For Christina, something drew her back to manufacturing
11:07-12:38 – Tools of the trade (Kingsway’s manufacturing equipment)
12:39-17:51 – Using the tools for ‘Continuous Improvement’
17:52-20:55 – The rules and regulations of food manufacturing
20:56-23:23 – Food service vs. retail, & the COVID19 disruption
23:24-24:48 – COVID19’s affect on the size of food packaging
24:49-30:41 – The importance of culture and new technology
30:42-33:17 – The realities of being a woman owning a manufacturing company
34:18-39:09 – The co-packing discussion