A product of the highest quality, guaranteed yearly supply and the will to conquer international markets is how CITADELLE managed to gain a foothold in the markets of five continents and become the world leader in the marketing of maple products.
Almost 90% of the company's production is sold to foreign markets in order not to compete with the local market. In fact, CITADELLE's mandate is to develop markets that are inaccessible to producers to avoid competing with its members in retail markets in Quebec. Today, Cooperative products are found in almost 40 countries.
The Cooperative has never missed on an opportunity to build awareness internationally. Gifts provided to important people such as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, General de Gaulle or Pope Pius XII quickly brought widespread publicity in different countries. International exhibitions or global events are the best ways to sample the products and sell tehm on world markets.
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L'Abeille et l'Érable
The first contract with the Paton auction house in New York was signed on August 25, 1927. This agreement opened the US market and represented a significant springboard onto the international market.
L'Abeille et l'Érable
The allies conference in 1943 allowed the Cooperative to promote its products on an international scale, thanks to the journalists who came to cover the event.
©Citadelle Archives, Maple Syrup Producers' Cooperative
Small 1/4 lb boxes were exhibited at Montréal Worls'd Fair in 1967. In addition, pavillon restaurants used Citadelle maple syrup in many of its desserts.
Gilles Langevin and Jean Pratte
Quebec National Library and Archives
Fund of Ministry of Culture, Communications and status of Women
Series Film Board of Quebec
E6, S7, SS1, P750528
From the first years of the Cooperative’s existence, the company has sought to bring maple syrup to every French Canadian home and to encourage consumers to enjoy it throughout the year. Cyrille Vaillancourt wrote in 1932, while neighbouring provinces consumed twice as much maple products than Quebec, “Should we allow others to enjoy the most beautiful and best product, and not keep some for ourselves?” Advertisements emphasize the pride of the inhabitants of the province and the importance of consuming homegrown products. Large shop windows also promote CITADELLE products and invite consumers to taste.
In 1957, a large ad and education campaign was launched to make known the various uses for maple syrup and make it a daily-use product. The Cooperative associated with well-known personalities from the culinary world to share maple recipes in newspapers, radio and television. Several booklets were also distributed with the products with the goal of integrating maple with everyday cooking.