About 50 sugar shacks across Quebec are getting together to take part in the "Ma cabane à la maison" initiative for the second year in a row.

Participating sugar shacks are offering extravagant box lunches, starting at $30 per person for specialized menus featuring some of the greatest classics: maple ham, baked beans, "oreilles de crisse," souffléed omelettes, grand-pères au sirop d'érable pastries and more.

The concept was born when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many cabane à sucres to close due to public health restrictions.

Manon Shallow, co-owner of Domaine du Sucrier in Saint-Boniface, Mauricie, says the initiative has been a lifeline for her business.

In 2021, more than 110,000 packages were sold, generating $11.5 million in economic spin-offs in the regions of Quebec.

Stéphanie Laurin, president of the Association des salles de réception et érablières du Québec (ASEQC), says last winter's experience was so beneficial that some sugar shacks have adapted their facilities by expanding their kitchen or storage spaces to be able to make box lunches year-round.

This year, starting Feb. 23, it will also be possible to make orders for corporate events.

Maple syrup typically generates more than $300 million in annual revenue for sugar shacks, according to ASEQC.

In 2020, the industry suffered a drop in revenue of over 90 per cent due to the pandemic.

According to Producteurs et productrices de syrup d'érable du Québec, in 2020, Quebec produced 73 per cent of the world's maple syrup.

The United States is, by far, the main importer.

All lunchbox purchases can be made online and picked up either at the sugar shack or at a Metro supermarket.

Some sugar shacks also offer delivery at home.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 16, 2022.