Much has been written about how patriotic Canadians are. I feel most Canadians would agree our friends to the south are extremely more patriotic, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving and July 4th. To that, an Ipsos Reid pole conducted for the Historica-Dominion Institute in the days leading up to the Canada Day long weekend a couple of years ago suggest the Canadian sense of national pride is becoming an in-your-face swagger. What isn’t up for debate though is Canadians love for our national flag that is viewed as our most popular national icon. So how patriotic are Canadians when it comes to the food sector and the impact for small business?

Canadian ConsumerMade in Canada barcode. Vector illustration

Though we may not be as patriotic as our friends to the south, research reveals the majority of Canadians (92%) make it a point of buying Canadian brands and products. The top product that Canadians are most likely to purchase from Canadian producers is food (87%). Consumers purchase Brand Canada to support the economy and help keep jobs in Canada. Despite consumers desire to purchase Brand Canada, there is a strong perception most small business do not embrace this identity, may be similar in nature as to why they don’t have a website (41%).

Agriculture Canada’s Canada Brand Program

In 2010, Agriculture Canada introduced their Canada Brand program. The objective was to provide food manufacturers and the Canadian food and agriculture industry with a competitive advantage, internationally and at home. The branded program consists of a Canadian flag with the following tag line: “Quality Is In Our Nature”. Oh I forget to mention, there is not cost to becoming a member. Research reveals that consumers associate the Canada Brand with safe, high-quality products. For more information visit:

Impact for Small Business!

In the Canadian food sector, very few small Canadian food icon businesses remain. The last of the remaining few maySilvana Comugnero Kanadese dollar   Kanadan dollari Dlar canadiense have being Renee’s Gourmet Salad Dressings. What commenced as a family business with bottles of their homemade dressing given away as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts to friends and family came to an end when purchased by Heinz Canada. Today, multi national food giants control most of the brands in their categories. That is not to say small food brands cannot be as successful as Renee’s. As noted by Shawn O”Neil – Vice President, Global Marketing and Analytics, Unilever:

“I am not losing market share to P&G and other CPG companies. I am losing it to small players who are finding niche products”.

It is already tough enough competing with global food giants in the Canadian food sector. This program was designed to provide small business with a distinct advantage over these global food giants. A Win Win solution for small food manufacturers!

So, are you a Canadian food based business unwilling to take advantage of this program? If you are, I have one question for you, Why?

For more help getting and staying listed in Canada’s grocery sector, connect with us through our website: or give us a call toll free: 1-844-206-FOOD (3662).


Much has been said about the emerging millennial consumer and the impact they will have on food sales. Were you aware this generation makes up the bulk of Canada’s work force today? In fact, this is the same group that is known to have played a major role behind the resounding Liberal Party’s victory in Canada’s 2015 Federal election. So who is this consumer, why are they so important and how best to engage with them at the point of interaction?

The Millennial Consumer!

Millennials are the demographic cohort following Generation X. Most researchers and commentators use birth years March 3 '16 blogranging from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s to define them. Today, they are typically between the ages of 18 to 35 years old, and in 2013 they represented 27% of the Canadian population. Though they have traditionally been regarded as young upstarts barely out of their teenage years, they are rapidly moving solidly into their child rearing years. According to Statistics Canada, there will be a 5% increase in the number of children aged 4 and under and an 11% increase in the number of children between 5-9 between 2014 and 2019. Don’t be fooled. This particular consumer sector is well educated. According to a study from the Princeton, N.J based educational testing service in 2014; Canada had the world’s third-highest level of educational attainment after South Korea and Japan. In fact some 56% of the millennial population that year had a post high school education level.

Millennials – Their Buying Power

In the United States, the estimated buying power of the millennial is approximately $200B of direct and $500B of indirect spending. Utilizing the 10% rule for Canada, their estimated buying power is $70B dollars. By 2020, it is estimated their food at home spending will increase $5B annually. With food inflation rates soaring in Canada, millennials seek out grocery stores that offer them the greatest value for their dollar. In fact, some 76% of millennials claim to shop at stores that can offer them the lowest price. A recent report by BMO Economics suggests that young Canadians between the ages of 25 to 34 years old are on average richer than their parents at that age. In 2012, the net worth of households headed by someone aged 25 to 34 was $52,000.

Millennials – Their Life Style

The millennial consumers embrace healthier lifestyles. In fact, 49% of them claim living a healthier lifestyle to be one of their key goals and aspirations over the next 3 years. From a food manufacturers perspective, the top 4 aspects of the brand that drives there purchase choice includes:

1. Ingredients -75%

2. Freshness -73%

3. Flavour – 65%

4. Nutrition content / labeling – 62%

Millennials – Points of Engagement!

Brands that speak to millennials cultivate an authentic feel in their brand messaging. As they are at the leading March 3 '16 blog 2edge of mobile and social media, traditional advertising does not influence them. The top 3 most influential brands for them include: Google, YouTube and Face Book. Millennials wish to fit in and the key is to be connected. They wish to engage with brands on social networks and expect brands to give back to society. To gain their attention and loyalty, the key is for manufacturers to show they appreciate them and their business as:

1. 41% like brands that ask for their opinion

2. 50% buy products from companies that understand them and what they require

3. 47% buy products from companies who care what they think.

This is an emerging consumer sector business must embrace yet struggle to connect with. Branding is now a dialogue, not a monologue. Embrace this notion and engage in a conversation with them.

So, is your brand targeting this emerging sector and do you have a strategy to engage with them?
For more help getting and staying listed in Canada’s grocery sector, connect with us through our website: or give us a call toll free: 1-844-206-FOOD (3662)