Our lives as Canadians are busier than ever and that influences what we eat. Because we are so busy, and simply spend less time in the kitchen preparing food than we used to, we want food that is quick to make, but also good quality and affordable. That’s why it’s important that Canadian food production businesses provide us with alternatives that are fresh, healthful, and convenient.The result of this demand is the organic food production business, and it’s growing rapidly.
- Two out of every three Canadians (66%) are spending at least some of their weekly grocery budget on organic items.
- Fruits and vegetables remain the most purchased category of organic produce at 76%.
- According to data supplied by the Nielsen Company, organic, pre-packaged foods account for 1.6% of the total pre-packaged foods in Canada. This category showed 7% growth from 2016 to 2017. (Market Wired)
What Canadians Eat The Most
- Frozen pizzas and sandwich kits make up about 30% of the food market, from brands like Delissio and Starbucks.
- Salad kits make up about 35% of the food market, from brands like Dole and Walmart.
- Sushis and curries make up about 29% of the food market, from brands like Sushi Shop, Thai Kitchen Canada and Aroy-D (Food Canada).
The key drivers in the Canadian organic business are millennials who are purchasing 83% of the organic food and beverages. And households with children are also more likely to buy organic foods than households without, with 19% of their weekly grocery bill going towards organic items, compared to only 12% of people without children.
Canadians are most likely to trust “Made in Canada,” “Local” and “Canada Organic Certified” when marked on their food, making organic, local food the fastest growing category in Canada’s agricultural sector. (Market Wired)
“Organic is the fastest growing category in agriculture in Canada and has consistent sales growth across all product categories. Canadians are demanding more and more variety in their organic purchases, which is driving the market to keep up with this next generations’ desire for more organic!” Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director, Canada Organic Trade Association
How Community-Based Food Production Can Make Food for Canadians
If organic food production is growing rapidly, Canadians are asking for more of it at their local stores. That means the organic market is creating many opportunities for community-based food production in facilities like Ontario Agri-food Venture Centre’s (OAFVC) commercial kitchen.
Set in the heart of farm-to-table farm land in Northumberland County, OAFVC is a food processing centre for local agricultural and food entrepreneurs. For anyone involved in community-based food production, like startup food producers, OAFVC provides affordable commercial kitchens that support local food producers.
OAFVC’s facilities include:
- A large kitchen area to process organic food, so that the produce can move from farm to table quickly and safely following Canadian food safety standards.
- A freeze and flash freeze facility to maintain the organic food’s freshness longer, giving consumers the quality of produce they’re asking for and buying.
- A local distribution network, so that startup food producers can meet the food sellers most interested in what they’re producing locally.
- An affordable site to try out new products, with helpful free advice from their knowledgeable staff.
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