The majority of Canadian shoppers (87%) say they buy most of their produce at a local supermarket, 35% shop at a farmers market and 14% buy directly from the producer.
Twenty-five percent of Canadians frequent warehouse club stores, and another 24% shop at produce specialty stores.
While 50% of Canadians say location determines where they shop, 43% of respondents choose a store because of its selection of produce and 32% base their decision on the quality of the produce.
Shoppers under 30 say location is a reason for choosing a grocery store.
Seniors choose a store for its fresh produce and good, friendly service.
Consumers and grocers agree that the health benefits of fresh produce drive sales.
Many Canadians (72%) say they would eat more produce if it was easier to purchase smaller portions, while 40% said they’d purchase more if it was easier to prepare.
By 2031, 30.6% of Canada’s population will belong to a visible minority group.
Sixty-six percent of respondents agree that specialty produce adds variety to their family’s diet.
New Canadians are supporters of fresh produce as well as organics.
First generation Canadians spend more on fresh produce ($44.21) per trip than the average shopper ($38.40). By the third generation, this drops to $36.20.
When it comes to organic produce, about 66% of Canadians say it’s more enviromentally friendly than other produce, yet only 33% buy it.
At the same time, 70% of grocers say sales of fresh organic produce continue to rise.
Forty-six percent of Canadians define organic as being “grown pesticide-, herbicide- and insecticide-free.”
More than 50% of Canadians have grown fruits, vegetables or herbs at home within the past few years.
To help educate its members, CPMA launched an online Produce 101 course, available free to any member who signs up online.
Lemaire said new and longtime members of the produce industry can quickly access basic information on specific commodities as well as tips on handling, storage, preparation and food safety.
“It’s a starting point,” Lemaire said. “As we go forward we’ll be building on it and developing added tools.”