Food Shopping Behavior in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Despite the recent downturn in the Canadian dollar, food retail remains one of the largest and most competitive industries in Canada, with food retail sales accounting for more than 90 billion Canadian dollars in 2015. However, as a consequence of the fallen loonie and the large quantities of fresh food imports, food prices in Canada have risen. Consumers have therefore found it more challenging to pay their grocery bills, a 2016 survey finding 37 percent of households claimed it was somewhat difficult to afford food prices in Canada.

Despite many struggling families reducing their meat or fruit and vegetable consumption in response to the rising cost of food, numerous consumers were willing to pay more for locally grown food, naming farmers markets as the best place to buy local products. In contrast, mass merchants and up-market supermarkets were among the store types consumers shop at regularly, price named the leading reason for consumers when choosing a grocery store to shop at. Consumers however, were not always willing to compromise their favorite brand for price, with only 18 percent buying the product offering the best price, regardless of the brand.

For most consumers, grocery shopping planning is essential. A survey finding 63 of respondents make a shopping list in advance, while 48 percent used flyers before grocery shopping. It was also found that women were typically the primary household shopper, though on average, men made more shopping trips.

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