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 and beverage retail store sales accounting for more than 124.22 billion Canadian dollars in 2018. However, as a consequence of the fallen loonie and the large quantities of fresh food imports, food prices in Canada have risen. Many consumers have therefore found it more challenging to pay their grocery bills, a March 2019 survey finding 35 percent of households claimed it was difficult or somewhat difficult to afford food prices in Canada.

Many struggling families are reducing their meat or fruit and vegetable consumption in response to the rising cost of food, and 71 percent of Canadian consumers believe that the issue with rising food costs will only get worse in the future. British Columbia had the highest annual average expenditure on food in Canada, according to 2017 data, at 9,245 Canadian dollars per household. On the other hand, the average household in New Brunswick is expected to spend around 7,634 Canadian dollars per year on food, the lowest amount of any Canadian province.

Organic food is widely available in Canadian grocery stores and farmers markets, with nearly 40 percent of Canadian consumers regularly purchasing organic vegetables, making it the most popular category of organic food as of July 2019. Organic fruit is also popular, with 38 percent of Canadian consumers preferring to purchase it rather than regular fruit. Over half of Canadians would buy organic products if they were not so expensive compared to conventional food, and about a third of Canadian consumers believe that companies exaggerate the benefits of organic food.

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Food shopping behavior in Canada

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Shopping trips

Food expenditure

Consumer behavior


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