Food Retail in Canada - Statistics & Facts

The food retail industry comprises of food sold at food and beverage retailers such as supermarkets and grocery stores, convenience stores, mass merchandisers and specialty stores. In Canada, retail sales of food and beverage stores amounted to over 120 billion Canadian dollars in 2017. In the 2017/18 financial year, the majority of food retailer sales were made in Loblaw Companies Ltd. stores, with sales reaching around 32.47 billion Canadian dollars.

Of the more than 40,000 food and beverage stores in Canada, grocery stores make up the majority. Based on the number of units nationally, Loblaw Companies Ltd. was the leading supermarket and grocery chain in 2018, with almost 2,500 stores. In second place was Sobeys Inc. with almost 1,900 stores nationwide. Provincially, sales of chain food stores were highest in Ontario in 2017, reaching almost 19.8 billion Canadian dollars. When it comes to sales of independent food stores, Quebec came out on top with around 15.14 billion Canadian dollars worth of sales.

When it comes to grocery shopping, Millennials have an above average basket size in Canada at 55.45 Canadian dollars, whilst Baby Boomers have a below average basket size. With the recent increase in the cost of food in Canada, price remained the leading factor in choosing food and beverage products across generations. Consumers in Canada also indicated in a recent survey that it’s important to know where their food comes from, with many making the effort to buy locally grown products.

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