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 almost 130 billion Canadian dollars in 2019. In the 2019/20 financial year, the majority of Canadian food retailer sales were made in Loblaw Companies Ltd. stores, with sales reaching over 50 billion Canadian dollars. Sobeys Inc. and Metro Inc. ranked in second and third places in the list of the leading food retailers.

Of the more than 27,000 food and beverage stores in Canada, over one third are located in Ontario. Loblaw Companies Ltd. was also the leading supermarket and grocery chain in terms of units, 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, reaching almost 19.8 billion Canadian dollars. Quebec came out on top for sales of independent food stores, with around 15.8 billion Canadian dollars’ worth of sales.

When it comes to spending on groceries, Millennials have an above average basket size in Canada at 55.45 Canadian dollars, whilst Baby Boomers have a below average basket size. Some of the leading reasons for choosing a specific store for grocery shopping include low everyday prices, the proximity to home, and being able to get everything needed there. Food retailers should also keep track of what issues could arise in-store which may deter customers; almost 30 percent of Canadians in a recent survey stated that out-of-stock products and too few open checkouts were the most annoying problems when food shopping.

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Food retail in Canada

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