Supermarkets and grocery stores in Canada - statistics & facts

The food and beverage industry, which includes both food retail and processing sectors, is one of the largest and most competitive trades in Canada. In the most recent fiscal year, the three leading food retailers in Canada were Loblaw Companies Limited, Sobeys Inc. and Metro Inc. Independent food retailers also play a key role in the Canadian supermarket industry, as there are around 6,816 unaffiliated independent food stores in Canada, compared to only about 2,518 supermarket chain locations.

In Canada, retail sales of supermarkets and other grocery stores amount to over 88 billion Canadian dollars. Among the leading retailers are American supermarket chains Costco, and Walmart. With over one hundred warehouses across Canada, Costco, a membership-only warehouse-club, saw a three percent growth in net sales in 2019. As the most populous Canadian province, Ontario has the largest market for supermarket retail in Canada, followed by Quebec. The key difference between food retail in the two provinces is that the food retail sales in Ontario are driven by chain stores; while in Quebec independent food stores generate most of the sales in that industry.

Canadian consumers are faced with a wide variety of choices when it comes to where to purchase their groceries. A recent survey found that Canadians are most concerned with quality, low prices, and freshness when it comes to purchasing food products. Another survey of Canadian consumers found that most shoppers simply go to the grocery store that is closest to their home, or one that offers the lowest everyday prices. When asked about specific grocery stores they frequent, Walmart was the most popular store to buy food and beverages among Canadians.

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Supermarkets and grocery stores in Canada

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Retail sales

Leading retailers

Consumer behavior


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