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Survey shows why Canadians buy local

Jul. 5, 2013, Toronto, ON - The third annual BMO Food Survey has analyzed the responses of 1,000 Canadians to determine the reasoning that they use to buy local food, as well as what products they actively buy.

The top reasons Canadians buy local, according to the survey, include:

  • The food is fresh and tastes better (97 per cent)
  • It supports the local economy (97 per cent)
  • It supports local farmers (96 per cent)
  • It creates local jobs (93 per cent)
  • It's better for the environment (88 per cent)
  • It offers the opportunity to buy organic produce (76 per cent)
  • It is less expensive (71 per cent)
The survey also found that Canadians seek to buy locally grown vegetables more than other products.

There are a few very interesting province-wide differences: Albertans buy local beef more often, while Ontarians are supporting a local wine industry 40 per cent of the time. Or that residents in B.C. and Ontario tend to buy locally grown fruit more than shoppers in other provinces. Atlantic Canadians are most likely to buy local fish, and Quebec residents are most likely to purchase locally-made cheese.

FoodFrequency Purchased
(Overall)
B.C.AlbertaPrairiesOntarioQuebecAtlantic Canada
Vegetables82%85%74%74%84%81%79%
Bread75%71%73%72%71%82%81%
Fruit74%80%54%60%79%76%72%
Poultry64%64%64%63%66%61%70%
Beef60%59%74%60%58%55%66%
Cheese59%52%50%46%60%71%53%
Fish44%55%27%35%43%40%66%
Wine31%32%16%17%40%27%26%

The results cited in this report come from an online survey fielded by Pollara between June 14th and June 17th and the results for a probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, or 19 times out of 20.