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Canada The Natural/Organic Shopper Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the The Natural/Organic Shopper market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

This Report offers insights into the behaviours and attitudes of Canadians who purchase and/or consume foods and beverages labelled as organic and/or natural/all-natural.

What you need to know

When asked, most Canadians claim they purchase foods or drinks with either organic or natural labels (71%), with a quarter (26%) stating that half or more of their typical grocery basket is made up of these products. Furthermore, considerably more consumers claim that they are purchasing more organic/natural foods/drinks this year compared to last year. While these are positive signs, the perception that these products are too expensive remains a barrier in the minds of consumers, particularly for organics. This Report discusses both the barriers towards and reasons for purchasing organic and natural foods, identifying which attributes prove more and less important for Canadians. This Report also identifies categories that are top-ofmind for consumers when considering organic and/or natural food/ beverage purchases in order to provide perspective around where the most obvious opportunities lie.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Joel Gregoire, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

When asked, most Canadians claim they purchase foods or drinks with either organic or natural labels. Furthermore, more consumers claim that they are purchasing more organic/natural foods/drinks. While these are positive signs, the perception that these products are too expensive remains a barrier in the minds of consumers, particularly for organics. This Report discusses both the barriers towards and reasons for purchasing organic and natural foods, identifying which attributes prove more and less important for Canadians. This Report also identifies categories that are top-of-mind for consumers when considering organic and/or natural food/beverage purchases in order to provide perspective around where the most obvious opportunities lie. Joel Gregoire
Associate Director - Food & Drink

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Cost is the main barrier to growth for natural/organics
            • Figure 1: Association with being expensive, January 2018
          • Many consumers unclear on benefits
            • Figure 2: agreement with statements on organic natural food claim, January 2018
          • Importance of environmental considerations requires perspective
            • Figure 3: Barriers to greater purchases of organic/natural foods, January 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Stated purchase behaviours point to continued growth for natural/organic products
              • Figure 4: Purchase change for natural and organic foods and/or beverages in the past year, January 2018
            • Younger consumers see value in natural/organic products
              • Figure 5: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, 18-44s vs over-45s, January 2018
            • Safety is a key value proposition
              • Figure 6: “Foods with organic/natural claims are safer” (% agree), by age, January 2018
            • Parents important to success of organic/natural food and drinks
              • Figure 7: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, by parental status, January 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Trust in food supply chain appears to be minimally impacted by food recalls
                • How Canadians “feel” supersedes how they “look”
                  • Canada’s aging population represents a potential challenge
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Food fraud gaining more attention
                      • Trust in food supply chain appears to be minimally impacted by food recalls
                      • Market Factors

                        • How Canadians “feel” supersedes how they “look”
                          • Figure 8: Motivators for living a healthy lifestyle, May 2016
                        • Canada’s aging population represents a potential challenge
                          • Figure 9: Population aged 65 years and over in Canada, historical and projected (% of total), 1971-2061
                        • Canadians are more time-pressed
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Consumers demand more transparency
                            • Price looms as the main barrier to usage of foods/beverages with natural and organic claims
                              • Focus on “nutrient density” represents a development opportunity
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Consumers demand more transparency
                                  • Claims are becoming more specific
                                    • Figure 10: Trended share of food and drink launches (excluding alcoholic beverages) that fall within the “natural” super-category (Canada), 2013-17
                                    • Figure 11: Trended share of claims on food & drink (excluding alcoholic beverages) launches within “natural” claims grouping (Canada)
                                • Challenges

                                  • Price looms as the main barrier to usage of foods/beverages with natural and organic claims
                                    • Figure 12: Select associations with organic, natural and traditional/mainstream foods, January 2018
                                • What’s Next?

                                  • Technology offers increased traceability and transparency
                                    • Figure 13: Les Magasins U – La Route de Frais, April 2017
                                  • Focus on “nutrient density” represents a development opportunity
                                    • Launches with all natural, no additive/preservative or organic claims
                                      • Figure 14: All natural claims on launched products, share by food and drink category (excl. alcoholic beverages), 2017
                                      • Figure 15: No additives/preservatives claims on launched products, share by food and drink category (excl. alcoholic beverages), 2017
                                      • Figure 16: Organic claims on launched products, share by food and drink category (excl. alcoholic beverages), 2017
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Seven in 10 Canadians purchase organic/natural products
                                      • Produce is the category where organics and natural are most likely to be purchased
                                        • Canadians are more likely to view organics as being “expensive” than “nutritious”
                                          • Nearly half of consumers agree natural/organics are “better for you”
                                            • Many consumers are not clear on the benefits of organic/natural
                                            • Usage of Organic and/or Natural Products

                                              • Seven in 10 Canadians purchase organic/natural products
                                                • Figure 17: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, January 2018
                                                • Figure 18: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, 18-44s vs over-45s, January 2018
                                              • Parents are more likely to use organic/natural products
                                                • Figure 19: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, by parental status, January 2018
                                                • Figure 20: Portion of food or beverages purchased that are organic or natural, by parental status and age of children, January 2018
                                              • A third of Canadians claim they are buying more organic/natural food and drinks
                                                • Figure 21: Purchase change of natural and organic foods and/or beverages in the past year, January 2018
                                                • Figure 22: Purchase change of natural and organic foods and/or beverages in the past year, by age, January 2018
                                                • Figure 23: Purchase change or natural and organic foods and/or beverages in the past year, by parental status, January 2018
                                                • Figure 24: Purchase change of natural and organic foods and/or beverages in the past year, by age of children, January 2018
                                            • Category Review

                                              • Produce is the category where organic and natural products are most likely to be purchased
                                                • Figure 25: Categories in which consumers are more likely to purchase organic and natural products, January 2018
                                                • Figure 26: Rustica Italian Bakery Pizza (Canada), February 2018
                                                • Figure 27: Vij’s Coconut Beef Curry (Canada), April 2017
                                              • Preference for organic among younger consumers extends across categories
                                                • Figure 28: Categories in which consumers are more likely to purchase organic products, by age group, January 2018
                                              • Preference for organic/natural among parents extends across categories
                                                • Figure 29: Categories in which consumers are more likely to purchase organic and natural products, by parental status, January 2018
                                            • Perceptions of Natural/Organics Foods and Drinks

                                              • Canadians associate organic products with “free-from” positioning
                                                  • Figure 30: Correspondence analysis – Description of natural/organic, February 2018
                                                  • Figure 31: Select associations with organic, natural and traditional/mainstream foods, January 2018
                                                • More Canadians view organics as being “expensive” than “nutritious”
                                                  • Figure 32: Associations with organic, natural and traditional/mainstream foods being expensive and nutritious, January 2018
                                                  • Figure 33: President’s Choice Free From Pork Frankfurters (Canada), June 2017
                                              • Benefits of Organics/Natural Products

                                                • Nearly half of consumers agree natural/organics are “better for you”
                                                  • Figure 34: Agreement with statements on organic natural food claim, January 2018
                                                  • Figure 35: agree “Foods with organic/natural claims are better for you”, January 2018
                                                • Safety is a central value proposition for organic/natural foods
                                                  • Figure 36: “Foods with organic/natural claims are safer” (% agree), by age, January 2018
                                                  • Figure 37: “Foods with organic/natural claims are safer” (% agree), by parental status, January 2018
                                                • A quarter of consumers view organic/natural foods as being “fresher”
                                                  • Figure 38: “Foods with organic/natural claims are fresher” (% agree), by age, January 2018
                                                  • Figure 39: SC Johnson Ziploc Fresh Produce Bags (Canada), February 2012
                                                  • Figure 40: Rubbermaid Produce Container (Canada), November 2010
                                              • Purchase Barriers

                                                • Perceived high cost is the main barrier more frequent purchase activity
                                                  • Figure 41: Barriers to greater purchases of organic/natural foods, January 2018
                                                • Many consumers are unclear of the benefits that organic/natural products provide
                                                  • Figure 42: Foods with natural/organic claims “offer clear benefits” and “are a gimmick” (% agree), by age, January 2018
                                                • The environment is not a top priority for consumers
                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                  • Data sources
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                        • Correspondence analysis
                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                            • Abbreviations