A new study finds most Canadians would prefer to buy local products when they shop for groceries. What is more, a BMO Capital Markets survey finds those consumers are willing to pay a premium to purchase local foods. It found Canadian consumers are willing to pay 16% more for domestic fruits and vegetables, and 19% more for Canadian meat products. 

While environmental or even safety concerns would seem to be the top reason for opting for locally grown and raised products, the BMO study finds those concerns are the foremost worry only for 14% and 10% of respondents, respectively. More than a quarter (28%) noted they would buy Canadian goods when grocery shopping to “support Canadian producers.” Some 9% recognized food safety as the utmost reason for shopping local.

“Food safety is a major issue for [these] Canadian consumers, and the ability to trace the source of their food to a trusted source is very important to them. Consumers are responding by purchasing produce and other food items from local producers, which is crucial to the health of the local economy, as well,” says Kenrick Jordan, senior economist, BMO Capital Markets. pf