Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Increased demand in Canada for healthy, natural and organic foods could offer more opportunities for Wisconsin food manufacturers and suppliers.
Canadians are taking better care of themselves in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eating healthier foods, paying more attention to mental health, and taking steps to prevent illness became top priorities, according to a survey by the Canadian Health Food Association.
The survey found:
- 92% put a high importance on healthy eating habits.
- 57% buy natural/organic food.
- Pet food is the No. 1 natural food product they buy regularly.
- 18- to 34-year-olds hold the most positive views about natural and organic products.
- Most Canadians are still omnivores but more are adopting vegetarian diets.
Sales are on the rise for products such as alcohol-free beverages, including zero-proof spirits and ready-to-drink mocktails; healthier snacks, including jerky meat and plant-based products; and supplements to strengthen the immune system, improve mood, and improve cognitive health.
The health food association’s survey found that word of mouth, digital services, and social media are the key sources of information about natural, organic, and wellness products.
Canada’s government also is taking steps to promote healthy eating that include publishing a food guide and launching a marketing campaign to encourage people to choose healthier foods, allowing higher vitamin D levels in certain dairy products, and requiring ingredient and nutrition labels to be easier to understand.