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Vast majority prefer locally sourced foods


June 17, 2009
By Bakers Journal

survey_resultsWEB FEATURE

Vast majority prefer locally sourced foods
Almost nine out of 10 Canadians (86 per cent) indicate that they prefer to eat locally sourced foods, according to a recent survey commissioned by Hellmann's. 

June 17, 2009, Toronto –
Almost nine out of 10 Canadians (86 per cent) indicate that they prefer
to eat locally sourced foods, according to a recent survey commissioned
by Hellmann's. The poll was conducted to gauge the eating habits of
Canadians and the results indicate that the "real food" movement is
gaining momentum across the country.



According to the poll, six out of 10 Canadians say that they eat more locally sourced food today than they did just two years ago. Awareness levels about where food is being produced also appear high, with 71 per cent saying that they read labels and packages to see where their food is produced, and 68 per cent that they always pay attention to the origins of the food they eat.

“It’s encouraging to hear that such a high proportion of Canadians pay attention to the origins of their food and that so many prefer to eat locally sourced and Canadian items,” says Chef Sara Harrel, owner of the Veg Company and part-time culinary instructor at George Brown Chef School.  “I’m a huge advocate of knowing where your food comes from.”

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In addition to eating more locally sourced foods, Canadians also say they are willing to pay more in order to do so, with 77 per cent of respondents saying that they are willing to spend more on a locally produced item versus something similar that’s been imported from another country.

“It’s encouraging to learn that Canadians are committed to eating locally sourced foods,” said Ian Busch, Hellman's Canada brand building manager.

When asked where they consider “local food” to be produced, Canadians' top answers included “from Canada”, “from my province”, from my backyard”, and “from a farmer’s market”. Sixty per cent also said that they consider packaged goods made with Canadian ingredients to be local food.
 
There are a number of reasons Canadians cite as to why they are choosing to eat locally sourced foods, with the most popular opinions being:

•    “Supports the local economy/keeps farmers in business” (45 per cent);
•    “Food is fresher” (43 per cent);
•    “Food is better for you” (20 per cent);
•    “Better for the environment” (19 per cent)

Additional survey results:

•    68 per cent of Canadians say that locally sourced foods taste better than those grown farther away.
•    When asked which food from their provincial ecosystem Canadians would choose to support over all others, the top three results were apples (14 per cent), beef (13 per cent) and potatoes (11 per cent)
•    Paying attention to the origins of where food is produced increases steadily with age, with only 52 per cent of people aged 18-24 paying attention vs. 76 per cent of those aged 50 plus.
•    Women are 10 per cent more likely than men to say that they eat more local food now than two years ago (64 to 54 per cent).

The Real Food Survey was commissioned by Hellmann’s and conducted by Harris/Decima between Feb. 26 and March 8 via its national telephone omnibus-teleVox. It surveyed 2,238 people from across Canada. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.1 per cent.