Helping Processors Meet Retailers Needs

In the world of supply and demand, it makes good business sense to know what your customers want. That’s why BC’s food processors recently completed a survey to help their industry understand the changing needs of grocery retailers.

Women, millennials (under 30) and seniors were identified by retailers as their top three demographics, with Chinese, South Asian, Filipino and Korean leading the ethnic categories. As for targeted product categories, local foods were far and away the leading priority for BC retailers, with gluten free, natural health products, organic and private label also scoring high.

“The survey provides some insight for BC processors on the areas of emphasis for retailers,” says James Donaldson, CEO of the BC Food Processors Association. “The desire for offering foods sourced locally has long been a growing trend with both retailers and consumers, but the survey also identifies some category and demographic priorities that present areas of opportunity for the industry.”

Somewhat surprisingly, given the prominence in media coverage these days, GMO free foods did not rank as a high priority by retailers. In addition to questions about latest consumer trends, the industry also learned that more than half of the retailers have procurement and hiring policies in place. In a second survey, they sought to understand the hiring strategies of BC food processors.

The project also included the creation of a searchable online database of food, beverage and natural health product processors in BC that will help retailers source suppliers and products. A link to the online directory is available on the association’s website:

Funding: $34,205 through the Agri-Food Futures Fund, Food and Beverage Processing Initiative. (AF014-136)

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