Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends Forecasts Consumer Trends for the Year to Come
- by Robert Schaulis
TORONTO, ON - Heading off emerging consumer trends and strategizing the future of fresh produce and grocery, Loblaw has announced its Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends—a prediction of what Canadians will be eating in the coming year.
"Five years ago we changed the way Canadians shopped for groceries when we opened the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens," said Garry Senecal, President, Market Division, Loblaw Companies Limited, in a company release. "With the introduction of the Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends we hope to start a national conversation about what Canadians are eating and how we can continue to inspire our consumers' creativity and adventurous spirit when feeding their families."
Upon reviewing internal and industry data, the company gathered a group of experts, the Loblaw Food Council, to draft the report. Participants ranged from professional and home chefs to registered dieticians, academics, and futurists.
Loblaws 2017 Canadian Food Trends includes five themes expected to hit Canadian kitchens in the next year:
The New Conscious Consumer
"In 2017, Canadians will put the vegetable first and enhance their meal with smaller portions of proteins that are sustainably sourced," predicted Ned Bell, Chef and Advocate.
The report notes that Canadians have become increasingly interested in where their food comes from and how it’s grown, in sustainability, and reducing food waste. Canadian consumers in 2017 are expected to switch to more alternative proteins and look to reduce food waste through root-to-stem and snout-to-tail cooking.
The New Mindful Foodie
Canadians will continue eating to improve their health, as part of an increasingly wellness-based lifestyle. Trends toward simple ingredients, and additive-free and raw foods will continue to build steam, and foods that had been thought of as unorthodox—like seaweed—will rise to prominence.
"The idea that being frantically busy all the time is somehow a benchmark of our career success is shifting,” noted Chef Mike Ward. “It's now fashionable to have a sensible work-life balance. This changing mindset is translating into a greater emphasis on both how we shop for food, and how and what we eat."
The New Home Chef
The council predicts conflicting pressures of time management and the desire to eat nutritious will persist in affecting Canada’s tables. The home chef will embrace slow cooking, preserving and canning on the weekend, and embrace meal kits and delivery services throughout their time-strapped weekly routines.
Loblaw Executive Chef, Mark Russell noted: "Canadians want to feed their family great tasting quality food and are now more than ever willing to ask for help through recipes, new kitchen gadgets, and meal kits."
The New Connected Shopper
In 2017, Canadians will increasingly opt to shop at retailers that offer digitally enhanced experiences that make shopping seamless, accessible, and efficient. Canadian consumers are expected to seek out more online food solutions—from pre-order to same-day delivery.
"Online culture is inspiring food exploration,” said Emma Waverman, Writer and Influencer. “We watch a video or see a photo of a dish and want to immediately order the ingredients to recreate it in our own homes. We need to be inspired in-store, on apps, and through eCommerce."
The New Canadian Cuisine
The country’s food will continue to field an expanding set of flavors from around the world as Canada becomes increasingly multicultural. Veggies that had been considered outlandish or “exotic” will add flavor and distinctness to Canada’s dishes.
"It's an amazing thing to have globally influenced flavors available in our grocery store because otherwise we wouldn't be necessarily exposed to them,” said Kathy Jollimore, Chef, Food Stylist, and Food Writer. “It allows for more experimenting and fusion. It's expanding people's minds."
Are the retailers’ prognostications accurate? Only time will tell. For news on the produce industry in 2017, as it occurs, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.