Local Food Trend Outpacing Organic


TORONTO — Organic food sales are slowing after several years of rapid growth, while local food is becoming increasingly popular, according to the Toronto-based Nielsen Company.

Although sales of organic fruit and produce are still climbing, they are doing so at slower rates than before, according to a report from Nielsen’s director of Consumer & Industry Insights, Carman Allison. The report, Keeping it Fresh in the New Economy, suggests the recession has been a factor as organic fare is about 50 per cent more expensive than conventional products. Instead, Canadians are turning to locally grown foods.

Similar findings were reported in the Nielsen 2010 study, Safe for Your Plate, A Canadian Perspective. The report was part of Nielsen’s Global Omnibus Survey, conducted in December 2009 in 54 countries. When it comes to the safety of organic food, the study found Canadians were split, with only 29 per cent agreeing it’s safer than conventionally produced food.

Almost six in 10 Canadians (58 per cent) agree that food grown in Canada is safer than imported food. “The locavore attitude has taken hold,” commented Allison. “More and more consumers specifically look to buy food that is grown close to home, and retailers have responded by prominently calling attention to their support of local producers through in-store displays.”


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