The rise of superfoods and holistic health trends suggests Canadians are taking a new approach toward health. Grocers and other industry leaders are paying attention and taking action. Loblaw, Canada’s largest grocery retailer is staffing up a new “meal solutions” division, which spans across the company’s business. Among its goals: conquer the Canadian meal prep market. The company, which operates more than 2,300 stores and has reported earnings of $36.5 billion so far this year, is currently running a meal kit pilot project under its President’s Choice brand. PC Chef meal kits appeared early this fall in 13 stores in the Greater Toronto Area — including Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and one No Frills location — and are available to purchase from these stores through PC Express, its grocery pickup service. Loblaw is facing growing pressure from Amazon and Walmart, which dominate the U.S online and brick-and-mortar grocery markets, respectively. Though neither has moved as aggressively in Canada, they have begun investing in Canadian expansions. Walmart debuted a “scan-and-go” app in May to speed up the checkout process, and expanded its online grocery-delivery service in partnership with Instacart in August. While Walmart and Amazon sell meal kits in the U.S., neither company has yet launched their offerings in Canada.
Montreal-based Goodfood Market was one of the first domestic players to establish itself nationally. The company services 200,000 Canadians coast to coast, delivering over one million meals every month. In a November investor presentation, Goodfood estimated the ready-to-cook market to be worth approximately $3 billion.
The Canadian population is aging, with seniors contributing to a significant and growing segment of the marketplace.
Most Canadian seniors have at least one chronic condition (89% in 2009) (Butler-Jones, 2010). The most common include:
- Arthritis and rheumatism (44% of seniors);
- Osteoporosis (29% of female and 6% of male seniors);
- Cardiovascular diseases (23% of seniors);
- Diabetes (21% of seniors; 2006/07 data); and
- Cancer (39% of all new cases occur among those aged 65 to 79; 17% of new cases are among those 80 years or older; 2006 data).
When it comes to health matters, people seem to become more proactive than they used to be, according to surveys. While professional healthcare is generally still practiced in response to disease, an increasing interest in preventive measures shows a shift in awareness and behavior, especially among the young.
Tags: Food business, Food industry, Meal Industry, Superfoods industry
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