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Rising Competition in the Canadian Food Retail Sector?

By August 22, 2023August 29th, 2023No Comments

We all know that Canadians have witnessed a sharp increase in grocery prices over the last couple of years. Factors such as elevated input costs, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and supply chain disruptions are among the reasons behind these price surges.Both the general public and the Competition Bureau Canada have expressed concerns about the prevailing food retail pricing. Their research suggests that fostering greater competition could be a solution.Global Reach Confections and More:We’d like to make clear that this blog article is not intended to take a stance on the matter. As a Dutch Food importer, supplier, and distributor in the Canadian food retail market, our simple aim is to monitor industry shifts and offer valuable insights to our clients and the broader community. Certainly, the idea of increased competition raises intriguing considerations. Let’s delve into what this possibly implies for you.”

What to expect with more food retail competition in Canada?

With more food retail competition in Canada, several outcomes can be anticipated:

  1. Diverse Product Selection: More players in the market can introduce a broader variety of products. This includes regional specialties, international cuisines, and possibly organic or specialty items that might not have been as accessible before.
  2. Improved Service: Food retailers will likely strive to improve customer service to differentiate themselves. This could mean faster checkout processes, better in-store assistance, or loyalty programs.
  3. Innovation: With more competitors, there will be an increased push to innovate. This could mean better online shopping experiences, app-based loyalty programs, or unique in-store events.
  4. Local Produce & Sustainability: There could be a renewed focus on local produce as retailers try to cater to a growing segment of consumers who value locally sourced products. Sustainability initiatives might also gain traction.
  5. Store Experiences: Food retailers may start to offer unique in-store experiences, like cooking classes, tastings, or pop-up events, to attract foot traffic and stand out in a competitive market.
  6. Economic Impacts: An increase in the number of food retailers can boost job opportunities in the sector. However, it might also lead to challenges for established players, like labour issues.
  7. Challenges for Small Retailers: While competition is generally beneficial for consumers, very intense competition might make it challenging for smaller, local food retailers to stay afloat unless they find a niche or offer a unique value proposition.
  8. And last but not least: Lower Prices: Increased competition often leads to price decreases where food retailers reduce their prices to attract more customers. 

Global Reach Confections and More:
“As a Dutch Food importer, supplier, and wholesaler for the Canadian food retail market, we think it’s essential for industry players and consumers to stay informed and take advantage of the anticipated changes that increased competition could bring, while also supporting local businesses and understanding the broader economic implications. Ultimately, we are all consumers of food. Thus, any shifts in the industry will impact each one of us.”

What will a surge in food retail competitors look like?

The Canadian government has taken several steps over the years to ensure that the food retail market remains competitive. While the specifics might vary over time and with different administrations, here are some general measures that have been taken or discussed:

  1. Regulation and Oversight: The Competition Bureau of Canada plays a critical role in ensuring that markets remain competitive. They investigate any anti-competitive practices, mergers, or acquisitions that could reduce competition and harm consumers.
  2. Trade Agreements: Canada has entered into several trade agreements, like the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), that can increase the flow of agricultural and food products across borders, thereby increasing competition.
  3. Supporting Local Producers: The Canadian government provides support to local farmers and food producers through various programs, grants, and subsidies. By strengthening local producers, they can ensure a diverse marketplace.
  4. Investing in Innovation: Canada has invested in agricultural research and development, which can lead to innovative products and practices, potentially leading to more players in the market.
  5. Consumer Education: Providing consumers with knowledge about the origins of their food, the value of supporting local businesses, and understanding food labeling can create more informed consumers, which can in turn influence market dynamics.
  6. Reviewing Foreign Investment Restrictions: While ensuring national security and domestic interests, reviewing and occasionally relaxing restrictions on foreign investments can increase competition by allowing more international players in the Canadian market.
  7. Infrastructure Improvements: Investing in infrastructure, such as transportation, can reduce costs for retailers and can be passed onto consumers, making the market more competitive.

Ed Tams, CEO at Global Reach Confections and More:
“It’s essential to note that the food retail landscape is continually evolving, and new policies or measures may be introduced based on the prevailing economic conditions and government priorities.

 This blog article is reflecting only a moment in time. As a Dutch Food importer, supplier, and wholesaler for the Canadian food retail market, 
we aim to offer unbiased, valuable information to help our clients succeed, while keeping the interests of all parties in mind.”

More competitors or not, how to increase sales for my food retail store?

Our simple motto:
Want to sell more? Put Dutch Food in your store!

Please remember: Dutch food holds a special place in many people’s hearts, and once they are familiar with it, they’ll come back for it time after time. Here are some specific reasons why many individuals like it:

Dutch food is

  1. Comforting and Hearty: Dutch cuisine is often associated with comfort food. Dishes like stamppot (a mashed potato dish), erwtensoep (split pea soup), and oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls) offer a warm, hearty meal, especially during colder months.
  2. Unique Flavors: Dutch licorice (drop), hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles typically eaten on bread), and Gouda cheese offer distinct flavors that can’t easily be found in other cuisines.
  3. Cultural Experience: For those outside the Netherlands, trying Dutch foods can provide a unique cultural experience. It’s a way to immerse oneself in Dutch traditions and history through taste.
  4. Memories & Nostalgia: For people of Dutch descent or those who’ve spent time in the Netherlands, Dutch foods can evoke feelings of nostalgia and memories of specific moments or loved ones.
  5. Sweet Treats: Dutch pastries and sweets, like stroopwafels (caramel-filled waffle cookies) and poffertjes (mini fluffy pancakes), are well-loved by many, both within and outside the Netherlands.
  6. Innovation & Fusion: Dutch cuisine, especially in contemporary settings, has shown adaptability and innovation, incorporating flavours and ingredients from former colonies, such as Indonesia, leading to popular dishes like Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and satay (grilled skewered meat with peanut sauce).
  7. Quality Ingredients: The Dutch take pride in producing high-quality dairy products, meats, and vegetables. Their cheeses, in particular, are globally recognized and appreciated.
  8. Historical Connections: The Dutch had a vast colonial empire, which resulted in a fusion of flavours and culinary influences from around the world. This historical connection might draw people to explore Dutch cuisine and it’s varied influences.

Global Reach Confections and More, Dutch food importer, supplier, and distributor for the Canadian food retail market:
“In essence, the appeal of Dutch food lies in its comforting nature, distinct flavours, rich history, and the memories or experiences associated with it. Different individuals might have personal reasons, but the factors listed above contribute to the broader appreciation of Dutch cuisine.”

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