Canadians flock to buy local products
MONTREAL, Oct. 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - According to a new research
report released today by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC),
five consumer trends will have a permanent impact on Canadians' buying
habits and create growth opportunities for small and medium-sized
The report identifies five consumer behaviours—the buy-local movement,
rising health awareness, frugality, mass customization of goods and the
impact of the Internet—that have emerged as a result of advances in
technology, changing demographics and the 2007-08 recession.
"These consumer trends have created rich business opportunities, which
entrepreneurs must seize on if they want to grow their businesses,"
said Pierre Cléroux, Chief Economist, BDC.
However, the research shows that entrepreneurs have not embraced all
trends equally. Some SMEs have begun catering to the increased demand
for healthy, well-priced local products, for instance, but e-commerce
has been slower to catch on. In fact, the Canadian online retail
presence remains largely underdeveloped and, as a result, e-commerce
has lagged behind that of most other nations, with some of the lowest
penetration levels in the developed world.
"Regardless of whether they buy a product over the Internet or in a
store, more consumers are influenced by what they see on online
channels," said Mr. Cléroux. "Entrepreneurs must realize that a simple
website is no longer sufficient for businesses. Instead, they need to
adopt a multi-channel approach."
The "Made in Canada" advantage
Of all the consumer trends, the buy-local movement has been the most
powerful. Close to two-thirds of Canadians say they have made an effort
to buy local or Canadian-made products in the past year, and two in
five consider local production an important factor in their buying
"The 'Made in Canada' brand is powerful because Canadians have clear
understanding of what buying locally made products means to the
national economy," added Mr. Cléroux.
The research shows that consumers who buy local do so for economic
reasons: 97% of Canadians do it to support the local economy, 96% do it
to support local farmers and 93% do it to create local jobs, while 87%
think it is better for the environment.
Quebecers and Atlantic Canadians are the most faithful users of locally
made products, with roughly three-quarters indicating they recently
bought products made in Canada; consumers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba
are the least likely to do so.
BDC's study also found:
Half of Canadians consider the health impact of a product when making
purchasing decisions and one-third are willing to pay a premium for
Mass customization has emerged as the go-to technique for delivering
tailor-made products and services to customers at prices and lead times
that match those of mass-produced products.
The Internet is much more than an online purchasing tool; it is now
embedded throughout most product purchasing journeys.
Seven out of 10 consumers have reduced their spending since the
recession, and two-thirds consider the lowest possible cost the most
influential factor in their purchasing decisions.
The recession also weakened consumer confidence, and low interest rates
have spurred high debt levels.
"Consumers want personalized, high-quality products at reasonable prices
and are using many penny-pinching strategies like group couponing to
get more bang for their buck," said Mr. Cléroux.
More detailed research results are available: BDC Study.
See accompanying infographic.
BDC announced the research results during the launch of BDC Small
Business Week™, which runs from October 20 to 26 under the
theme "Success Ahead! Map your future growth."
About the Report
The BDC Research and Economic Analysis team and Deloitte prepared the
research presented in the report. Complementing the report is a new and
exclusive BDC survey of 1,023 Canadians on consumer behaviour trends,
conducted by Ipsos in August 2013 the "BDC-Ipsos survey".
BDC Small Business Week™ is a trademark of the Business Development Bank
About BDC Small Business Week™
BDC Small Business Week™ is a Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
trademark. Its origins date back to 1979, when BDC business centres in
British Columbia's Lower Fraser Valley pooled their resources to
organize a week of activities for entrepreneurs. This first event and
one that followed in 1980 were so successful that BDC officially
launched Small Business Week across Canada in 1981. The initiative was
quickly adopted by Canada's business community. In 2012, more than 200
activities across Canada attracted close to 10,000 businesspeople to
BDC Small Business Week™. This BDC flagship event celebrates
entrepreneurship at the local, provincial and national levels. www.bdc.ca/sbw
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With
almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the
country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital
and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized
companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca
SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada
For further information:
BDC Public Relations