Vast majority of Canadians prefer to eat locally sourced foods

    TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - Almost nine out of ten Canadians (86 per cent)
indicate that they prefer to eat locally sourced foods, according to the
recent Real Food Survey commissioned by Hellmann's. The poll was conducted to
gauge the eating habits of Canadians and the results indicate that the real
food movement is gaining momentum across the country.
    According to the poll, six out of ten Canadians say that they eat more
locally sourced food today than they did just two years ago. Awareness levels
about where food is being produced also appear high, with 71 per cent saying
that they read labels and packages to see where their food is produced, and 68
per cent that they always pay attention to the origins of the food they eat.
    "It's encouraging to hear that such a high proportion of Canadians pay
attention to the origins of their food and that so many prefer to eat locally
sourced and Canadian items," says Sara Harrel, culinary instructor at George
Brown Chef School and founder of The Veg Company. "I'm a huge advocate of
knowing where your food comes from."
    In addition to eating more locally sourced foods, Canadians also say they
are willing to pay more in order to do so, with 77 per cent of respondents
saying that they are willing to spend more on a locally produced item versus
something similar that's been imported from another country.
    "It's encouraging to learn that Canadians are committed to eating locally
sourced foods," said Ian Busch, brand building manager for Hellmann's Canada.
"Hellmann's is committed to using real, simple ingredients in our products,
like eggs from Canadian egg farmers, and canola oil from the Canadian
    When asked where they consider "local food" to be produced, Canadians top
answers included "From Canada", "From my province", "From my Backyard", and
"From a farmer's market". Sixty per cent also said that they consider packaged
goods made with Canadian ingredients to be local food.
    There are a number of reasons Canadians cite as to why they are choosing
to eat locally sourced foods, with the most popular opinions being:

    -   "Supports the local economy/keeps farmers in business" (45 per cent);
    -   "Food is fresher" (43 per cent);
    -   "Food is better for you" (20 per cent);
    -   "Better for the environment" (19 per cent)

    Additional Survey Results:

    -   68 per cent of Canadians say that locally sourced foods taste better
        than those grown farther away.
    -   When asked which food from their provincial ecosystem Canadians would
        choose to support over all others, the top three results were apples
        (14 per cent), beef (13 per cent) and potatoes (11 per cent)
    -   Paying attention to the origins of where food is produced increases
        steadily with age, with only 52 per cent of people aged 18-24 paying
        attention vs. 76 per cent of those aged 50 plus.
    -   Women are 10 per cent more likely than men to say that they eat more
        local food now than two years ago (64 to 54 per cent).

    The Real Food Survey was commissioned by Hellmann's and conducted by
Harris/Decima between February 26th and March 8th 2009 via their national
telephone omnibus-teleVox. It surveyed 2,238 people from across Canada. The
margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.1 per cent.

    About Hellmann's:

    Hellmann's has made a commitment to shorten the distance from the field
to the table by encouraging Canadians to buy local fresh food. Hellmann's Real
Mayonnaise is made using real, simple ingredients sourced from Canadian
suppliers. For more information on Eat Real, Eat Local, please visit

For further information:

For further information: about the Real Food Survey or to arrange an
interview, please contact: Jennifer Pyne, Harbinger, (416) 960-5100, ext. 264,; Cassandra Umbriaco, Harbinger, (416) 960-5100, ext.

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