This past summer, Canadian retailers ramped up their efforts behind “local” food, especially as it relates to produce. Big in-store promotions and expensive television ads reinforced that Canadian retailers buy local.
This was the culmination of many different issues faced by the food industry in recent years including sustainability, food safety, traceability and the growing popularity of local farmers markets.
Even big CPG suppliers such as Unilever, have positioned their brands as “local” with Hellmann’s “Real Food Movement” being a prime example.
Now local food has gone on-line and you can have local goods delivered right to your door.
Spud.ca is a company that delivers “the best local, organic food” to consumers in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary. Delivery is free for a minimum order size and Spud is offering a $45 discount for the first order.
Spud is also established in the US, with operations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In fact, this company started in 1998 in Vancouver and is the largest organic delivery service in North America – however they have definitely been “under the radar”.
Of course, the on-line grocery business is a tough one. Canada’s only large-scale success is Grocery Gateway (part of Longo’s). Detractors have often quoted population density and market size as the main deterrents for on-line grocers in Canada.
However, Spud is not set up to cater to the price sensitive Wal-mart shopper, but the socially conscious consumer who is willing to pay more. This may be to their advantage as this will add margin opportunities and diminish the reliance on promotion.
I fully expect that “local” is not just a one-year fad. Expect national retailers (and more and more CPG suppliers) to get behind this marketing strategy.
The success of Spud should act as a barometer of the strength of the local movement in the Canadian market.
What is your organization doing to make sure your products are as “local” as possible?