Preliminary Findings from GTA Ethno-Cultural Foods Study


Demand for ethno-cultural foods in the GTA highlights exciting local market opportunities for farmers!

A collaborative market research study is currently underway to assess the preferences for ethno-cultural foods in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The study is being conducted by the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, the GTA Agricultural Action Committee, the Toronto Food Policy Council and FarmStart.

Resarch has included 750 one-on-one interviews at ethnic grocery stores and supermarkets in various locations throughout the GTA. The ethnic communities selected for the study were Chinese, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean. The study, which focuses on the consumer, is a first for the province. Preliminary findings include:

Demand (amount spent on vegetables/month by different communities):

Chinese ($21million/month)

Afro-Caribbean ($7 million/month)

South Asian ($33 million/month)

Total demand by the three major ethnic communities in the GTA is $61 million/month.

Top ranked vegetables consumed by these communities:

Chinese Vegetables

1. Bok Choy ( Brassica rapa sub-specie : chinensis)

2. Chinese Brocoli – Gailon (Brassica oleracea : Alboglabra Group)

3. Eggplant (Solanum melongena) – Chinese variety

Afro-Caribbean Vegetables

1. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

2. African Eggplant – Garden Eggs (Solanum aethiopicum, Solanum gilo, Solanum olivaire, Solanum pierreanum)

3. Smooth Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.)

South Asian Vegetables

1. Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

2. Eggplant (Solanum melongena)

3. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)

 

2 Responses to Preliminary Findings from GTA Ethno-Cultural Foods Study

  1. […] Demand for ethno-cultural foods in the GTA highlights exciting local market opportunities for farmers! A collaborative market research study is currently underway to assess the preferences for ethno-cultural foods in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The study is being conducted by the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, the GTA Agricultural Action Committee, the Toronto Food Policy Council and FarmStart. Resarch has included 750 one-on-one interviews at ethnic grocery stores and supermarkets in various locations throughout the GTA. Preliminary findings. […]

  2. […] The demographics in the GTA have been changing enormously. About half the population of the GTA is born outside of Canada. As a result, the types of foods that people are consuming are also changing. Vegetables like bitter melon, okra and callaloo are some of the vegetables that ethnic populations consume on a regular basis. From where do they get these vegetables? Most of these vegetables are imported from around the world and sold mostly at small ethnic grocery stores. The demand for these vegetables is high and not only amongst ethnic communities, but Canadians as well. In 2010, FarmStart along with a research team from the University of Guelph completed a study based on 750 face to face questionnaires. This study found that there is a $61 million dollar demand for ethno-cultural vegetables per month in the GTA alone. For more information on this study, go to www. FarmStart.ca […]

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