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Trends and insights on the health-focused shopper
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Given consumers’ growing focus on health and wellness, what are you doing to position the business as a hub for healthy living?

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Brenda Kirk,

Senior Vice President, Merchandising & Procurement, Pattison Food Group

We know that Western Canadians have always been very passionate about living a healthy, active lifestyle and now, more than ever, customers are looking for healthy choices at the grocery store.

In 2023, the Pattison Food Group opened a new Nature’s Fare in Kamloops, expanding this successful health and wellness banner, as well as a new Choices Market on Vancouver Island offering customers thousands of natural wellness products and nutrition services.

Back in 2022, we also officially launched our lifestyle brand Only Goodness, the newest addition to our private brand portfolio. We know many consumers have a difficult time making healthier product choices and, in the spirit of making healthy living easier for Western Canadians, we developed a complete “free from” list to ensure all products in the Only Goodness brand are free from more than 150 artificial ingredients. This brand is positioned in the health and wellness sector of the Western Canadian market and is made up of a range of organic and “free from” products that don’t compromise on taste, quality or affordability. Only Goodness is an accessible lifestyle brand with healthier, better-for-you products that makes healthier choices easy for our customers.

With healthy living at the top of consumers’ minds, we will continue to look for ways to help our customers make choices they feel good about – whether it’s growing our health and wellness banners or expanding our Only Goodness brand. Bringing food and natural products together is a perfect fit for a grocery store in becoming a health hub for the consumer.

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Alex Hurd,

Vice President of Health Services Merchandising, Walmart Canada

Our mission is to help Canadians save money and live better. And living better means prioritizing the health and wellness of Canadians. We do this by breaking down the barriers to healthcare by providing a range of health and wellness products and services that are rooted in three pillars: accessibility, affordability and personalized care.

Eighty-four per cent of Canadians live within 15 km from a Walmart store, making our pharmacists and opticians some of the most accessible healthcare providers in their communities. We also provide what we like to call “pharmacy at your fingertips” with our pharmacy app that launched last year, which allows customers to easily transfer and refill their prescriptions.

Canadians looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle have access to our wide assortment of affordable essentials. We host regular Wellness Days for our communities, providing free health screenings and consultations. We strive to ensure every patient has access to healthy choices when they choose to shop at Walmart.

Over the past year, our pharmacy services have evolved to give Canadians more personalized care. In addition to administering vaccines, pharmacists in Canada can now assess and prescribe medication for minor health conditions. Our pharmacists also offer medication reviews, chronic disease management consultations and advice on nutrition, lifestyle, and general health and wellness concerns.

We’re continually evolving and expanding our comprehensive health and wellness offerings. This includes investing in the health and wellbeing of our 100,000+ associates and their eligible dependents to provide enhanced benefits offerings such as access to telemedicine and wellbeing services, and prescription coverage for up to 100 per cent of the cost at Walmart pharmacies (effective later this year). We want our customers and associates to continue to have access to the right health and wellness services and products when they need them most, and view Walmart Canada as their wellness destination of choice.

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Charles Buhagiar,

Senior Category Business Manager of OTC and Health & Wellness, Metro Ontario

With the start of the New Year, everyone’s thoughts are focused on health and wellness, both mental and physical. Over the years, Metro has become a customer destination by offering the best food and products available for multiple dietary needs. The team is vigilant about understanding the issues our customers are facing, from an aging population, obesity concerns, and the evolving dietary needs of the diverse communities we serve.

Metro is prepared to support families wanting to introduce plant-based proteins to their weekly shop by trying out “Meatless Mondays” or buying allergy-free products to ensure safe meals at home and school. Low-sugar items will be a focus, with meal solutions for anyone dealing with diabetes or for caregivers creating meal plans. Metro launched our My Health My Choices digital insert in January, covering several dietary needs and offering hundreds of items on sale in all departments, while providing excellent value to our customers.

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In our pharmacy and Nature’s Signature locations, we offer a wide selection of vitamins, supplements, protein powders and healthy bars, with our professional team members available to answer any questions or concerns. We’re listening to our customers and providing them with a product assortment to help meet all their health and wellness needs.

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Justin Schley,

Vice President, Quality Foods

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A significant portion of the demographics of our customers are at retirement age or older and health is important to them. For our customers, produce is the number one category in everyone’s basket, so we try to lead with this by providing a good selection of organics. We also run a program we call “5 for $25” for produce, which enables customers to purchase different produce in the store and get a good deal on it. It’s a way to grow basket size. We started this program with protein and introduced produce last year. For our stores, as soon as you walk in, you’re in the produce department and since it’s such a common basket item, it made sense to introduce this program and add value.

We also run a page periodically in our digital and print flyers called “Good for You” and highlight items from different categories that we call out. It’s a good way to highlight the variety of offerings in a larger supermarket where, sometimes, some items get lost in a big space. We recently added a health-focused private label brand. We have traditionally stayed away from private label but the “Only Goodness” brand from Pattison Food Group focuses on healthy options at good prices. We launched the line in our stores last year with about 300 items and it continues to grow. It is a good supplemental line to our existing branded healthier products, and it fits many customers’ budgets.

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CHFA NOW celebrates 60th anniversary at Vancouver trade show

Event takes place April 2-5, 2024, at the Vancouver Convention Centre

This year marks a remarkable 60 years of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). This milestone leads me to reflect on the past six decades of accomplishments at CHFA and the incredible growth we’ve seen in Canada’s natural, organic, and wellness industry. We have significantly impacted the regulatory front for this industry and watched countless incredibly talented entrepreneurs succeed. We have so much to celebrate, and I can’t think of a better place to do that than at our iconic trade shows and conferences — CHFA NOW.

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by Aaron Skelton,

President & CEO, CHFA

Retailers are VIPs at CHFA NOW Vancouver

For retailers, consider yourselves VIPs at our 60th-anniversary bash at CHFA NOW Vancouver this year. We debuted our VIP program last year in Vancouver and carried it over to Toronto, given the overwhelming response we received for it. We’re excited to keep the experience going. for our 2024 shows.

Here’s a sneak peek at what awaits retailers at CHFA NOW Vancouver 2024:

60th Anniversary Member Mixer: An exclusive night for CHFA members, where we’ll be toasting to the next 60 years of success in a new location at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

CHFA Launch Pad: Our highly attended event expands into a larger venue, with even more substantial prizes.

Incubator Alley PITCH: Join us for breakfast as a selection of our Incubator Alley exhibitors pitch to retailers looking for the latest innovations.

Trends Breakfast: Discover what’s trending in 2024 and beyond over coffee and breakfast before the trade show opens, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the highlights on the floor.

Lunch on Us: While samples abound, we understand the importance of a hearty lunch to sustain you throughout the day. Enjoy vouchers for food trucks stationed on the trade show floor.

Another exciting addition this year is a new partnership with Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada (NHPRS), which means CHFA NOW and the four-day NHPRS conference “Advancements in Research and Innovation in Natural Health Products and Foods” will be taking place concurrently at the Vancouver Convention Centre. We are pumped to combine forces in support of science-backed research and education on natural health products.

CHFA NOW, our annual trade show and conference, has become an essential component of the industry. It not only enhances the skills and expertise of our members but also contributes to the continual growth of businesses in Canada, playing a crucial role in shaping the future of the natural, organic and wellness industry.

Despite many changes over the past 60 years, one constant remains: Canada’s growth of and demand for natural, organic and wellness products show no signs of slowing down. Thanks to our dedicated CHFA members and the ever-expanding community, this industry has reached its current heights.

For more information, visit CHFA NOW Vancouver at

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A Picture of Health

A shift to a more holistic approach to health and wellness is driving growth in beauty and personal care, vitamins and supplements

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A table of Top 10 Categories Ranked on Sales

Supplements’ Staying Power

Supplements will continue to increase in popularity in 2024. Here are the top supplements consumers will be seeking.

  • Creatine
  • Ashwagandha
  • Berberine
  • Matcha
  • Mushrooms and mushroom powders
  • NAD supplements (essential coenzyme)
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Supplements to improve ageing and brain health
  • Astaxanthin

Forbes “Top Nutrition and Fitness Trends to Watch for in 2024, According to Experts,” December 6, 2023

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Generational Differences on Ageing Concerns

Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Gen X (born between 1965 and 1979), and Millennials (1980 to 1994) are increasingly focusing on healthy ageing. Their health concerns present opportunities to better engage through merchandising and new product innovations.


76% worry about ageing-related illnesses

77% say supplements make a difference in health

67% say products with health benefits are worth the money


80% consider health benefits when selecting foods

77% experienced anxiety in the past year

73% are actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment


37% take vitamins or supplements

56% are concerned about their overall health

46% watch their weight

Information sourced from Mintel 2024 Global Food and Drink Trends; Numerator Canada Canadian Population Trends; International Food Information Council; Leger USA; Deloitte 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey

3 Reasons to create a health and wellness hub in-store

The proactive consumer

More consumers are actively taking preventive measures to better manage their health, and their self-care journey includes vitamins, supplements and functional food and beverages that promote whole health. Providing educational data points throughout the store on health and wellness topics and informed staff can help support customers.

The digitally connected shopper

Consumers now have easy access to tools and apps that track data on physical and mental health, and offer diet guidance and suggestions for improvement, providing personalized health and wellness. Shoppers will look for digital in-store connections such as QR codes to help them navigate and select products based on needs.

The mental health advocate

Mental health issues have become front and centre in the whole health category, and products that address this can play an important role for consumers managing their mental wellbeing. These shoppers will look for products that address specific needs or problems, such as sleep, energy and anxiety. | |

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