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A new report suggests 29.3% of Canadians buy enough produce to match recommended amount by Canada’s new Food Guide. This latest investigation from Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab looks at the consumption of fruits and vegetables in Canada and the inherent risks related to the consumption of produce in general.

Key takeaways:

While a total of 86.6% of consumers primarily buy their fruits and vegetables at a grocery store, 4.6% claim that they buy most of their produce at a farmers’ market. Interestingly, 1.2% of Canadians grow all their produce themselves. On frequency, 43.1% of Canadians buy enough produce to match Canada’s Food Guide recommended amount, a few days a week, and 29.3% will buy the recommended amount every day. The highest rate of daily purchases is in British Columbia at 31.4%, followed by Ontario at 31.0%. The lowest rate in the country is Prince Edward Island at 11.6%, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 19.7%.

The number one reason why Canadians do not buy produce more often is the price. A total of 39.5% of Canadians believe price to be the most significant barrier, followed by the fact that produce requires too much work to prepare, at 30.5%. Taste (10.5%), Not sure how to prepare them (8.1%) and unclear health benefits (6.3%) are other popular reasons. Health benefits appear to really motivate Canadians to buy produce. A total of 74.6% of Canadians as an important reason to buy produce.

The dilemma between fresh and frozen impacts what produce Canadians buy. A total of 64.9% of Canadiens will only buy fresh produce, and 18.7% prefer frozen produce. The majority of Canadians prefer fresh over frozen. As for local produce, 27.4% of Canadians claim to buy only local fruits and vegetables. The highest ration of consumers who will only buy local produce is on Prince Edward Island, at 39.5%, followed by both Quebec and Nova Scotia at 30.7%. Saskatchewan has the least number of consumers only buying local foods, at 17.5%.

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