The Immediate Functional Food Opportunity in Canada for Juices, Smoothies and Snacks

BrandSpark & Functional Foods

As my previous post outlined, we recently presented our webinar (along with our partners at Harbinger Communications) about functional foods – and specifically successfully launching new functional food products in Canada.

While I recommend watching it to get the full details, over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of the more interesting insights. Starting with the clearest, immediate category opportunities we identified in Canada – juices, smoothies and snacks. This identification comes from a fairly straightforward comparison of US and Canadian responses on current category purchase rates vs. stated interest levels.

The difference between Canadian and US shopper attitudes is something we spend a lot of time and resources on understanding. As a general rule of thumb, shoppers in both countries tend to be pretty similar on the majority of attitudes and behaviors. And when it comes to current functional food category purchases (by the functional food target), this rule-of-thumb played out. Most categories were in a few percentage points of each other in both countries. The three key exceptions where US purchase rates are currently higher are juices, snacks, and smoothies – with gaps of about 10% by category.

Figure 1. Current category purchase rates by the functional food target, Canada vs. U.S.

However, when we look at stated interest levels by category, respondents from the two countries were almost identical. For example, here are the stated interest levels for smoothies (figure 2).

Figure 2. Current smoothie category interest level, Canada vs. U.S.

The other categories are similar. From this basis I believe the case for the immediate opportunity if fairly clear. When interest levels are just as high (or higher) in Canada vs. the US, but current purchase rates are significantly lower, it points towards a significant opportunity driven by latent demand. Making it a great area to consider launching some new products in.

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