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  • 1. Looking Forward; Looking Back: The Future of Local Food
  • 2. Food in Waterloo Region• Assumption 1: – Food industry entrepreneurship is growing, if slowly• Assumption 2: – Food culture in Waterloo Region is growing, if slowly – Why do I say this? …
  • 3. Five Years Ago … or so
  • 4. Some Resto Statistics (courtesy CRFA)• Resto industry = $63 billion p.a. – 4% of Canada’s economic activity• Resto industry employs 1.1 million people – 6.5% of Canadian workforce; or, 4th largest sector• Resto industry employs 483,000 people <25 y.o.
  • 5. Looking Back• Let’s pick just 10 years ago: – A few precursors to a “Local Food Movement:” – A chain-restaurant Region, generally; – A meat-and-potatoes appetite.
  • 6. Business / Commerce Opportunities Ahead• Under-marketed [under-marketable?] restaurant sector• Social Media / Piggy-backing on WatReg’s Hi-Tech energy• Culinary Tourism
  • 7. Then and Now: Marketing Minimalism• Historically and Today: – Restaurants = poor marketers • Limited resources – Local “ethnic” restaurants in Waterloo Region • Unique but silent
  • 8. Social Media in Food and Beverage• Looking back only 5 years – Little social media – Many restaurants had meagre websites – Few were savvy at communicating w/ customers• Today: the same?
  • 9. Future Social Media Smorgasbord?• What does Waterloo Region’s Hi-Tech energy offer? – Growing business / entrepreneurial interest in: • Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn • Pinterest • Quora
  • 10. Foodlink’s Food Phone App
  • 11. Tourism• 2008 = 42.3 million overnight visitors to Ontario• In terms of food, WR needs to unify programs & energies “related to industry associations, food entrepreneurs” and food communities;• Tourism can provide opportunities for FnB entrepreneurship between a multiple stakeholders. – [ adapted from OCTA Strategy Plan]
  • 12. Culinary Tourism Defined …• A tourism experience during which: – Appreciation – Education – Consumption – Reflection … occurs in and around food and beverage “that reflects local, regional, national cuisine, heritage, culture, tradition and techniques.” Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, “Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan: 2011-2015” [http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/publications/Culinary_web.pdf].
  • 13. Who Are Culinary Tourists?• Three distinct sectors: 1. 10% of tourists plan trips based on the food experience; 2. 80% include food experience in their larger tourism plans; 3. 10% of general tourists are “accidental culinary tourists” • [UW Professor Stephen Smith / OCTA Strategy Plan]• Obviously: Sector 2 should be our target…
  • 14. Waterloo Region Culinary Tourism• Unremarkable / off the radar• Fragmented / disjointed• NOT part of OCTA [should it be?]• Some movement: CT = part of WRTMC’s evolution – All this represents: • Potential future business opportunities • Improved quality of life in Waterloo Region
  • 15. Five Years From Now?