World Crops Panel:
Consumer Research and Market Rationale

Dr. Alex Grygorczyk
Alexandra.grygorczyk@vinelandresearch.com
Consumer demographics are changing
70

• In the GTA, the visible
minority will be the
majority by 2017 (55%)

60
2006
50

...
Consumer demographics are changing

Image from: Nielsen Canada
Consumer demographics are changing
• Immigration is changing the face of
Canada
 A new opportunity!

• Immigration is est...
What can we grow?
Crops tested in Vineland Program
• >700 varieties evaluated
• Okra, callaloo, yard long bean, long eggplant, round eggplan...
What should we grow?
(Is there a market?)
Greatest market opportunity:
okra, long eggplant, round eggplant
Eggplant Supply and Consumption
Estimated returns to the grower:
(U.S. Study from the University of Kentucky)

Okra
Eggplant
1,404 USD/acre 1,636 USD/acre...
Will people buy it?
(Do they like it?)
Drivers of Purchase
(Vineland Fall 2011 Online Survey)
Consumers of different ethnic heritage have different preferences
R...
Visual Preference
(Vineland Summer 2012 Study)

Locally grown okra, long and round eggplants were liked equally or
preferr...
Visual Insights
Consumers do not pay attention to the variety names
of these vegetables
• Size
• Shape
• Colour variation
Visual Insights
Okra characteristics desired by consumers
(according to distributors, breeders, etc.)
•
•
•
•
•

Spineless...
Taste Preference
• Cooked okra, long and round
eggplants with minimal
seasoning as well as with
traditional spices
• Do co...
Taste Preference
Generally no taste preference between local and
imported
Locally produced okra and eggplant are performin...
Summary
• Ethnic demographics are driving a great deal of
change in the produce business.
• BIG opportunity!

• Ethnic cro...
Sensory Science Team
Consumer Science-Economics Team
Postharvest Science Team
Production Team
Contacts
Production Systems:
Dr. Michael Brownbridge
michael.brownbridge@
vinelandresearch.com
905-562-0320 ext. 798
Busin...
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World Crops Panel: Consumer Research and Market Rationale

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Speaker: Dr. Alex Grygorczyk
Session: Building Systems for Local Production of World Crops: Opportunities and Challenges

Published in: Business, Technology
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World Crops Panel: Consumer Research and Market Rationale

  1. 1. World Crops Panel: Consumer Research and Market Rationale Dr. Alex Grygorczyk Alexandra.grygorczyk@vinelandresearch.com
  2. 2. Consumer demographics are changing 70 • In the GTA, the visible minority will be the majority by 2017 (55%) 60 2006 50 2017 40 2031 30 • $5 billion retail opportunity 20 10 0 Toronto Canada Source: Statistics Canada
  3. 3. Consumer demographics are changing Image from: Nielsen Canada
  4. 4. Consumer demographics are changing • Immigration is changing the face of Canada  A new opportunity! • Immigration is estimated to drive >70% of the growth in “fresh produce” retail • People eat what they know
  5. 5. What can we grow?
  6. 6. Crops tested in Vineland Program • >700 varieties evaluated • Okra, callaloo, yard long bean, long eggplant, round eggplant, bottle gourd, Chinese and Thai hot chilli peppers, Chinese green onions, fuzzy melon, Indian red carrot, daikon radish and others • All are adapted to production in Ontario
  7. 7. What should we grow? (Is there a market?) Greatest market opportunity: okra, long eggplant, round eggplant
  8. 8. Eggplant Supply and Consumption
  9. 9. Estimated returns to the grower: (U.S. Study from the University of Kentucky) Okra Eggplant 1,404 USD/acre 1,636 USD/acre Return is greater than for field cucumber, potato, sweet corn or watermelon We are in the process of assessing the situation in Canada. Data analysis is in progress.
  10. 10. Will people buy it? (Do they like it?)
  11. 11. Drivers of Purchase (Vineland Fall 2011 Online Survey) Consumers of different ethnic heritage have different preferences Region of Origin: o Home country bias: produce from my home country are more desirable, have higher quality! o True for Afro-Caribbean heritage and to a lesser extent for South Asians o Less applicable to Chinese consumers o “Product of Ontario” resonates positively with all groups o “Product of China” resonates negatively with all groups
  12. 12. Visual Preference (Vineland Summer 2012 Study) Locally grown okra, long and round eggplants were liked equally or preferred over imported varieties when compared by visual evaluation
  13. 13. Visual Insights Consumers do not pay attention to the variety names of these vegetables • Size • Shape • Colour variation
  14. 14. Visual Insights Okra characteristics desired by consumers (according to distributors, breeders, etc.) • • • • • Spineless Soft (not fibrous) Short Dark Green Grooved Need confirmation from consumer study  data analysis in progress
  15. 15. Taste Preference • Cooked okra, long and round eggplants with minimal seasoning as well as with traditional spices • Do consumers have a taste preference for local or imported cooked okra/eggplant?
  16. 16. Taste Preference Generally no taste preference between local and imported Locally produced okra and eggplant are performing equally as well as imported varieties
  17. 17. Summary • Ethnic demographics are driving a great deal of change in the produce business. • BIG opportunity! • Ethnic crops can be grown successfully in Ontario • Largest opportunity is with okra and eggplant • Profitability in Canada still being assessed • Sensory performance is similar to those of imported vegetables • Locally grown have improved freshness
  18. 18. Sensory Science Team Consumer Science-Economics Team Postharvest Science Team Production Team
  19. 19. Contacts Production Systems: Dr. Michael Brownbridge michael.brownbridge@ vinelandresearch.com 905-562-0320 ext. 798 Business Development: Lana Culley lana.culley@ vinelandresearch.com 905-562-0320 ext. 747 Sensory and Consumer Research: Dr. Amy Bowen amy.bowen@ vinelandresearch.com 905-562-0320 ext. 805 Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk Alexandra.grygorczyk@ vinelandresearch.com 905-562-0320 ext. 672 www.vinelandresearch.com

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