Consumers want to buy local, and now the grocery giant Safeway is making it easier than ever to find local products on their store shelves.
Several recent studies in British Columbia have shown consumers in this province prefer to buy locally produced foods. The problem for BC food producers is, how to easily identify those local foods on store shelves? At the moment, consumers have to pull out the reading glasses and peer at the label to find out where that product is from.
Now, Canada Safeway and the BC Food Processors Association have launched Buy BC Food, an initiative to help consumers identify provincially grown food products in all 76 B.C. Safeway stores.
To qualify, any food or natural health product must have at least 85 per cent of their ingredients sourced in B.C., or the products must be processed and packaged solely in BC. Qualifying products are identified with the Buy BC Food logo on the supermarket shelf and at www.buybcfood.ca.
Funding for the program was provided by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the BC Food Processors Association, but Safeway is also investing $2 million in point of sale support for the Buy BC Food program. Modeled on similar programs in Manitoba and Alberta, it includes 1,600 of the supermarket’s 40,000 items, says Safeway director of public affairs John Graham.
“We are responding to a need and a desire of our customers,” Graham says. “They want to support B.C. but need additional education as to the B.C. choices on our shelves.”