Consumer Media

OPMA News Releases

  • Ontario Consumer Produce Shopping Habits 2020

    A new consumer research study commissioned by The Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA) reveals 44% of shoppers changed their produce shopping behavior during the pandemic in a variety of ways.One of the biggest shifts in shopper behavior was intention to purchase local produce, with 36% of shoppers reporting they are now looking for local more often. While the key driver of this decision is the desire to support the local economy, shoppers also believe Ontario produce is fresher, has fewer touch points and tastes better.The study also focused on shoppers’ location preferences during the pandemic, specifically when it comes to produce. While people continue to prefer to shop in-person for produce, one in four respondents indicated their produce shopping location had changed. Seven in ten respondents indicated that they buy produce in-person at conventional grocery stores, 56% shop at discount stores and 40% mentioned big box stores. “This research is unique as it is focused on the Ontario shopper and the attitudes that drive their produce purchases,” said Michelle Broom, OPMA President. “The research overwhelmingly indicates that given the opportunity, consumers want to support the local economy. It is important that we provide them with the right tools to do so.”The growing awareness of fair trade was evident with half of respondents reporting they seek out fair trade produce when shopping, particularly women. When it comes to conventional vs. organic produce, 14% of produce is purchased in the organic section, 85% of those who purchase organic say the amount of organic produce they purchase has not changed.“We were thrilled to see such high consumer interest in fair trade”, commented Jennie Coleman, President of Equifruit and OPMA member. “This study confirms that fair trade produce is a major opportunity for retailers. With 51% of respondents seeking produce certified Fairtrade, we know that we’re out of a niche and into the mainstream.”The findings indicate a small shift in frequency of shopping, with the average being five times per month, down from six times. Plastic packaging still remains a hot topic. Almost nine in ten shoppers believe it should be reduced while 66% think it should be eliminated altogether. Despite this, most agree that it’s important for food safety and reducing food waste. The OPMA partnered with Leger, the largest Canadian-owned market research and analytics company, to conduct the study on consumer shopping habits during the pandemic. The results were presented to members in a webinar by Lisa Covens, Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs at Leger. Data was gathered through an online survey completed by 1001 grocery shoppers between October 28, 2020 and November 3, 2020 using Leger’s online panel.

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  • Packaging Regulations

    The Ontario government is expected to release draft regulations in October introducing an Extended Producer Responsibility Program. The newly-formed OPMA Packaging Round Table will meet in October to review and respond to the consultation on these regulations.In July, the OPMA formed a Packaging Round Table, consisting of members from across the supply chain and other industry associations. The group will meet several times each year to discuss any action items relating to packaging use and recycling in Ontario. The goals of this group are to act as an industry voice to the Ontario government on matters related to packaging, to support the industry in the implementation of new EPR regulations, and to communicate to the industry and consumers so we may all work towards a circular economy for packaging in Ontario.The work of the OPMA Round Table will not duplicate the CPMA Plastics Packaging Working Group. We encourage OPMA members to review the publically available resources on the CPMA website to help you make informed decisions.

Market Research

Ontario contributes over one third of Canada’s total fruit and vegetable production, contributing more than $4.2 billion and over 66,000 jobs to the economy. Approximately 43% of this value is field grown and 57% produced in greenhouse operations....Continue Reading

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Produce Made Simple 

Produce Made Simple is a highly-successful consumer facing platform. It features an extensive website filled with recipes and knowledge. The brand is active across multiple social media channels with the goal of encouraging millions of Canadians to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables every day. In addition, under the Produce made Simple banner, the OPMA runs events to promote produce through an “ambassador partnership” featuring 10 inspirational social media influencers. In 2019 alone, the program garnered over 17 million impressions and had a total reach of 100,000 followers.

Produce Made Simple

OPMA in the Community

OPMA Christmas Foodshare

 
 

For the past 30 years, the OPMA, and it’s partners have worked together to procure, pack and deliver thousands of fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to families across the province.

Student Nutrition Ontario 
 

studentnutritionontario.ca

The OPMA’s partnership with SNO helps to nourish thousands of students from across the province by helping them gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Toronto Foundation for Student Success

tfss.ca

The OPMA’s partnership with TFSS fosters healthy eating habits and cooking skills among school aged children by contributing to their knowledge of the produce industry and helping them procure fresh fruits and vegetables for their after-school programs including the Junior Chef program.

Freggie 

Meet Freggie, the produce mascot! Contact our team at info@theopma.ca to find out how you can rent a Freggie costume to complement your program’s food nutrition activities.