Canadian Manufacturing

Four major trends reshaping Canada’s grocery sector post-COVID-19

A new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) explores trends in Canada's food retail industry

May 26, 2021  by CM Staff

PHOTO: Whole Foods

TORONTO — The pandemic has driven significant change in Canada’s $95.5 billion food retail sector, accelerating tech adoption and prompting major shifts in customer behaviour. It has also put a spotlight on aspects of food retail that many shoppers may have previously taken for granted. Empty store shelves have prompted a newfound appreciation for the everyday heroes who have kept our local grocery stores stocked and operating.

Shake-up in Aisle 21: Disruption, Change and Opportunity in Ontario’s Grocery Sector, a new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University, identifies trends impacting the future of Ontario’s grocery sector through interviews with industry insiders, industry publications, and labour market and census data. Key trends explored in the report include:

  • The Accelerated Rise of E-commerce
  • Driving Loyalty with Data
  • Growth of Market Power + Consolidation
  • Moving Beyond Hyper-Efficient Supply Chains

The report also examines the implications of these and other changes for Ontario’s grocery employers and workers. Shake-up in Aisle 21 is part of an ongoing Brookfield Institute project to identify job pathways for Canadian workers in industries being disrupted by new technologies. The Job Pathways in Food Retail project, in partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), is funded by the Government of Ontario and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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