Most South Asian-Canadians Shop at No Frills

We conducted a market research in May 2011 on Grocery Shopping Habits of South Asian-Canadians. It was done through an online survey for a CPG brand. Composition of the target groups mirrored 2006 Census data on key demographics; gender, ethnicity and place of residence.  Target respondents were Canadians of South Asian origin, age 21 and older, principal grocery shoppers, living in the GTA. 289 responses were collected.

I share few non-proprietary top-line findings and insights below.

Grocery Shopping:  57% South Asians usually buy groceries at No Frills and 36% at Food Basics, based on the responses we receivedGrocery Shopping for this survey. Wal-Mart is a close third at 33% and Freshco fourth at 24%. Wal-Mart improved its ranking, as only 27%  respondents mentioned that they shop for groceries at Wal-Mart in a similar survey done earlier. Please see the table for data on other grocery stores in the GTA.

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Grocery Stores Eye South Asian-Canadians

I have been telling my colleagues and clients that Grocery stores will be the next business sector that will target South Asian Canadians. And this was no rocket science. I saw following three signs for it.

1. Immigrants’ Life Cycle: Most South Asian (SA) are new immigrants. They look for products and taste from “back home” and also buy more groceries per visit because they have bigger families.
2. Developing of a critical mass: The SA- Canadians became the biggest visible minority group as per 2006 Census and have attained a critical mass with an estimated ~1.5 million people now.
3. Opening of neighborhood SA-grocery stores: More SA Grocery stores have sprung up in last few years with constant flow of customers providing an existing market to big box Grocery stores.

The above three factors collectively provide a ripe market for Grocery stores to cater, increase customer base and sales, and get loyal customers

Come 2010, we saw an attempt by big grocery stores to reach out to SA market segment, primarily with print ads and with some radio and TV advertising. I see these initial campaigns as more of a test or tactical implementation in nature rather than strategic. Only results, research and time will tell how effective these ad campaigns were in achieving the campaign objectives. Though I will provide my opinion on this soon. For now, see few of the print ads below. These ran during last few months. Read more of this post

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