Ethno-cultural foods in Canada – A niche market waiting to be exploited

Today, researchers shared with me statistics that showed 50% of people living in Toronto were not born in Toronto.
Everyone knows how multicultural the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is and its immigrant numbers continue to rise to this day. According to researchers Dele Adekunle, Glen Filson and Sri Sethuratnam, there are three prestigious ethnic groups present in the GTA. These groups are classified as South Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean. While these immigrant numbers rise, so do the demands of those ethnic groups. Particularly, these groups are demanding foods from their countries-of-origin that they’re unable to obtain, grow, find or access in Canada. Due to the lack of awareness for the demand of ethno-cultural foods in Canada, these ethnic groups are forced to either spend large amounts of money to import the food they want into Canada – which leads to problems pertaining to quality and freshness of the imported items – or they have to grow them in their own backyards – which in certain cases can be very difficult depending on the location in the GTA.
These ethnic-groups have obviously adapted to the lifestyle of the Canadian diet but who’s to say they can’t incorporate their own food culture into their Canadian lives as well. Farmers and growers need to shed their fear of the possibility of losing profit from growing these ethno-cultural foods on their local farms. They need to have faith in the fact that there is a market present for these ethno-cultural foods and that it’s waiting to be exploited. If farmers and growers make these ethno-cultural foods available, they will come to find that the ethnic groups who are demanding them will be sure to seek them out and purchase them. This would meet demands these groups have for their cultural foods to be grown in Canada and farmers and growers will see the profits that come from growing ethno-cultural foods.

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2 responses to “Ethno-cultural foods in Canada – A niche market waiting to be exploited

  1. I think this is very important issue that should be addressed. And I commend the researchers for taking steps in the right direction.

  2. I found this article very interesting and scientific. I am familiar with the researchers and i can attest to the thorough work invested during the course of the research. The results an conclusions with no doubt contribute to our understanding of ethno-cultural food in the GTA and be of great resources to the farmers.

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