Hyper local food, empty shelves, and marketing the farm — a LIVE! with Jo-Ann McArthur


There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our daily lives, including how we shop for food and what we eat. This year’s Nourish Food Marketing report is the fifth one, and the one with perhaps the most seismic shifts year-over-year for some trend changes.

In this LIVE! Q&A, host Shaun Haney is joined by Jo-Ann McArthur, with Nourish Food Marketing, to discuss some of the twelve main trends or areas of focus covered in the report, from the increasing scrutiny of farm practices, to grocery delivery, and more.

Check out a new LIVE! discussion every weekday at 3 pm E across social media platforms!


  • Let’s talk about the fifth annual Nourish Food Report
  • The fallen curtain of empty shelves, what does it mean for food and farming?
  • People were surprised, for sure, and did start to Google things about food processing and food security
  • Farming and food needs to invite people IN virtually, to offer transparency
  • Consumers trust farmers, but not farming
  • More success with show, rather than tell; i.e. certification label vs video vs live streaming
  • There’s always a gap between stated and actual behaviour
  • Organic product demand has grown even during COVID-19
  • Consumers are voting with the grocery dollar. Fluid milk sales are going down and moving to plant-based beverages, not because people are vegan or vegetarian, but because of the misconception of “factory farming”
  • People are Googling things — is it looking for affirmation or information?
  • Consumers are on Instagram, not on Twitter (is agriculture talking to itself?)
  • A&W is doing a great job of selling ideas, ie. grass fed
  • COVID-19 introduced the concept of hyper local — vs. local. Our own neighbourhood!
  • Food sovereignty and food security are going to increase in importance
  • Eating for resiliency…functional food 2.0.
  • Big increases in looking for information on Vitamins D and C, for example
  • COVID-19 forced the trial of online grocery shopping. Most people were pleasantly surprised.
  • Meal planning, recipe trials, meal kits (still not as great as delivery). Packaging waste is a concern.
  • Cooking fatigue. The cooking from scratch thing is getting tiresome.
  • BUT, one positive is the return of the family meal time. 50% of eating occasions were solo heading into COVID-19, and now, far more meals are shared together!
  • Soil health and feeding the soil is resonating with consumers, and tying into that, letting them know it’s OK to eat meat

Interested in the full report? Check it out here.

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