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Catering to your customer this holiday season

The pandemic has shifted many things for us as consumers—how we work, how we dress, how we get our groceries, and how we engage with food. Through all these behavioural shifts we find ourselves conflicted in our food preferences. We invest hours making meals and scratch-baked breads, to craving quick and convenient snacks throughout the day.

According to Deloitte research, home cooking is resurging with 66%—and 72% of surveyed Canadians aged 35-54—saying they are cooking more meals at home than in the previous year; and 36% are baking more, too. This same study noted that 63% prepare dinner from scratch four to six times per week. People are coming together and connecting with their food.

This isn't news to us consumers—raise your hand if you made sourdough starter in the last 12 months—but what is interesting is that at the opposite end of the spectrum we are also demanding convenience and quick meal solutions. Of Canadians surveyed, 44% stated they have increased their snacking consumption since pre-pandemic times—this increases to over half when looking at the millennial age group. With the holidays just around the corner, we see a similar conflicted consumer as they get ready for the festivities.

With holiday preparations comes pressure, stress and expectations paired with the perfect amount of joy, excitement and happiness—it’s the most wonderful time of the year! So, how do we support our conflicted consumer this holiday season?

We give them the options to make their own! According to a survey from FMI, 55% of consumers note a desire for hybrid meal options – or those that are a mix of semi-and-fully-prepared items. We are all living in a pandemic and navigating the new now, so we want to have our cake and eat it too. Give us all the home-made bread and the pre-packaged sides!

In Co-op Table Magazine this holiday season, consumers will find everything from the show-stopping beef Wellington to homemade artisan bread totaling 13 hours from start to finish. But, you will also find solutions to satisfy convenience and snacking personalities with ready-made desserts to pair with your impressive feasts and what we are calling "Charcuterie Friday," featuring the perfect snacking dinner plates.


A plate of beef Wellington
Photos: Federated Co-operatives Limited

We connected the content in the magazine to in-store events that focus on what our consumer is looking for. For the customer who wants a quick entertaining cheese platter we have a pre-packed cheese box. For the customer who wants Instagram-worthy shots, we have the festive feasts event. In-store merchandising and signage is set up for each event to make it easy to shop and find quick solutions no matter what our customer’s goals are this holiday season.

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