Young Canadians Willing to Pay More for Organic, Non-GMO Food

About one-in-four Canadians frequently check labels to see if the products they buy are organic and non-GMO .

Vancouver, BC [May 17, 2023] – Canadians aged 18-to-34 are more likely than their older counterparts to consider paying a premium for produce and groceries that are organic or free from genetically modified organisms (GMO), a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 41% of Canadians say they would not pay more for organic food. The proportion rises to 57% among those aged 55 and over, but drops to 41% among those aged 35-to-54 and to 23% among those aged 18-to-34.

A similar scenario is observed on non-GMO food. Just over three-in-ten Canadians (31%) would not pay more for produce and groceries that offered this guarantee, including 38% of those aged 55 and over, 31% of those aged 35-to-54 and 22% of those aged 18-to-34.

More than a third of Canadians would not pay more for food from a company that guaranteed a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Once again, the country’s oldest adults are less likely to consider paying a premium (45%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (38%) and aged 18-to-34 (23%).

“More than two-in-five residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (42%), Atlantic Canada (41%) and Alberta (41%) would not be swayed by food producers guaranteeing lower greenhouse gas emissions than their competitors,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are lower in British Columbia (37%), Ontario (35%) and Quebec (28%).”

Almost four-in-five Canadians (79%) agree that climate change threatens the world’s food supply. More than seven-in-ten feel the food supply in Canada (76%) and their province (73%) is in danger because of climate change.

One third of Canadians (33%) claim to frequently check labels in the food they buy to review the country or province of origin. About one-in-four check food labels frequently to see if products are organic (24%) or non-GMO (23%).

More than three-in-five Canadians (61%) think the agriculture sector is “definitely” or “probably” taking action to reduce its environmental footprint. The rating is similar for the forestry sector (60%), and lower for two other industries: natural gas (47%) and mining (42%).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from May 4 to May 6, 2023, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.