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Tariffs and buying Canadian

by:  Angela Altass

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Buy Canadian has become a common slogan on social media and in everyday conversations but does it mean that retailers should start placing more emphasis on Canadian products in-store?

"I meet with aspiring food entrepreneurs or new start-ups from zero to five years, on a regular basis," says Neal. "Often times, they are not as savvy as companies who have a broker involved or have been through the process on a larger scale longer. Their challenges in ensuring that all the boxes are checked to get their products from manufacturer to the store shelf are real and I think retailers could help out almost in a mentoring position and try to make the transition smoother for them. I think retailers would be smart to say, let's give them a little bit extra time and they'll give our store a point of differentiation.

Interest in buying Canadian will not fade, however it will be more rationalized over time, says Aghakhani, while Neal also agrees that the average consumer with give little credence to country of origin when they are making a quick decision at their local convenience store.

"At the same time, stores must promote products that are Canadian," he states. "This will help many small businesses in Canada. People in Vancouver may know that Hope Blooms is a fresh herb dressing coming from Halifax and may think it is another dressing sauce owned by a big corporation. However, if they see a store promoting it as a Canadian brand, consumers will be more interested to purchase it and eventually will learn that this small community company helps children in Halifax."

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