How to shop like a patriot during a Canada-U.S. trade spat
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:05AM EDT
Maybe it’s because U.S. President Donald Trump accused Canadians of smuggling shoes out of his country. Or maybe it’s because he called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak.” Whatever the case, more Canadians appear to be favouring patriotic purchases over U.S. imports.
On Twitter, hashtags including #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts and #BoycottUSA are spreading tips on using purchasing power in the grocery aisles to defend Canada’s honour.
While country of origin labels makes it easy to reach for an Ontario-grown tomato, rather than one trucked in from Florida, determining which products are actually Canadian can be tricky, according to a leading food industry analyst.
“As you venture toward the centre of the store, where there are lots of processed foods, things get complicated because of the integrated nature of both economies,” Dalhousie University food distribution and policy professor Sylvain Charlebois told BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday. “You actually find products manufactured in the United States using Canadian ingredients, but you don’t know. And vice-versa.”
CTVNews.ca has compiled a patriotic grocery shopping guide to help Canadians who want to wade into the ongoing Canada-U.S. trade spat with their wallets.
Get your next cup of Joe or bag of beans from a Canadian coffee shop or roaster.
Visit the Second Cup or Timothy’s chains, which are headquartered in Mississauga, Ont. and Toronto, respectively. Tim Hortons is owned by Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian multinational fast food holding company headquartered in Oakville, Ont. However, the majority of that company is owned by the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital.
Patronizing a local coffee shop is also a good way to support Canadian small businesses.
Cut out Kentucky bourbons and Tennessee Whiskeys like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s, and switch to Canadian-made Crown Royal and J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe. When it comes to beer, remember that Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue, Alexander Keith’s and other Molson Coors Brewing Company products belong to a Denver, Colorado-based company, even when brewed in Canada.
Choosing local craft beer is a good option to ensure Canadian ownership.
Condiment controversy erupted in 2014 when Heinz announced it would halt ketchup production at its century-old Leamington, Ont. facility, putting hundreds of Canadian workers out of a job.
Heinz’s American rival French’s saw an opportunity to win over patriotic Canadians, and pledged a year later to restore ketchup production to the self-proclaimed tomato capital of Canada.
Quebec and Ontario may be the globally dominant syrup suppliers, but many of the popular grocery store brands are owned by U.S. companies. For example, Aunt Jemima is owned by New York-based PepsiCo. Mrs. Butterworth's is owned by New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods. Look for a made in Canada label before buying.
Given the scarcity of citrus crops north of the border, replacing this breakfast staple with a Canadian alternative is tricky. (You can always drink apple juice.)
Minute Maid, while a division of the Coca-Cola Company, does operate a plant in Peterborough, Ont. So in one respect – jobs -- the company’s juice quenches Canada’s economy.
Scott and Charmin toilet paper are both owned by U.S. conglomerates, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, respectively. However, Quebec-based Cascades operates plants within that province and Ontario. Mississauga, Ont.-based Kruger Products also has bathroom tissues plants in Canada.
Liberte yogurt, while owned by Minnesota-based General Mills through its Yoplait division, is produced in Quebec using local dairy supply.
Instead of satisfying your sweet tooth with Skittles, Starburst, or Juicy Fruit (all owned by the Wrigley division of Virginia-based Mars) or Hershey chocolate from Pennsylvania, choose Nestle products made in Toronto like Coffee Crisp, KitKat and Smarties. Italian confection-maker Ferrero also operates a plant in Brantford, Ont.