Foodland Ontario is a consumer promotion program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It was established in 1977, and since then, has partnered with producers to champion, promote and support the consumption of fresh Ontario produce and processed agricultural foods.
Foodland Ontario’s mission is to spread the word about the great taste, nutrition and economic benefits of buying Ontario food to all people in Ontario and in particular, grocery shoppers.
The typical shoppers who buy Ontario foods are men and women between the ages of 25 and 64. Food buying is now largely a shared household activity where both partners participate in the shopping experience and decision-making.
Foodland Ontario is divided into three main areas: Brand Services, Retail Services and Client Services.
Good Things Grow in Ontario!
The slogan and musical jingle “Good Things Grow in Ontario” was first introduced to the public in 1977. In tandem with the Foodland Ontario symbol, it encouraged people to buy and enjoy the wide variety local Ontario foods. The message later evolved to spreading the word about the positive economic benefits of buying local.
Ontario…there’s no taste like home
In 1986 a second slogan was introduced to drive home the #1 benefit of buying local Ontario food – its great taste, of course! The slogan “Ontario, there’s no taste like home” became the sidekick to “Good Things Grow in Ontario”, with one slogan extolling the virtues of buying local, and the other focusing on the great taste of local foods.
When Foodland Ontario first took its message to TV screens in 1997, its commercials didn’t just talk about the functional benefits of buying local. They also talked about the shared values that are important to all Ontarians: family, community, trust and support.
Market research is the foundation of Foodland Ontario’s marketing efforts. Since its inception, an advertising and tracking study has been conducted annually to ensure that the program is successful and efficient. This research is regularly shared with clients.
The program has been so successful that as of 2016, 93% of Ontario food shoppers recognize and value the Foodland Ontario symbol!
Ontario farmers, the people behind the products
For the first time, the people behind the products – Ontario farmers – were shown. The important message of their role in contributing to the fabric of our society and our economy was presented to the public.
Retail Services and Food Service
This branch of Foodland Ontario helps to identify and promote Ontario foods in 1,200+ grocery stores across Ontario, by providing promotions, marketing materials and more. It includes an annual retailer awards program which recognizes food retailers who promote Ontario foods.
Brand, Media and Public Relations Services
Foodland Ontario also provides information and other resources for journalists and the media, to help them spread the story of the importance of buying local.
In addition, Foodland Ontario works closely with producers and growers groups, to share information and encourage participation in relevant activities, and show them how to use the Foodland Ontario symbol to promote their food products.