How to reach ethnic shoppers in your community

Canada is home to a growing number of diverse visible minorities. But which one are moving into your area?

Over the last three decades we’ve seen a phenomenal change to immigration patterns in Canada. The majority of immigrants now come from Asia, and within the next 20 years, three in every 10 people in Canada will be visible minority. Keep in mind, however, that grocery shopping is a local activity and what matters most is which of these visible minorities are moving into your neighbourhood. How can you find out?

A good place to begin is online. Statistic Canada has Localized Census data on visible minorities at (search for Community Profiles). Unfortunately, the numbers can be several years old. So do your own re-search, starting here:

Places of worship. Wherever people go, their religious customs follow. New mosques will show an increase in the Muslim population, and temples or gurudwaras will indicate an influx of Hindus or Sikhs.

Local schools. Drive by nearby schools when kids are outside. If a growing number of your consumers is made up of visible minorities, you will notice it here first.

Your job applicants. Newcomers are more likely to seek work within their communities, so make a mental note if you’re seeing more visual minorities asking you to hire them.

Small Ethic Stores. If there’s a new ethnic mom-and-pop grocer in the area, there is a customer base to serve this market. Make sure visit them and find out the sort of products they are buying.

Walk the local malls: More visible minorities working at the shopping centres (specially at the checkouts) can be used as a sign of changes in the neighbourhood.

Follow these steps and you will learn something about your market you didn’t already know. Plus, what you find today will likely be validated by researchers two or three years..

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