Vancouver Island’s temperate climate and favourable soil conditions have given rise to a growing network of small-scale, specialty food producers and processors. While some of these products are stocked on grocery store shelves, they often fail to gain recognition by consumers as locally sourced items.
In 2018, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance led a regional branding initiative to raise awareness about “made on Vancouver Island” products. The pilot project partnered with Quality Foods, Country Grocer, Thrifty Foods and Parallel 49 Grocers to deliver a point of sale promotional and multimedia campaign and provided baseline data on the sales of local products. Island products were identified with the Island Good logo, supplemented with a paid and earned media campaign that included launch events, radio, television, and print.
The pilot project ran over six-month in 45 grocery stores and made it easier for consumers to identify and purchase local products. Expanded awareness of products grown or produced on Vancouver Island will help strengthen the local food economy, and demand for made on Vancouver Island products. The Island Good brand is now available to food producers and processors under licensing arrangements, and future plans will expand branding to a broader range of outlets and products.