2020 Nova Scotia Food Survey Results

2020 was the first year I decided to survey users of this website and its accompanying social media presences, namely the Twitter and Facebook accounts. My reason for doing so was simple: I wanted to find out how best to promote the production and consumption of Nova Scotia-produced food within our province. I was also hoping to find out some information about hunger in Nova Scotia, and how Nova Scotia food producers can help address this.

Although the number of respondents this year was not high enough to draw many statistically meaningful conclusions, I intend to keep running this survey every year. I hope it won’t be long before we have enough users to get some really useful info.

I did learn a few facts that would be helpful for people who are trying to market Nova Scotia-produced food. There is a real demand for it, and there is evidence that people would be buying a lot more of it if only they knew where to find it. So, if you are a producer of Nova Scotia food, and would like to learn how to sell more of your products, read on!


Just click on one of the accordion tabs below to expand and see survey results.



I was just curious about the average age of respondents. No surprise in the answers.


Ditto with gender. Not enough respondents to say anything conclusively, beyond the fact that women were more likely to take this survey than men.


I was interested to know if there is any correlation between education level and likelihood of believing in the importance of purchasing locally-produced food.


South Shore is disproportionately represented here because that’s where I live, and that’s where most members of the Nova Scotia Food Facebook group live too. Eventually I hope this will change as we gain more members.


What I’d really like to know is how many people with large families see locally produced food as a more affordable alternative than mass-produced, heavily-processed food products. There is no info here to help answer this question, but it’s still interesting to note the size of the average household these days.


I wondered if vegans or vegetarians were more likely to buy locally-produced food than meat eaters, since it’s been my anecdotal experience they tend to be well informed about where their food comes from. Nope. At least, not among these respondents.


I’d like to know if some groups have more trouble than others in accessing locally-produced food. I do not consider this answer statistically meaningful, since no one who identifies as BIPOC took the survey, but it seems to me like it’s an important question to keep asking. One of the the goals of this website is to help ensure everyone has equal access to healthy, locally-produced food, regardless of background.


If you sell food that was produced in Nova Scotia, and you’re not clearly marking it as such, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. This is one result I feel comfortable extrapolating from. NS food producers would sell a lot more food if they simply let people know it was produced here in NS.

more likely

I was curious to know how widespread food bank usage has been, especially during the pandemic. It seems not to be an issue for the people who took the survey.


How many people have felt their food security is under threat in the past year? If this 10% figure holds true across the province, that seems to me like an awful lot of people who worry sometimes about not being able to afford to feed their families. This has health implications reaching far beyond just feeling hungry once in a while. The stress of poverty reaches into every corner of a person’s life.


It doesn’t really come out in the question, but I want to know is: are low-income people having trouble finding healthier, locally-produced food? If so, what can be done to alleviate this? How can we make it more accessible to them?


Half of respondents seem committed to the concept of buying Nova Scotia-produced food over other sources… regardless of cost. Hello, marketers! Are you paying attention?

buy local

Nearly 40% of respondents do not know where their food comes from.

More than 60% of respondents indicate that their normal food outlet does not indicate which food is produced in NS, or that they don’t know if it labels food this way.

clearly marked

Yet a whopping 85% of respondents said they would be more likely to shop somewhere if they knew that place had local food for sale!

There seems to be lots of room for growth in CSAs as well. Most people either don’t use them or don’t know what one is.

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