A food marketing expert weighs in on current trends—and why the Egg Quality Assurance™ certification mark is the next step in building trust with Canadians.
They’ve been called “true digital natives”1, “disruptive and distinctive”2, wielding “enormous economic power of their own.”3 They are Generation Z, and these days they are subject of the sort of intense public conversation that Millenials once were. Gen Z is shaking up consumer patterns across the board, but according to Jo-Ann McArthur—food marketing expert and President of Nourish Food Marketing—they are changing the Canadian food scene in particular, with profound consequences.
“Gen Z have grown up in a time when they expect to get an answer to anything from their phone,” says Jo-Ann, who has spent her career building powerful brands for food and beverage products in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. “They can read labels, they are the best educated in terms of nutrition… if they can’t find it and find it quickly, they will move on to another company or brand that represents their values.”
This theme—of consumers looking for brands who share their values—is one highlighted in Nourish Food Marketing’s 2019 Nourish Trend Report, which showed that shared values are increasingly powerful in determining which brands consumers trust.4
When it comes to establishing and growing trust, Jo-Ann believes certification programs like Egg Farmers of Canada’s Egg Quality Assurance™ certification program are the key to consumers’ hearts. The Nourish report says “the best way to build trust is through transparency and storytelling. Independent third-party verification will rise in adoption as consumers search for more credible information and authentic communication in an era of fake news.”5
Certification has to be more than talk, though—it has to be backed by a credible program and the standards consumers deserve. To Jo-Ann, “an effective certification program needs clear rules that are enforced.”
That’s precisely what the Egg Quality Assurance™ program delivers for consumers. The EQA™ mark means that all EQA™ certified eggs have met the highest standards of Egg Farmers of Canada’s Start Clean-Stay Clean® food safety program and national Animal Care Program. It signifies the trust that comes from world-class standards, consistently applied on farms across Canada.
Part of the value of EQA™ is how it places a spotlight on made-in-Canada food. “To a consumer, ‘local’ means fresh and high-quality,” adds Jo-Ann. “Local means, ‘I’m supporting our community.’ People trust their neighbours.” It’s a trust egg farmers have earned over decades of consistently improving their on-farm programs. And that’s one of the best things about buying eggs: knowing they are produced by Canadian farmers, your friends and neighbours.
“EQA™ is showcasing and celebrating strict animal welfare and food safety standards. It’s backed by robust standards. It’s going to be easy when you’re shopping to see that symbol and know that you’re eating an egg that meets those standards.”