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The development of innovative functional food products is a major trend in today’s food industry. The growth of this industry is driven by increased consumer awareness of their own health deficiencies, increased understanding of the possible health benefits of functional foods, development in formulation technologies, a positive regulatory environment, and changing consumer demographics and lifestyles. While there has been a proliferation of omega-3 products such as milk, eggs, yogurt, and margarine in the Canadian food market, very little is known about consumers of these products. We use ACNielsen Homescan™ data combined with survey data to develop profiles of omega-3 consumers in Canada. The focus of the study is on consumers of four products: omega-3 milk, omega-3 yogurt, omega-3 margarine, and omega-3 eggs. We investigate whether there are significant differences between consumers and non-consumers of omega-3 products based on their age, income, education, and household composition. We also investigate whether a household’s use of Canada’s Food Guide and the Nutrition Facts table and consideration of the health benefits of food influences the decision to purchase omega-3 products. The results from the ordered probit model estimation show that the aging Canadian population is a major driver of omega-3 purchases. Also, the presence of children in the home increases the purchasing frequency of omega-3 yogurt and omega-3 margarine, and reading the Nutrition Facts table and considering the health benefits of food are important factors that affect omega-3 product purchases.


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