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THE BUSINESS RESEARCHER NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
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November 14, 2003 Volume 6, Number 8
CONTENTS
* Introduction - Editor's Comments
* What's New at www.gdsourcing.com
* Statistics Canada releases
* Researching the Food Products Sector
* Put the U.S. Government on your Research Team
* Small Business Stats Facts
 

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INTRODUCTION - EDITOR'S COMMENTS

Hello,

Welcome to this issue of the BR newsletter. I know, I know, we are very late again! We have finally settled into our new place and unpacked most of the boxes! It is our fourth move in 6 years. This time I think we will actually set down roots. After "pulling only a few hairs out" we have convinced Bell to keep all of our telephone contact information the same. Our mailing address has not changed either.

We have added three free business calculators to our site to help you assess your business performance:

1. Business Resource Finder: displays a list of sample plans, articles, and other resources that match your business type.

2. Starting Costs Calculator: helps you evaluate how much capital you'll need to start your business.

3. Cash Flow Calculator: shows you how business-to-business sales, carrying inventory, and rapid growth can absorb a business' money.

To try out these new features see: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/SBDC.htm#Plans

We are also happy to now be able to offer full 2001 Census profiles at a 15% discount off of the Statistics Canada price. Profiles are available for municipalities, Census Tracts and Postal Geographies. For more information see: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/SBDC.htm#Census

The latest version of Statistics Canada's Market Research Handbook was released on November 12th. The handbook is designed to be a comprehensive source of socio-economic statistics for all those who study the Canadian consumer market - market researchers, strategists, product planners and sales leaders. We are again offering this compendium publication at a 20% discount off the cover price. For more information see: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/MarketResearchHandbook.htm

Finally I should mention that I along with many other users have been experiencing on-going difficulties accessing the Industry Canada Strategis web site. For whatever reason their server has become very unstable (e.g. you get a lot of "page not founds", "gateway timeouts" or missing graphics). I have found however that if you click on reload or refresh in your browser or try again later you often will get through. I am assuming this is a temporary problem that will be rectified very soon. I am giving you this warning just in case you rush out to try to access some of the sources listed below and find them unavailable.

I hope you find this issue helpful.

John White
GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval


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WHAT'S NEW AT WWW.GDSOURCING.COM - RUBBER, LIGHTNING, FISH & BROADBAND



THE RUBBER ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Site: http://www.rubberassociation.ca/
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/Rubber.htm
Monthly & Annual Tire Shipment Data


LIGHTNING HOT SPOTS IN CANADA
Site: http://www.msc.ec.gc.ca/education/lightning/index_e.html
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/Lightning.htm
Includes lightning activity in major cities in Canada

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT
Site: http://ocad-bcda.gc.ca/
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/OCAD.htm
Aquaculture Research & Statistics


INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION
Site: http://www.itu.int/home/index.html
Site Summary: http://www.gdsourcing.ca/works/ITU.htm
International statistics by individual country on Internet penetration rates, Telephone subscriber rates, Broadband use etc.
 

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STATISTICS CANADA RELEASES

The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last two months. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a
direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides
contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see our web site: http://www.gdsourcing.com/works/StatCan.htm

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at
contact@gdsourcing.com Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.



AGRICULTURE

Manure storage in Canada 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030912/d030912b.htm

National supply and disposition of major grains 1999/2000 to 2002/03
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031022/d031022f.htm

Food consumption 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031016/d031016b.htm



ARTS & CULTURE

Performing arts 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030909/d030909a.htm

Cable and satellite television 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031024/d031024a.htm



BUSINESS SERVICES

Research and development personnel 1991 to 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031107/d031107c.htm



CONSTRUCTION

Electric utility construction price indexes
Annual 2002 (revised) and first half 2003 (preliminary)
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031024/d031024d.htm



DEMOGRAPHICS

Aboriginal Peoples Survey: Well-being of the non-reserve Aboriginal population 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030924/d030924b.htm

Deaths 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030925/d030925c.htm

Ethnic Diversity Survey 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030929/d030929a.htm

Intercensal and postcensal population estimates by age and sex, July 1, 1971 to 2003
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031106/d031106c.htm

Migration 2001/02
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030925/d030925d.htm



ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

Foreign control in the Canadian economy 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031105/d031105b.htm

Impact of the Ontario-US power outage on hours worked August 14 to 31, 2003
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031030/d031030b.htm

Industrial diversity of Canadian cities 1992 to 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031027/d031027c.htm

Provincial and territorial economic accounts 1999 to 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031106/d031106a.htm

Study: Mad cow disease and Canada's trade in beef 2003
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031105/d031105a.htm



EDUCATION

Adult education and training 1998
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031015/d031015b.htm

British Columbia university graduates: Earnings over time
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030926/d030926c.htm

Parental work, child-care use and young children's cognitive outcomes
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031023/d031023a.htm

Intellectual property commercialization in the higher education sector 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031020/d031020d.htm

Postsecondary Education Participation Survey 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030910/d030910b.htm

School enrolments and teaching staff 1999/2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030918/d030918e.htm

Survey of earned doctorates
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031024/d031024g.htm

Family income and participation in postsecondary education 1980 to 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031003/d031003b.htm



ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian economy 1981 to 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030916/d030916b.htm

Energy supply and demand 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031002/d031002a.htm



HEALTH

Children who become active 1994/95 to 1998/99
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031106/d031106b.htm

Factors related to adolescents' self-perceived health 2000/01
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031031/d031031b.htm

Parent and child factors associated with youth obesity 2000/01
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031103/d031103a.htm

Health of rural Canadians 2000/01
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031021/d031021c.htm

Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030911/d030911c.htm

Research and development in the health field 1988 to 2002 (preliminary)
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030922/d030922f.htm

Residential care facilities 1999/2000 to 2001/02
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030929/d030929d.htm



HOSPITALITY

Government revenue attributable to tourism 1998
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030919/d030919b.htm



INCOME

Earnings of immigrant workers and Canadian-born workers 1980-2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031008/d031008a.htm

Family wealth across the generations 1984 to 1999
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031016/d031016a.htm

Registered retirement savings plan contributions 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031023/d031023b.htm

Savers, investors and investment income 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031028/d031028b.htm



INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Informatics professional services price indexes 2001/02 (preliminary)
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031028/d031028d.htm

Study: Knowledge workers in Canada's workforce 1971-2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031030/d031030a.htm



INTERNET

Household Internet Use Survey 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030918/d030918b.htm

Broadband: High-speed access to the Internet 1999 to 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030923/d030923b.htm



JUSTICE

Custodial remand 1986/87 to 2000/01
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030926/d030926b.htm

Homicides 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031001/d031001a.htm

Impaired driving and other traffic offences 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031107/d031107b.htm

Crime statistics: Additional detailed information 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031027/d031027b.htm



MANUFACTURING

Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Survey 2003
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031006/d031006c.htm



NON-PROFIT

Charitable donors 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031029/d031029b.htm



PRIMARY

Aquaculture statistics 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031030/d031030c.htm

Logging 2000 and 2001
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030923/d030923c.htm

Oil and gas extraction industry: capital and operating expenditures 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031023/d031023c.htm

Oil and gas extraction industry: Volume and value of marketable production 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031023/d031023d.htm



TRANSPORTATION

Airport activity statistics 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030930/d030930e.htm

Financial and operational statistics for railways 2001 (preliminary)
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031029/d031029d.htm

Fuel sales for road motor vehicles 2002
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030912/d030912d.htm



WORKPLACE

Working hours in Canada and the United States 1979 to 2000
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030911/d030911b.htm
 

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RESEARCHING THE FOOD PRODUCTS SECTOR

Researching the food products sector can be frustrating. It is not a matter of lack of data but rather its price. Most new entrepreneurs and small businesses have limited research budgets. Knowing that detailed figures exist but being unable to even contemplate a purchase can be very frustrating.

Do not despair! There are a few sources where for free or low cost you can still gather insights into your market.

The best place to get a basic overview of a food product market is the trade section of the Industry Canada Strategis web site. (http://strategis.gc.ca/sc_mrkti/tdst/engdoc/tr_homep.html) Start with the data presented by industry. The North American Industry Classification System provides a great deal of detail within the food-manufacturing sector (e.g. 311823 - Dry Pasta Manufacturing). Using the apparent domestic market feature at the above web site you can get an idea of the size and growth of the overall market in Canada. You can also get an idea of what percentage of manufacturer shipments are exported and the market share held by imported products.

Also look at the trade data by product section of the above site. This data is more detailed than by industry. However it only covers total imports and exports by province and country/state. It does not include domestic manufacturing shipments so you are unable to determine domestic market size. Nevertheless, import and export trends in the food products market can help identify foreign competitors and new markets outside of Canada.

In combination with the import data look at the Importers Database http://strategis.gc.ca/sc_mrkti/cid/engdoc/index.html This database identifies the top importers of specific products into Canada. It can help you identify competitors as well as potential clients.

Canadian Industry Statistics are also available at the Strategis web site. These are brief profiles by North American Industry Classification. http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/canadian_industry_statistics/cis.nsf/IDE/cis311defe.html
Some of the data here is duplicated from above (e.g. imports and exports) while other data is new (manufacturing costs, employment, business counts)

NB: in regards to difficulties accessing the Strategis web, please see Editors Comments at the beginning of this newsletter.

The Agriculture & Agri-food Canada web site provides similar profiles by industry sector for food manufacturers (e.g. The Canadian Bottled Water Industry, The Canadian Confectionery Industry, The Canadian Snack Food Industry). Much of the data is the same as at the Strategis web site however here you will find insights into issues and challenges for the sector. Information on departmental contacts as well as related industry associations is provided so you can follow up for more information.

In addition to industry data, the Agriculture & Agri-food Canada web site also has some specific market reports. The information is dated but specific. (E.g. Influence of Immigration on The Ethnic Food Market in Canada - published 2001) You can access the reports at the following address: http://www.agr.gc.ca/food/consumer/mrkreports/reports_e.html


Industry financial benchmarks for food processors which specifically track small business performance are available from our Canadian Industry Profiles http://www.gdsourcing.ca/SBDC.htm#CIP). They provide financial ratios identifying how the best, average and worst businesses have performed. They also include the percentage of businesses that are profitable.

Statistics Canada's most comprehensive source for food production and consumption is the publication "Canada Food Stats". It is a semi-annual electronic compendium that allows you to access a wide variety of food statistics quickly and easily. You can access some highlights at the Statistics Canada web site: http://www.statcan.ca/english/ads/23F0001XCB/index.htm. The full version of this publication is available in some major libraries. If you are interested in purchasing it we offer a 15% discount off the cover price. (E-mail us for more information.)

Related to Canada Food Stats is the publication "Food Statistics". It provides annual data on per person food consumption by major group, food consumed by commodity and nutrients available from the Canadian food supply. Best of all it is available online free of charge!
http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/21-020-XIE/free.htm

Another Statistics Canada source is "Food expenditure in Canada". This survey provides detailed weekly household expenditures on specific items. (e.g. Bologna). Results are presented by region and household income, with summary data by household type. You can purchase the electronic publication for $30 (contact us for more information contact@gdsourcing.com) or access it in a major library. The publication also includes information on restaurant expenditures by restaurant type and meal (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner). Highlight data from this publication is available at the Statistics Canada web site (http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/famil27a.htm)


Also available from Statistics Canada are price movements by specific commodity (e.g. soup). This data allows you to determine the inflation rate for your specific product in selected metropolitan areas. You can access this information through the CANSIM database. Enter the Table number 326-0001 at the following address: http://cansim2.statcan.ca/cgi-win/CNSMCGI.EXE There is a $3.00 charge per commodity retrieved.

Finally Statistics Canada has a number of specific reports and surveys related to this sector. Some of the most current include:

Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Survey 2003
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/031006/d031006c.htm

Advanced technology and firm performance in the food processing sector
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/030603/d030603a.htm

Innovative activity in Canadian food processing establishments: The importance of engineering practices
http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/991125/d991125e.htm

In the private sector, AC Nielsen is one of the top firms tracking food sales. At their web site (http://www.acnielsen.ca/Insights/insights.htm) you can access relatively current (rolling 52 Weeks to December 28, 2002) growth rates for specific product categories. For example the data indicates that in grocery stores Soya Drinks have experienced a growth rate of over 15% from the previous year. Other data at the AC Nielsen web site includes the top twenty grocery store categories as well as a 2001 study on the beverage sector.

Detailed AC Nielsen data covering retail sales by commodity is also available from the Agriculture & Agri-food Canada web site: http://www.agr.gc.ca/food/consumer/mrkreports/acnielsen/acnielsen_e.html

Other market specific information is available from the Euromonitor (http://www.euromonitor.com/) and Datamonitor (http://www.datamonitor.com) web sites. Highlights from full reports are available under the Canada sections of both these web sites. Some of these highlights can be informative in and of themselves. For example from the Datamonitor web site the following information is included in the Sweet Biscuits report highlights.

"The Canadian sweet biscuits market has grown steadily since 1999, reaching a value of $466 million in 2001. The market is forecast to continue expanding at a similar rate as in recent years and is predicted to reach a value of $516 million in 2006. The compound annual growth rate of the market in the period 2002-2006 is predicted to be 2%"

Industry associations can also be very helpful in assessing a particular market or identifying issues within a specific food sector. Follow up with all that are related to your product line. A list of associations is available at the Agriculture & Agri-food Sector web site: http://www.agr.gc.ca/misb/fb/food/industryasso/industryassoc_e.html

Also do not neglect industry periodicals. They can often provide insight into sales as well as market share. The two most prominent for the food sector in Canada are Food in Canada and Canadian Grocer. They often run special features or articles on specific food product categories

Other periodicals of note are Marketing magazine and Strategy magazine. Both of these publications are targeted towards the advertising sector however food processors are major advertisers so many articles focus on specific food markets. These can provide key statistics such as granola bars were the top food snack consumed by Canadian children at school in 2001 (Strategy Magazine Sept 9, 2002 p1, p17). They can also provide insights into marketing challenges related to a particular product type (e.g. confectionary is often an impulse purchase made at the check out counter so packaging design and strategy is paramount to influence sales).

Make sure you also conduct a general search using a periodical database at your local library. Most databases include the sources mentioned above as well as many others. Within the general media you can often locate specific information such as "85% of frozen entrée buyers are looking to feed two people for less than $10" (Profit Magazine (Nov 2003 p19-20)

A general periodical search will also help you to uncover specific reports that have received media coverage. For example the City of Toronto report Food Industry Outlook: A Study of Food Industry Growth Trends in Toronto (http://www.toronto.ca/economic_profile/food.htm)

Most public libraries now allow you to access such databases from home as long as you have a valid public library card. Visit your local library's web site for details.
(http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/canlib/epublic.htm)

Finally do not forget to research regulations related to your products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Acts and Regulations web site can help you quickly find the information you need: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/reg/rege.shtml

You do not need to spend a great deal of money to gain a competent understanding of your food products market. You do however need to be prepared to look in a number of different places and be willing to spend some time in the search.

 

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PUT THE US GOVERNMENT ON YOUR RESEARCH TEAM

PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, as of Jan 2004 this resource is no longer available to Canadian companies.

The U.S. government likes to help American entrepreneurs succeed in foreign markets (e.g. Canada). To this end they get local embassy or consular staff to compile research reports on markets and industries they consider to have potential. These profiles by no means cover every market but those areas they do are in detail. They rely on both government and private sector data and include contact information for relevant sources.

You can access Canadian market reports at http://www.buyusainfo.net/adsearch.cfm

Some recent reports include:

IT Outsourcing Services
(Canada - 09/29/2003)

Cosmetics and Toiletries
(Canada - 09/23/2003)

Hospital Medical Equipment
(Canada - 09/04/2003)

Management Consulting Services - Marketing Consultants
(Canada - 06/26/2003)

The Canadian Water Sports Equipment Industry
(Canada - 06/03/2003)

If you are considering exporting you can also use these reports to assess foreign market potential (as long as the market is not the U.S.) If you are looking into exporting to the U.S., the Canadian government offers a similar service. You can access Canadian foreign market reports at: http://www.infoexport.gc.ca/ie-en/MarketReportsAndServices.jsp

Although many entrepreneurs will find this American resource does not cover their specific market, the detail of the available information makes it worth taking a moment for a quick search just in case. Never leave any research stone unturned!
 

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SMALL BUSINESS STATS FACTS

Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics related to Canadian small businesses.

1. What % of Canadian women entrepreneurs are involved in international business?

9%

Source: Prime Minister's Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs: Final Report (Oct 2003)



2 What share of net new jobs created between 1983 & 2003 did micro businesses (less than 5 employees) account for?

20.8% (972,000 jobs)

Source: Bank of Montreal (Oct 2003)



3. What % of Canadian small businesses were formed as a result of a negative change or downturn in the entrepreneur's employment situation?

22%

Source CIBC (Oct 2003)



4. What % of downsized small business owners are more successful this year compared to last year?


46% (32% are the same as last year)

Source: CIBC (Oct 2003)



5. Which metropolitan area saw the greatest increase in self-employment earnings between 1997 and 2001?

Sudbury (+36.3% of females and +24.1% for males)

Source: Statistics Canada (Sept 2003)


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UPDATED: 02/02/04
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