Reducing a population to its online shopping habits might seem trivial — but if a favourite ingredient for avocado toast hit the top of British Columbians’ shopping carts, would you be surprised?
According to data from Instacart, B.C. online grocery shoppers were 179 per cent more likely to buy sprouted grain bread than other provinces. Other top items include pork belly and sourdough bread, both more than twice as likely to fall into a B.C. resident's shopping cart.
As North America’s leading online grocery ordering platform, Instacart acts an internet middleman for some of Canada’s most popular grocery stores — from Costco, Loblaws and Walmart to Dollarama, T&T Supermarket and Real Canadian Superstore.
According to the company, that makes Instacart available to around 90 per cent of Canadians.
It’s not clear what percentage of those actually use the service, and how many Canadians still rather shop in person, whether in a big-name supermarket or a small grocer down the street.
But for those who do use the online shopping platform, provincial tastes offer some interesting variations.
On average over the past five years, Albertans were 85 per cent more likely to buy ramen noodles than other provinces, while in Ontario, back bacon was the most popular item relative to other provinces.
Cheese dips were a favourite in Saskatchewan.
In Manitoba, shoppers were more than three times as likely to buy rye bread, perhaps not a surprising fact given the city of Winnipeg has its own version named after it.
The biggest gap in online grocery shopping preferences came in Newfoundland and Labrador, where Vienna sausage was nearly six and a half times more likely to end up in a digital shopping cart.