Loblaw Purchases T&T – Suppliers Must Bring Asian Product Offer Into the Spotlight

Originally Posted in July

With last week’s purchase of T&T Supermarkets by industry leading Loblaw the ground has suddenly shifted in suppliers efforts to reach the Asian consumer.

For many Toronto-based suppliers, Asian supermarkets were something that were “nice to see” when they did they annual store checks in places like Vancouver or Calgary.

This left mainly a group of small to mid-sized suppliers focusing on Asian products to build strong relationships with T&T, while big suppliers were affected mainly by “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” thinking.

Granted some suppliers such as P&G have developed Asian language media in the past for direct mail campaigns or in Sing Tao Daily. But the product offer did not change to meet the specific needs and wants of the consumer.

Some other international CPG companies have brought in a small selection of their best selling Asian products (mainly food) but they have treated the activity more like a hobby than a business.

With the purchase of T&T by Loblaw, CPG suppliers with operations in Asia should be looking to see what types of products are available and which ones would be popular with Canada’s more than 1.5 million citizens that claim an Asian background.

This does not only apply to Food suppliers either. Imagine sections of popular beauty products such as Skin Whitening creams and Mascara’s with special formulas for fine eyelashes.

Asia has been the growth motor for most international CPG firms over the past decade. Imagine what a boost could be given to sales and profits here in Canada by finally taking the Asian market seriously – a great product offer, targeted distribution and media to back it all up.

Like in Asia – those who act first will have a lead that is hard to catch up with in this dynamic market.


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