The room was abuzz at the Island Good Session that took place during the 2019 State of the Island Economic Summit Oct. 23 and 24. The consensus from both producers and retailers of Vancouver Island goods was the brand helps them have a voice in marketing their product locally and abroad.
The Island Good brand helps shoppers identify local products (Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands). The idea of introducing an Island brand started in 2013 when Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) decided to serve only foods made on Vancouver Island at a luncheon it was hosting. A board member was given a budget and tasked with purchasing foods for the event. What seemed like a simple enough task, turned into a scavenger hunt as the VIEA shopper combed the shelves and display cases of local grocery stores for Island food products. The products could be found on grocery shelves, but a great deal of diligence and label reading was required to source those goods.
Knowing that Vancouver Island has a strong international reputation as a great place to visit and wonderful retirement destination, VIEA identified that a place brand could be used to raise local and international consumer awareness of Island products. In 2018, VIEA launched a six-month pilot project in 45 grocery stores, with retail partners Country Grocer, 49th Parallel Grocery, Quality Foods, and Thrifty Foods, that achieved an average sales lift of 16.4 per cent. Fundamentally, Island Good was created to increase awareness, demand and sales for Island products which we believe leads to increased production, employment and investment on the goods side of the economic equation on Vancouver Island.
Building on the success of the pilot project, VIEA has licensed Island Good with expanding numbers of producers and retailers; built islandgood.ca to serve licensees and aid consumers; and partnered with Tourism Vancouver Island to bring Island Good to tourists. The Island Good brand is now available for any Vancouver Island product from potatoes to airplane parts. Future plans include creating a digital marketing strategy and continued partnerships with retailers and producers.
Look for Island Good wherever you shop. And, for more information on how to be a licensee and to browse current licensees visit www.islandgood.ca.