10/25/2011 04:35 EDT | Updated 12/25/2011 05:12 EST

Food, Health Tie Reflected In Grocery Baskets


Consumers are seeking out more foods that are healthy, says the head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

John Scott, the group's president and CEO, talked about grocery industry trends Tuesday at Grocery Innovations Canada 2011, a trade show for the grocery industry in Toronto.

"All facets of society, doesn't matter how young you are, how old you are or where you're from, you're understanding the connection between good food and your health," Scott said in an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

"So you're seeing a huge trend throughout the business towards connecting food and health."

It's the job of the industry to cater to consumer demand, such as developing more products for people with celiac disease or food allergies, he said. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. People with celiac disease seek gluten-free products such as cake mixes and cereals that are as tasty as the original versions, Scott noted.

Another industry trend is a strengthening of the ethnic food market.

Foods that were sampled at restaurants, such as sushi, have now moved to the mainstream, and consumers are looking for ways to prepare these products at home easily, Scott said.

The trade show runs through Tuesday.