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Canadian Lifestyles - Canada - April 2015

“While the drop in oil prices was expected to give consumers extra cash for spending on other items, the record-high level of household debt is top of mind among Canadian consumers leading them to adopt a slightly more conservative approach to spending: focusing on paying off debts and making cutbacks in many areas. There is a glimmer of hope for retailers, however, with consumers still looking to treat themselves to long- and short-term rewards, creating a mood of ‘sensible spending’ among Canadian consumers for 2015.”
– Carol Wong-Li, Senior Lifestyle Analyst


In 2014, Canadian consumer spending continued to rise after surpassing the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2013. The outlook for 2015 will be a continuation of this positive trend with spending expected to increase. The economic shifts will prove to be a dynamic that helps and hinders consumers: a drop in energy prices negatively impacts the Canadian dollar though will put more money back into the pockets of Canadians which means strength in consumer spending. This, combined with high levels of household debts, has led Canadian consumers to adopt an attitude of finding balance in their expenditures; adopting cost-saving behaviours and prioritizing paying off debts, while spending on and saving up for long- and short-term rewards.

This report will cover an in-depth analysis of Canadians’ purchasing priorities and personal goals including a focus on health and wellness aspirations for 2015 and the influence that online sources have on purchase decisions across categories.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of Canadians’ spending in 2014 in total as well as across 16 areas of consumer spending. A demographic profile of Canadians and future projections, as well as an examination of the economic conditions impacting Canadians, is also included.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The people
              • The economy
                • The consumer
                  • Perceived cutbacks centre on leisure, food and drinks outside the home
                    • Figure 1: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years, February 2015
                  • Canadian consumers are looking for balance: spending priorities are a mix of short-term treats and long-term goals
                    • Figure 2: Where extra money is spent, February 2015
                  • Personal goals of Canadians in 2015 reflect a quest to find balance
                    • Figure 3: Personal goals, February 2015
                  • Canadians aim to adopt a healthy lifestyle in 2015
                    • Figure 4: Health and wellness goals, February 2015
                  • Canadians take a critical eye to online reviews though they do influence decisions
                    • Figure 5: Attitudes towards online opinions, February 2015
                  • Canadian consumers do their research, using user review and independent review sites most
                    • Figure 6: Purchase research sources, February 2015
                  • What we think
                  • Canada in 2015 – The People

                    • Key points
                      • Demographic and social trends impacting the population
                        • Canadian population count
                          • Figure 7: Share of population of Canada, by territory/province, 2014
                          • Figure 8: Population of Canada, by province, 2010-20
                        • Canada’s population is ageing and will continue to do so in the coming years
                          • Figure 9: Population aged 65 years and over in Canada, historical and projected (% of total), 1971-2061
                        • Births and birth rates have slowed in recent years
                          • Figure 10: Annual births and birth rate*, 1981-2011
                          • Figure 11: Fertility rate, by age group (per 1,000 women), 2001-11
                        • Immigration and Ethnic Diversity in Canada
                            • Figure 12: Region of birth of immigrants, by period of immigration, Canada, 2011
                          • The changing family structure
                            • Growth of the LGBT community
                              • Figure 13: Distribution and percentage change of census families, by family structure, 2001-11
                            • Most Canadian mothers are married or coupled, with three quarters being married to an opposite-sex partner
                              • Figure 14: Parenting situation among Canadian mothers, August 2014
                          • Canada in 2015 – The Economy

                            • Key points
                              • Economic overview
                                • Overall negative impact of lower oil prices on the Canadian economy
                                  • Figure 15: Canada’s GDP (% change), by quarter, Q4 2008-Q4 2014
                                  • Figure 16: Canadian interest rates, January 2005-January 2015
                                  • Figure 17: Household disposable income and savings rate in Canada, Q4 2008-Q1 2014
                                • Canada’s employment rate has been steady, but age is impacting labour force participation
                                  • Figure 18: Canada’s unemployment rate, by gender, January 2008-January 2015
                                  • Figure 19: Labour participation rate, January 2007-January 2015
                                • Impact of interest rates, inflation and exchange rates
                                    • Figure 20: Exchange rate (CAD>USD/GBP), January 2008-January 2015
                                  • Wealth distribution in Canada
                                    • Figure 21: Canada median net worth, by province, 2012
                                  • Household debt in Canada
                                    • Consumer confidence may waver with falling oil prices
                                      • Figure 22: Consumer Confidence Index, monthly, January 2008-January 2015
                                  • Expenditure Overview

                                    • Key points
                                      • Total Canadian consumer expenditures 2014
                                        • Figure 23: Total Canada consumer expenditure and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2014
                                      • Outlook for the next five years
                                        • Figure 24: Total Canadian consumer expenditure and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2009-19
                                    • Food (at-home) Consumption

                                      • Key points
                                        • What we think
                                          • Discounting tempered growth of food sales
                                            • Figure 25: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on food (at home), at current prices, 2009-14
                                          • Dollar sales forecasted to grow in heavy discounting environment
                                            • Figure 26: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the food (at home) market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                          • Most Canadians believe they are paying the same for food as in prior years
                                            • Figure 27: Changes in spending habits – food (at home) 2014, February 2015
                                        • Food – Dining Out

                                          • Key points
                                            • What we think
                                              • Inflation has impacted food costs, hitting groceries harder, bringing benefits to the foodservice sector
                                                • Figure 28: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on food – dining out, at current prices, 2009-14
                                              • The foodservice market will continue to show positive growth in the next few years
                                                • Figure 29: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the food – dining out market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                              • Change in spending habits
                                                • Figure 30: Changes in spending habits – food – dining out 2014, February 2015
                                            • Alcoholic Beverages (at home)

                                              • Key points
                                                • What we think
                                                  • Growth of in-home alcoholic beverage sales driven by wine and spirits
                                                    • Figure 31: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on alcoholic beverages (at home), at current prices, 2009-14
                                                  • The next few years will see steady, but slower growth
                                                    • Figure 32: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the alcoholic beverages (at home) market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                  • Only 10% of consumers are spending more, but opportunities for growth exist
                                                    • Figure 33: Changes in spending habits – alcoholic beverages (at home) 2014, February 2015
                                                • Alcoholic Beverages (out of home)

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • What we think
                                                      • Increase in sales of on-premise alcoholic beverages trailing in-home options and overall foodservice growth
                                                        • Figure 34: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on alcoholic beverages (out of home), at current prices, 2009-14
                                                      • Sales of alcoholic drinks at foodservice forecasted to grow at a steady pace
                                                        • Figure 35: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the alcoholic beverages (out of home) market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                      • Opportunity to target consumers who are spending more on alcohol when dining out
                                                        • Figure 36: Changes in spending habits – alcoholic beverages (out of home) 2014, February 2015
                                                    • Non-alcoholic Beverages (at home)

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • What we think
                                                          • Slow but steady growth for beverages at home
                                                            • Figure 37: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on non-alcoholic beverages (at home), at current prices, 2009-14
                                                          • Modest growth to continue
                                                            • Figure 38: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the non-alcoholic beverages (at home) market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                          • Few Canadians indicate they are spending more on beverages
                                                            • Figure 39: Changes in spending habits – non-alcoholic beverages (at home) 2014, February 2015
                                                        • Beauty and Personal Care

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • What we think
                                                              • Canada’s beauty and personal care market saw slow but steady growth in recent years
                                                                • Figure 40: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on beauty and personal care, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                              • The forecast for the sector is of continued slow but steady growth
                                                                • Figure 41: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the beauty and personal care market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • A larger share of Canadians spending less than more on beauty and personal care
                                                                • Figure 42: Changes in spending habits – beauty and personal care 2014, February 2015
                                                            • OTC Healthcare Remedies

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • What we think
                                                                  • The sector has been growing at a moderate pace since 2009
                                                                    • Figure 43: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on OTC healthcare remedies, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                  • Medications, vitamins and supplements will contribute to slow growth
                                                                    • Figure 44: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the OTC healthcare remedies market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                  • The majority of consumers spending the same on healthcare products
                                                                    • Figure 45: Changes in spending habits – OTC healthcare remedies 2014, February 2015
                                                                • Household Care

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • What we think
                                                                      • Middle-class purchasing power contributes to sector growth
                                                                        • Figure 46: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on household care, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                      • Slow growth predicted for the next five years
                                                                        • Figure 47: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the household care market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                      • Change in spending habits
                                                                        • Figure 48: Changes in spending habits – household care 2014, February 2015
                                                                    • Clothing, Footwear and Accessories

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • What we think
                                                                          • Canadians’ spending on clothing and accessories has been on the rise
                                                                            • Figure 49: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on clothing, footwear and accessories, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                          • Canadians will continue to spend on clothing and accessories
                                                                            • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the clothing, footwear and accessories market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Change in spending habits
                                                                            • Figure 51: Changes in spending habits – clothing, footwear and accessories 2014, February 2015
                                                                        • Technology and Communications

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • What we think
                                                                              • Strong growth seen in 2014 after plateau
                                                                                • Figure 52: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on technology and communications, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                              • Growth of the sector is predicted to continue
                                                                                • Figure 53: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the technology and communications market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                              • Change in spending habits
                                                                                • Figure 54: Changes in spending habits – technology and communications 2014, February 2015
                                                                            • Vacations and Tourism

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                  • Domestic tourism the main driver of growth
                                                                                    • Figure 55: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on vacations and tourism, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                  • Lower Canadian dollar may fuel an increase in domestic travel
                                                                                    • Figure 56: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the vacations and tourism market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                  • Change in vacation and tourism spending habits
                                                                                    • Figure 57: Changes in spending habits – vacations and tourism 2014, February 2015
                                                                                • Leisure and Entertainment

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • What we think
                                                                                      • Lack of disposable income a notable barrier to participation
                                                                                        • Figure 58: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on leisure and entertainment, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                      • Negligible growth expected for entertainment and leisure market
                                                                                        • Figure 59: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the leisure and entertainment market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                      • Change in leisure and entertainment spending habits
                                                                                        • Figure 60: Changes in spending habits – leisure and entertainment 2014, February 2015
                                                                                    • Home and Garden

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                          • The sector has seen steady increases in expenditure
                                                                                            • Figure 61: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on home and garden, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                          • Growth continues to slow in the next few years
                                                                                            • Figure 62: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the home and garden market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                          • Change in spending habits
                                                                                            • Figure 63: Changes in spending habits – home and garden 2014, February 2015
                                                                                        • Transportation

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • What we think
                                                                                              • Expenditures on this sector have seen healthy growth
                                                                                                • Figure 64: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on transportation, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                                • Figure 65: Best- and worst-case forecast value sales of the transportation market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                              • Change in spending habits
                                                                                                • Figure 66: Changes in spending habits – transportation 2014, February 2015
                                                                                            • Personal Finance

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                  • Personal finance expenditure forecast to grow steadily
                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Total Canadian consumer expenditure on financial services, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                                  • Continued growth expected for the personal financial services industry over the next few years
                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Total Canadian consumer expenditure and fan chart forecast of personal financial services, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                  • Healthy ownership rates of savings, investments, insurance and lending products ensure a strong customer base for personal financial services products
                                                                                                    • Canadians somewhat pessimistic about their personal finances
                                                                                                    • Housing

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                                          • Housing costs have been on the rise
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Total Canadian consumer expenditures on housing, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                                          • Shelter costs and affordability
                                                                                                            • Costs expected to outpace inflation through 2018
                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Canadian consumer expenditure and fan chart forecast of housing, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                                            • Population and growth
                                                                                                              • Recent economic shifts should have a positive impact
                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Changes in Spending in 2014

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Perceived cutbacks centre on leisure, food and drinks outside the home
                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years, February 2015
                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Difference between perceived spend (more – less) in 2014 compared to prior years, February 2015
                                                                                                                  • The impact of over-45s
                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Select difference between perceived spend (more – less) in 2014 compared to prior years, by age, February 2015
                                                                                                                    • Acknowledgement of continued spend on non-essentials
                                                                                                                      • Young adults, parents, Chinese Canadians and LGBTs most likely to perceive increase in spending in 2014
                                                                                                                        • Under-35s more likely to perceive greater spend across most categories
                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years, by age, February 2015
                                                                                                                          • Parents note increase on home-centred and tech items
                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years, by children in the household, February 2015
                                                                                                                            • Chinese Canadians cite greater spend on eating out and technology
                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years: Chinese Canadians vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                              • LGBT community spent more on beauty, healthcare and clothing
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Perceived changes in spending in 2014 compared to prior years: LGBT vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Where Extra Money is Spent

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Canadian consumers are looking for balance: spending priorities a mix of short-term treats and long-term goals
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Where spend extra money, February 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Demographics impact on where consumers choose to focus discretionary spending
                                                                                                                                    • Variations by gender and age
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Where spend extra money, by age, February 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Investing, eating out and lengthy vacations are tops for Chinese Canadians
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Where spend extra money: Chinese Canadians vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                                        • LGBT prioritize entertainment
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Where spend extra money: LGBT vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Personal Goals in 2015

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Personal goals of Canadians in 2015 reflect a quest to find balance
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Personal goals, February 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Some variations in personal goals by demographics
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Health and Wellness Goals in 2015

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Finding balance: Canadians aim to adopt a healthy lifestyle in 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Health and wellness goals, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Repertoire of health and wellness goals, February 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Women are aiming high on health and wellness goals
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Select health and wellness goals, by gender, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Health and wellness may be a lower priority for Quebecers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Select health and wellness goals: Quebec vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Active lifestyle of Chinese Canadians leads to an increased focus on sleep and vitamins
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Select health and wellness goals: Chinese Canadians vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Mediation/yoga and alcohol reduction are priorities for LGBTs
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Select health and wellness goals: LGBT vs overall population, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Online Opinions

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Canadians take a critical eye to online reviews though they do influence decisions
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Attitudes towards online opinions, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • There is strength in numbers
                                                                                                                                                          • Word-of-mouth recommendations carry more weight over online reviews for some and spur on further research for others
                                                                                                                                                            • Value placed on online reviews stems from the way they perceive the nature of online reviews
                                                                                                                                                              • Variations by demographics
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Impact of Online Opinions on Purchases

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Canadian consumers do their research, using user review and independent review sites most
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 90: Purchase research sources, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                  • Variations by demographics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Bigger purchases lead to more research
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Opinions sought, by category, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                    • Likelihood to seek out opinions for smaller purchases is spurred by interest in categories
                                                                                                                                                                      • Men more likely to seek online opinions for smaller, daily purchases
                                                                                                                                                                        • The influence of age is seen across parents, immigrants and LGBT
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Opinions sought, by category, by age, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • The active consumerism of Chinese Canadians leads to over-indexing across all categories
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Opinions sought, by category: Chinese Canadians vs overall population, February 2015

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                                                                                                                                                                          Canadian Lifestyles - Canada - April 2015

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