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Canada Sustainability in Food Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sustainability in Food - Canada market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Waste leads environmental considerations around food and drink
  • Concern over climate change extends across demographics
  • Over half of Canadians are willing to pay a premium for products verified as being better for the environment

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel surveyed Canadians about their views on the environment with respect to food and drink. Issues are generally centred on waste, carbon footprint and resource management in addition to other topics related to the environment.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Joel Gregoire, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

A week seemingly doesn’t pass when there isn’t a dire warning about the precarious situation the planet is in and if standard practices aren’t changed how the environment will worsen. Though this is not in debate, how consumers are responding and will respond, is. With respect to food and drink, this Report examines the views Canadians hold towards the environment Joel Gregoire
Associate Director - Food & Drink

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Key trends
          • Waste leads environmental considerations around food and drink
            • Figure 1: Environmental issues of concern when purchasing food and drinks in stores, December 2019
          • Concern over climate change extends across demographics
            • Figure 2: Reasons environmental issues matter when shopping for food and drinks, December 2019
          • Over half of Canadians are willing to pay a premium for products verified as being better for the environment
            • Figure 3: “I would pay more for food and drink products verified as being environmentally friendly” (% agree), by age, December 2019
          • Regional differences exist when it comes to views on the environment
            • Figure 4: “Concerns over the environment are overblown” (% agree), by region, December 2019
          • Younger Canadians’ views around the environment and meat signal a challenge for the industry
            • Figure 5: Categories in which the environment is of concern – top three (NET), by age, December 2019
          • Canadians expect companies to lead on the environment, yet this does not mean they trust them on the issue
            • Figure 6: Statements related to companies’ role with the environment (% agree), December 2019
          • Demand for sustainable systems opens opportunity for innovation
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Global population growth drives the need for sustainable food production
                • Climate change leads to challenges in food production
                • Market Factors

                  • Global population growth drives the need for sustainable food production
                    • Figure 7: Global population by half-century (2050 forecast)
                  • Climate change leads to challenges in food production
                    • The long-term softening of beef consumption in Canada does not align with global trends
                      • Figure 8: Beef, carcass by weight, 1960–2018
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Climate change is a threat to the world’s food supply
                      • Canadians are skeptical of ‘greenwashing’
                        • The race to carbon neutrality is on!
                        • Challenges

                          • Climate change is a threat to the world’s food supply
                            • Canadians are skeptical of ‘greenwashing’
                              • Canadians are looking for clarity on what products are more environmentally friendly
                              • What to Watch

                                • The race to carbon neutrality is on!
                                  • Figure 9: Maple Leaf Foods is Carbon Neutral Now, November 2019
                                  • Figure 10: Not Just Little Things, February 2020
                                • Innovative solutions address packaging waste…
                                  • Figure 11: Flashfood Introduction, May 2016
                                  • Figure 12: Boyan Slat unveils the Interceptor River Cleanup system | Cleaning Rivers | The Ocean Cleanup, October 2019
                                  • Figure 13: GreenMantra Our Process 2018, June 2018
                                  • Figure 14: Invisible barcode recycling story in BBC News, June 2018
                                • …and the impact of food production on the Earth
                                  • Figure 15: How to make cell-based meat, December 2016
                                  • Figure 16: Annie’s Homegrown Honey Bunny Grahams (US), April 2018
                                  • Figure 17: Oatly! The Original Oat-Milk (US), March 2019
                                • Ingredients have a role to play in sustainable eating
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Waste reduction resonates most with Canadians
                                    • Climate change is a top concern for Canadians
                                      • Most Canadians think concern over the environment is justified
                                        • Age impacts what categories garner more concern
                                          • Buying local is the eating habit Canadians are most apt to change to support the environment
                                          • Environmental Issues of Concern

                                            • Waste reduction resonates most with Canadians
                                              • Figure 18: Environmental issues of concern when purchasing food and drinks in stores, December 2019
                                            • Generational divide exists when it comes to environmental priorities
                                              • Figure 19: Environmental issues of concern when purchasing food and drinks in stores (select), by age, December 2019
                                              • Figure 20: Alter Eco Burnt Caramel Dark Salted Organic Chocolate (Canada), August 2019
                                            • Canada’s regions differ on environmental priorities and food
                                              • Figure 21: Environmental issues of concern when purchasing food and drinks in stores (select), by region, December 2019
                                          • Reasons Environmental Issues Matter

                                            • Climate change is a top concern for Canadians
                                              • Figure 22: Reasons environmental issues matter when shopping for food and drinks, December 2019
                                              • Figure 23: Climate change’s importance as an environmental issue when shopping for food and drinks, by region, December 2019
                                            • Personal responsibility and legacy matter for many
                                              • Figure 24: “Doing my part” and “for younger generations” as reasons for issues matter when shopping for food and drinks, by age, December 2019
                                            • A third of Canadians make the link between the environment and health
                                              • Figure 25: “Products that have less environmental impact are often healthier” as a reason environmental issues matter when shopping for food and drinks, by age, December 2019
                                          • Attitudes toward the Environment

                                            • Most Canadians think concern over the environment is justified
                                              • Figure 26: “Concerns over the environment are overblown”, December 2019
                                              • Figure 27: “Concerns over the environment are overblown” (% agree), by age and gender, December 2019
                                            • Sentiment is divided on whether Canadians believe their personal actions impact the environment
                                                • Figure 28: “Would pay more for food and drink verified as being environmentally friendly and “my individual choices have little impact on the environment” (% agree), December 2019
                                                • Figure 29: “I would pay more for food and drink products verified as being environmentally friendly” and “my individual choices have little impact on the environment” (% agree), by age, December 2019
                                              • Canadians want companies to do more for the environment
                                                • Figure 30: Statements related to companies’ role on the environment (% agree), December 2019
                                                • Figure 31: “I won't buy from a brand with a poor environmental record” (% agree), by region, December 2019
                                              • Canadians want help in making environmentally friendly purchase
                                                • Figure 32: “It's difficult to know which products are better or worse for the environment”, December 2019
                                            • Food & Drinks Categories Where the Environment is of Most Concern

                                              • Packaging and processing appear more tied to environmental concerns
                                                • Figure 33: Categories in which the environment is of concern – top three (NET), December 2019
                                                • Figure 34: Categories in which the environment is of concern – top three, December 2019
                                              • Age impacts what categories garner more concern
                                                • Figure 35: Categories in which the environment is of concern – top three (NET), by age, December 2019
                                            • Personal Actions for the Environment

                                              • Canadians have a role to play
                                                • Canadians say they are limiting their use of plastics
                                                  • Figure 36: Attitudes toward packaging waste and plastic, December 2019
                                                  • Figure 37: Consumer behaviour related to plastic, December 2019
                                                • When it comes to packaging, less is more
                                                  • Figure 38: Consumer behaviour related to packaging, December 2019
                                                  • Figure 39: Healthy Choice Power Bowls Adobo Chicken Bowl (Canada), October 2018
                                                  • Figure 40: Consumer behaviour related to packaging, 18-44s vs over-45s, December 2019
                                                • Innovation aimed at addressing food waste is more likely to be adopted by younger consumers
                                                  • Figure 41: Consumer behaviour related to food waste, December 2019
                                                  • Figure 42: Spudsy Bangin’ Bar-B-Q Sweet Potato Puffs (US), December 2019
                                                  • Figure 43: Personal behaviour related to reducing food waste, 18-44s vs over-45s, December 2019
                                                  • Figure 44: Personal behaviour related to purchasing foods that help reduce food waste, 18-44s vs over-45s, December 2019
                                                • Buying local is the eating habit Canadians are most apt to change to support the environment
                                                  • Figure 45: Consumer behaviour related to “buying local”, “eating less meat” and “looking for foods that are better for the environment”, December 2019
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                        This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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                                                        • Consumer

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                                                        • Data

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                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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