Canada Marketing to Millennials Market Report 2021
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“There is a real sense that the Millennial generation is one that strives for stability. Younger Millennials are at a phase in life where they are newer to living as…

Canada Marketing to Millennials Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)


Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Canada Marketing to Millennials market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Millennials are facing more challenging times, doing well but not at a phase in life where they are seeing the fruits of their labour. While there is likely an awareness of this in their minds, they need reassurance as they are less likely to see themselves as resilient than older consumer groups. Aside from emotional validation, younger Millennials in particular will need more practical tools to help re-establish their financial footing and achieve success into the future as the economic setbacks they’ve experienced during the pandemic are leaving them feeling behind.

This lifestage is one of transition and change as they embark on independent living, to coupledom, to parenthood. As they are a generation in transition, they are fragmented in where they are in life and thus marketers need to have a clearer definition of the specific Millennial sub-group they are looking to connect with.

Looking at them as a segment in flux also reveals some notable gaps as certain sub-segments like single Millennial women are less commonly catered to. Looking at how gender intersects these lifestages also reveals some uncomfortable ‘truths’ as it is clear that traditional notions associated with gender roles within households continue to hold meaning that young girls and boys growing up today are seeing much of the same picture in terms of household equality as Millennials did when they were children. This is a pattern that has been amplified due to the preventative measures associated with the pandemic, which meant that parents had to scramble to find a new balance between work, home and personal lives.

Read on to discover more about the Canada Marketing to Millennials consumer market, read our Canada Marketing to Gen Z Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Canada Consumer Lifestyles, Marketing and Promotion market research research reports. Or, if you’re looking for lighter information, check out our blog post on this topic.

Quickly understand

  • The pandemic’s impact on the economic situation of younger Millennials.
  • How the pandemic has impacted gender equality, particularly at the Millennial lifestage.
  • Millennials’ satisfaction with life and the areas of concern.
  • How to market to millennials.
  • Brands marketing to millennials.
  • How Millennials perceive themselves and how they see their peers.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Dove Men+Care, Selecta Philippines, Haul Hard, No Frills, Hmlet, Real Canadian Superstore, P&G Shopee, Downy Philippines, Chime, Tangerine, Whole Foods, Headspace, Wealthsimple, Facebook, WhatsApp, Clorox, NightFood, PC Express, Colgate, Skin Republic UK, Calm, Starbucks.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Carol Wong-Li, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles & Leisure sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

There is a real sense that the Millennial generation is one that strives for stability. Younger Millennials are at a phase in life where they are newer to living as independent adults and are therefore working hard to establish solid financial footing. The economic impact of the pandemic has been felt more acutely by this segment, leaving them feeling behind, though they remain optimistic. More likely to be parents, older Millennials have experienced much disruption to their work and personal lives, though the pandemic has led them to put more focus on together time with friends and family. As society finds its new normal, more flexible work arrangements will prove beneficial to older Millennials in this regard though there will need to be a rebalancing of household distribution of labour as the pandemic has made clear that traditional notions are very much at play. It is clear that the segment is one in transition and gaps exist in catering to those that do not clearly align with well-established stereotypes.
Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles & Leisure
Carol Wong-Li
Associate Director Lifestyles and Leisure

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Canadian context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways 
    • Market overview 
    • Impact of COVID-19 on Millennials
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on Millennials, 2021
    • Opportunities
    • Celebrating diversity is a personal matter for Millennials
    • Younger Millennials need more support to build financial success now and ahead
    • Together time matters more to Millennial parents, leverage outdoor inspirations
    • Challenges
    • Millennials are in need of some reassurance
    • Some recognition that this phase of life is filled with social flux for young Millennial women is needed
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Millennials represent a quarter of the population and are a fragmented segment
    • Higher net worth and more debt than generations that came before them
  4. Market Factors and Current Opportunities

    • Millennials are a nuanced consumer segment
    • By the numbers: one in four Canadians are a Millennial
      • Figure 2: Canadian population, by generation, 2020
    • The segment is divided along parental and marital status lines
      • Figure 3: Marital and parental status, by generation, 2021
    • Connect with Millennial parents by focusing on the messier moments
      • Figure 4: Dove Men+Care Instagram post, August 2020
      • Figure 5: Dove Men+Care Global Channel, June 2021
    • Connect with Millennial non-parents through enhancing a sense of community
      • Figure 6: Selecta Philippines Instagram post, July 2021
    • Millennials are more financially squeezed than older generations were at their age
    • Millennials face higher housing costs and carry higher debt loads
      • Figure 7: Highest level of education completed, by generation, 2021
    • Childcare costs are more of a factor for this lifestage than before
    • Address budget-mindedness through more than just traditional discounts
      • Figure 8: No Frills Instagram post, September 2020
      • Figure 9: Hmlet Facebook post, December 2020
  5. Competitive Strategies – A Look Ahead

    • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Surroundings and Rights Trend Drivers
    • Millennials feel that equality is a fundamental value to being Canadian
      • Figure 10: The most important qualities that describe being a Canadian, Millennials vs overall, 2021
    • Inclusivity is a personal matter for younger generations
      • Figure 11: Self-identification of ethnicity, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 12: ‘There is no universal “Canadian identity”’ (% any agree), by generation, 2021
      • Figure 13: Real Canadian Superstore – Super Food Anthem, January 2021
      • Figure 14: Real Canadian Superstore Instagram posts, 2021
    • Gender equality also needs to be addressed as the pandemic has negatively impacted progress
    • Lingering traditional notions are internalized and what boys growing up today still see
    • There is a pressing need to change the narrative around participation in household duties
      • Figure 15: Downy Philippines Facebook post, 2021
  6. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Targeting needs to be honed as the segment is in a transitional phase
    • Traditional notions surrounding gender roles are still very much at play
    • Young Millennial men generally feel life is good
    • Socially, it’s a period of flux for young Millennial women
  7. Getting to Know Millennials

    • A generation in transition, on both professional and personal levels
    • Younger Millennials are working on solidifying their financial footing
    • They are less established in careers and carrying more student debt
      • Figure 16: Household income of $100,000 or higher, younger Millennials vs older Millennials vs overall, 2021
    • Younger Millennials were hit harder by the pandemic
      • Figure 17: Canadian unemployment rate (monthly), seasonally unadjusted, 2020-21
      • Figure 18: Concern about being a burden on their families and optimism about their futures (% any agree), younger Millennials vs older Millennials vs overall, 2021
    • Acknowledge debt and provide tools to set them up for financial stability
      • Figure 19: Chime Credit Builder – A New Way To Build Credit, December 2020
      • Figure 20: Chime Facebook posts, March 2020
    • Millennial women: more likely to be married and mothers, less likely to be working full-time
      • Figure 21: Working full-time, by generation and by Millennial women vs Millennial men, 2021
    • There’s a need to acknowledge that a ‘fair’ division of household labour is an aspiration and not reality
    • Traditional notions linger
      • Figure 22: Responsibility for paying for living expenses, Millennials women vs Millennial men, 2021
    • Consider positioning chores as an avenue to address mental wellness
      • Figure 23: Tangerine Instagram post, 2020
  8. Life Satisfaction and Concerns

    • Life satisfaction is on par with the average, though variations exist by sub-segment
      • Figure 24: Satisfaction with life areas, Millennials vs overall, 2021
    • Young Millennial men are those most likely to feel that life is good
      • Figure 25: Satisfaction with life areas, young Millennial men vs Millennials overall, 2021
      • Figure 26: Satisfaction with life areas young Millennial men vs Millennials overall, 2021
    • Young Millennial men are a prime audience for boosting kitchen skills
      • Figure 27: Confidence in skills, young Millennial men vs overall, 2021
    • Enhance culinary ‘arts’ by adding a dash of mood-based experiential and educational elements
      • Figure 28: Whole Foods Market Instagram posts, 2021
    • Young Millennial women are not happy with their social circles and financial circumstances
      • Figure 29: Satisfaction with life areas, young Millennial women vs Millennials overall, 2021
    • Young Millennial women need more support to boost them into careers and find financial stability
      • Figure 30: Prioritizing career and living situation (any rank), young Millennial women vs Millennials vs overall, 2021
      • Figure 31: Confidence in various aspects of financial management, young Millennial women vs overall, 2021
      • Figure 32: Wealthsimple Instagram posts, 2020
      • Figure 33: Wealthsimple Instagram posts, 2020
    • It’s a time of flux in their social lives – this needs to be recognized
    • Empower singles to be proud of single living and self-sufficiency
      • Figure 34: Billy Porter Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 35: YAAAAAAAAAAAS Clean!
    • Millennial parents are more fulfilled
    • The family connection gives a greater sense of purpose
      • Figure 36: Satisfaction with personal life areas and social connections (any satisfied), Millennial parents with under-18s at home vs Millennial non-parents, 2021
    • Togetherness is now more in focus for parents
      • Figure 37: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has made me re-evaluate my life priorities’ (% any agree), Millennial parents with under-18s at home vs overall, 2021
    • Bonding outdoors with family and friends matters to Millennial parents
      • Figure 38: Areas important for maintaining quality of life (% very important), Millennial parents with under-18s at home vs Millennial non-parents vs overall, 2021
      • Figure 39: Lucky Chinatown Facebook post, 2021
      • Figure 40: Affordable Art Fair UK Facebook post, 2021
  9. Millennial Perceptions of Themselves and their Peers

    • Settling into greater stability, though still finding solid footing
      • Figure 41: Top three words that best describe you (any rank), Millennials vs Gen Zs vs overall, 2021
    • Consider ways to validate choices as Millennials could use some reassurance
      • Figure 42: NightFood Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 43: PC Express Facebook post, 2019
      • Source: Facebook – PC Express/Mintel, May 2019
      • Figure 45: See themselves as ‘motivated’ (any rank), Millennial parents with under-18s at home vs Millennial non-parents vs overall, 2021
    • Millennials see their peers as less mature and overwhelmed
      • Figure 46: Top three words that best describe a ‘typical’ person of your generation vs words that best describe yourself (any rank), Millennials, 2021
    • Millennials will be responsive to products that provide mental relief in micro-moments
      • Figure 47: Colgate Instagram post, 2021
    • Millennial moms see themselves as practical but not as driven
      • Figure 48: Top three words that best describe a ‘typical’ person of your generation vs words that best describe yourself (any rank), Millennial moms, 2021
    • Balancing it all was already a struggle before the pandemic and is amplified now
    • Remind them that doing something for themselves is productive and necessary
      • Figure 49: Skin Republic Instagram post, 2020
      • Figure 50: Skin Republic Instagram post, 2021
      • Figure 51: Calm Instagram post, 2021
    • Build moments of self-care into the things they are already doing
      • Figure 52: Headspace Instagram post, 2021
  10. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Mintel Trend Drivers
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

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