Canada The Budget Shopper Market Report 2021
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“Consumers will come away from the pandemic being choosier about which businesses they want to support as ideas surrounding value and what’s essential have likely been recalibrated. Where ‘basic’ meant…

Canada The Budget Shopper Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

“Consumers will come away from the pandemic being choosier about which businesses they want to support as ideas surrounding value and what’s essential have likely been recalibrated. Where ‘basic’ meant affordable and safe at the start of the pandemic, consumers will seek to support businesses that offer value in the form of affordability, convenience and commitment to environmental and social issues in the months and years ahead. A similar shift is seen with regards to products, as what’s considered ‘essential’ has been thrown into question meaning that brands will have to work harder at proving the benefits. For the time being, uncertainty means a greater interest in the familiar, so innovations will likely see greater traction if they are rooted in the ideas or offerings people are already comfortable with. Looking ahead, steadier financial circumstances will drive a return of attention to sustainability and diversity promises made before the pandemic – particularly as small actions have proven to have big impacts.”

– Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles & Leisure

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Approach to budgeting
  • Change in monitoring spending since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Shopping attitudes
  • Shopping behaviours
  • Interest in alternative ownership models

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary 

          • Top takeaways 
            • Market overview 
              • Impact of COVID-19 on consumer attitudes towards monitoring money
                • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on consumer attitudes towards monitoring money, March 2021
              • Opportunities
                • Connecting prices with a bigger purpose makes purchases brings meaning beyond a price tag
                  • The door opens for alternative shopping models and the circular economy amongst younger consumers
                    • Chinese Canadians are focused on ensuring a stable future, set up their next generation
                      • Challenges
                        • Multichannel shopping dilutes loyalty
                          • Mental strain of financial uncertainty means validation for choosing discounts may be necessary
                          • The Market – Key Takeaways

                            • Economic setbacks impede spending
                              • The pandemic is shaping household dynamics, reverting progress
                                • Immigration is literally changing the face of the nation
                                  • An aging population means keeping the shine on seniors
                                  • Market Factors and Current Opportunities

                                    • Economic factors shaping spending behaviours
                                      • Canada’s labour recovery stalls amid rising cases
                                        • Figure 2: Canada’s unemployment rate, January 2020-February 2021
                                        • Figure 3: Canada retail sales, January 2020-January 2021
                                      • Looking ahead, rising food costs will further cut into spending budgets
                                        • Figure 4: Monthly movement in selected components of the Canadian Consumer Price Index, not seasonally adjusted, January 2018-January 2021
                                      • What we’re seeing in-market now: strategies giving consumers a break
                                        • Figure 5: Oxford Wild Blueberries – Little Ones & Better Price, Jan 2018
                                        • Figure 6: Walmart Instagram post, May 2020
                                      • Household dynamics are squeezing moms
                                        • Household division of labour was uneven before the pandemic
                                          • The pandemic exposes inequity in the household, and reversing progress
                                            • What we’re seeing in-market now: normalizing men’s participation in household duties
                                                • Figure 7: Dove Men+Care Global Channel Instagram post, July 2020
                                                • Figure 8: Dove Men+Care Global Channel Instagram post, September 2020
                                                • Figure 9: Downy Philippines Facebook post, March 2021
                                              • Changing demographics calls for greater inclusivity
                                                • Immigration is driving a shake-up in the ethnic makeup of Canada
                                                  • Figure 10: Immigrants as a proportion of the Canadian population, 1871-2036
                                                • The shake-up in diversity is most clearly seen amongst Gen Zs
                                                  • Figure 11: Self-identification of ethnicity, by generation, June 2020
                                                  • Figure 12: I am part of mainstream Canada (% agree), by generation, January 2018
                                                • What we’re seeing in-market now: companies putting their money where their mouths are
                                                  • Figure 13: Adidas Instagram post, June 2020
                                                • Seniors are the fastest growing segment in Canada
                                                  • Figure 14: Population aged 0-14 and over 65, 1995-2035*
                                                • What we’re seeing in the market: protection of seniors is in the spotlight
                                                    • Figure 15: Happy Meal Senior, July 2020
                                                • Competitive Strategies – A Look Ahead

                                                    • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Value Trend Driver
                                                      • The pandemic resets consumer perception of value
                                                        • Providing proof will be more important in the next 18-24 months
                                                            • Figure 16: Tested to be trusted, June 2019
                                                            • Figure 17: iDSCENT Instagram post, February 2021
                                                          • Proving commitment to causes will count for more in the years ahead
                                                              • Figure 18: How to Flashfood LIKE A MOTHER, September 2019
                                                              • Figure 19: Real Canadian Superstore Instagram post, October 2019
                                                              • Figure 20: The RealReal Facebook post, October 2020
                                                            • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                                              • Those who have lost their financial footing carry more mental strain
                                                                • More mental health support is needed to help the financially strained move forward
                                                                    • Figure 21: Money Talks Story #1 – Sophia + Imran, December 2018
                                                                    • Figure 22: Money Talks Story #2 – Alyssa + Keith, December 2018
                                                                    • Figure 23: SoFi Facebook post, July 2020
                                                                • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                  • Canadians tend to monitor money rather than follow strict budgets
                                                                    • Budget-mindedness keeps the focus on prices, though broader benefits can sway
                                                                      • It’s more than just a transaction, finding deals require time and energy
                                                                        • Alternative shopping methods hold good potential with younger shoppers
                                                                        • Approach to Budgeting

                                                                          • Money management is more mindful monitoring than following brutal boundaries
                                                                              • Figure 24: Approach to budgeting, December 2020
                                                                            • There’s value in simplifying decision making
                                                                                • Figure 25: European Ecoscore Instagram post, March 2021
                                                                              • It will be uphill climb for Gen Zs, shaping adulthood into the future
                                                                                • Figure 26: Change in monitoring spending since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, by generation, December 2020
                                                                              • Special consideration: engaging them as a secondary audience for longer
                                                                                • CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives will count to get their attention
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Sobeys Instagram post, January 2020
                                                                                • Guidance around financial management skills and habits are more necessary now than ever
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Afterpay Facebook post, November 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Wealthsimple Instagram posts, August 2020
                                                                                  • Gen Z delay in independent living puts financial pressure on their Gen X parents
                                                                                    • Figure 30: AIR MILES acquisition email, March 2021
                                                                                    • Figure 31: AIR MILES Facebook post, March 2021
                                                                                  • Household dynamic changes driving parents to monitor spending more closely
                                                                                    • Figure 32: Monitoring spending more since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and select reasons for doing so, mothers vs fathers with under-18s at home, December 2020
                                                                                  • Focusing on converting mobile browsing to making actual purchases will resonate
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Livescale Facebook post, August 2020
                                                                                    • Consider leveraging apps to provide sales alerts and instant access to sales
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Flipp Instagram post, March 2021
                                                                                    • It’s not all doom and gloom: Chinese Canadians are budgeting more to ensure a stable future
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Change in monitoring spending since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese Canadians vs overall, December 2020
                                                                                    • A focus on the future means opportunity to connect with the next generation
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Greenlight Facebook post, March 2021
                                                                                      • Figure 37: Raising Financially-Smart Kids with Greenlight, January 2021
                                                                                  • Shopping Attitudes

                                                                                    • Price tends to be the top consideration, sales will always appeal
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Attitudes and behaviours towards shopping and sales, December 2020
                                                                                    • Pique purchase interest by promoting comfort in familiar things
                                                                                      • Figure 39: President’s Choice Instagram post, November 2020
                                                                                    • Connecting prices with a bigger purpose may help consumers see beyond the price tag
                                                                                      • Figure 40: C’est Qui Le Patron?! Instagram post, March 2021
                                                                                    • Moms: with greater responsibility comes greater focus on deals
                                                                                      • Figure 41: ‘I am constantly searching for good deals’, mothers with under-18s at home vs overall, December 2020
                                                                                    • Consider leveraging mobile to make accessing deals truly omnichannel to connect with moms
                                                                                      • Gen Zs are looking at affordability with a new lens, a boon for new entrants
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes and behaviours towards shopping and sales, Gen Z vs overall, December 2020
                                                                                      • Promoting circular economy as a lifestyle choice rather than a sacrifice
                                                                                          • Figure 43: IKEA Facebook post, November 2020
                                                                                          • Figure 44: IKEA Instagram post, March 2020
                                                                                      • Shopping Habits

                                                                                        • The quest for deals is an active journey, requiring investments in time and effort
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Engaging in savings-oriented behaviours, December 2020
                                                                                        • Make it fun: reward them back with some fun and games
                                                                                            • Figure 46: No Frills Instagram post, September 2020
                                                                                          • Adding extra meaning to purchases will also resonate
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Kraft Heinz Canada Instagram post, October 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Loop Facebook post, June 2019
                                                                                          • Younger shoppers channel hop for savings, seamlessness is key
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Always or often comparing prices across channels (NET), by age, December 2020
                                                                                          • Multichannel shoppers need multi-points of engagement, consider unifying the ecosystem of touchpoints
                                                                                              • Figure 50: Unilever Philippines Facebook post, November 2020
                                                                                              • Figure 51: PayBright Instagram post, November 2020
                                                                                            • Gen Z Women are trading down regularly, more support is needed
                                                                                              • Figure 52: Always or often buying the cheapest possible product (NET) and engaging in select budget-friendly behaviours more since the pandemic, women 18-24 vs overall, December 2020
                                                                                            • Bring on the fanfare to validate the choice of cheaper products and discounts
                                                                                              • Figure 53: PC Financial | Cake Mix, May 2019
                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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