“As the pandemic settles into a more stable situation, Canadians are getting a crash course in macroeconomic fundamentals like inflation, interest rates, supply chains and labour shortages.

These challenges are shining a light on how consumers’ perspectives are shaped by their own realities, but also that Canadians have collectivist attitudes. And as consumers re-evaluate their behaviours, there is an opportunity for brands to win them over and establish lasting loyalty.”

– Scott Stewart, Associate Director, Lifestyles & Retail

This report covers the following issues:

  • The financial situations Canadians are most concerned about.
  • How consumers have changed their shopping habits compared to last year.
  • Consumer attitudes towards brand loyalty, store brands, local and sustainability.
  • How extra money is used, compared to last year.
  • How Canadians perceive themselves relative to other Canadians.
  • Canadians’ political leanings, compared to the US and across demographics.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

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

            • Canada today
              • The people
                • The economy
                  • The markets
                    • The consumer
                      • Canadians are worried about the economy, but specific concerns vary across groups
                        • Consumers are responding to inflation in a number of ways
                          • Canadians’ perspectives are shaped by their personal realities
                            • Brand loyalty is real, and right now is an opportunity to establish it
                            • Canada Today – The People

                              • Generational makeup by the numbers
                                • Figure 1: Canadian population, by age group, 2021
                              • Gen Z’s influence is growing, but will ultimately be limited by size
                                • Millennials are the most lucrative generation today
                                  • Canada is getting older
                                    • Figure 2: Median age, 1991-2021
                                    • Figure 3: Canadian population age distribution, 1991 vs 2021
                                  • Multiculturalism exposes Canadians to new perspectives
                                    • Working from home is now common, but has declined in 2022
                                      • Figure 4: Working location, 2021-22
                                    • COVID-19 concerns have stabilized, but are still common
                                      • Figure 5: Worried about exposure to COVID-19, 2020-22
                                    • Most Canadians are satisfied with current COVID protocols
                                      • Figure 6: “I think the current government restrictions in my region are just right”, 2021-22
                                  • Canada Today – The Economy

                                    • Inflation is the primary economy focus of 2022
                                      • Inflation is climbing, led by energy costs
                                        • Figure 7: Consumer price index, 2020-22
                                      • Most Canadians are worried about inflation
                                        • Figure 8: Concerned about inflation, 2022
                                      • Interest rates are rising
                                        • Figure 9: Bank of Canada target interest rate, 2021-22
                                        • Figure 10: Concerned about interest rates, 2022
                                      • Household saving rate settles after pandemic spikes
                                        • Figure 11: Household saving rate, Q4 2019-Q1 2022
                                      • Unemployment is low, but job vacancies are increasing
                                        • Figure 12: Unemployment rate, 2020-22
                                        • Figure 13: Participation and employment rates, 2020-22
                                      • Labour shortages are the biggest concern in the market
                                        • Figure 14: Two-year change in job vacancies, Q4 2019 vs Q4 2021
                                      • GDP has grown, but a recession could be looming
                                        • Figure 15: Gross domestic product, 2019-22
                                      • Supply chain issues are expected to continue
                                        • Figure 16: Supply chain challenges over the last three months, Q2 2022
                                    • The Market – Overview

                                      • Canadian consumer spending in 2021
                                        • Spending by category
                                          • Figure 17: Total Canadian consumer expenditure (billions), at current prices, 2021
                                      • Category Review – Housing

                                        • Analyst perspective
                                          • Top takeaways
                                            • Market overview
                                              • Opportunities
                                                • Mortgage digitization is gaining ground
                                                  • Fintech lenders can carve out a niche
                                                    • Mortgage brokers get a strong vote of confidence
                                                      • Challenges
                                                        • Poor customer service can counteract the advantages of leading mortgage lenders
                                                          • Younger consumers are more likely to be influenced by product-specific factors
                                                          • Category Review – Personal Finances

                                                            • Analyst perspective
                                                              • Top takeaways
                                                                • Market overview
                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                    • Banks play a role in promoting financial wellness
                                                                      • Branch relationships foster loyalty
                                                                        • Awareness and interest in open banking is increasing
                                                                          • Challenges
                                                                            • The majority of Canadians would like to improve their financial decision making
                                                                            • Category Review – In-home Food

                                                                              • Analyst perspective
                                                                                • Top takeaways
                                                                                  • Market overview
                                                                                    • Opportunities
                                                                                      • Lunch is a particularly important opportunity in the ‘next normal’
                                                                                        • Sustainability’s importance in food will continue to entrench as climate change’s impact becomes more apparent
                                                                                          • Inflation and an uncertain economy leads to an even more discerning consumer
                                                                                            • Challenges
                                                                                              • Be wary of cooking fatigue
                                                                                                • The pandemic has amplified foodservice delivery’s position as an alternative to cooking from home
                                                                                                  • Canada’s aging population means the consumer base at large may be slower to adopt new flavour and format innovation
                                                                                                  • Category Review – Alcoholic Beverages (at Home and On-premise)

                                                                                                    • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                      • Top takeaways
                                                                                                        • Market overview
                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                            • Canadians have more selection than ever
                                                                                                              • Alcoholic beverages are the perfect accompaniment when ‘reconnecting’
                                                                                                                • Broad support for positioning around ‘local’ exists
                                                                                                                  • Challenges
                                                                                                                    • There is a desire to cut back among many Canadians
                                                                                                                      • Changing preferences will challenge certain categories (particularly beer)
                                                                                                                      • Category Review – Non-alcoholic Beverages (at Home)

                                                                                                                        • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                          • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                            • Market overview
                                                                                                                              • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                • COVID-19 prompted greater demand for functionality in food and drink
                                                                                                                                  • Health is not just about the body, but the mind as well
                                                                                                                                    • Challenges
                                                                                                                                      • Consumers show clear demand for sustainable options – particularly around packaging
                                                                                                                                        • Concern over adverse health effects represents a barrier to the adoption of functional beverages
                                                                                                                                        • Category Review – Dining Out

                                                                                                                                          • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                            • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                              • Market overview
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Total Canadian consumer expenditure (millions): foodservice and food, at current prices, 2022
                                                                                                                                              • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                • Restaurant demand is broad and stable
                                                                                                                                                  • A turning point for digital technology
                                                                                                                                                    • A gradual, but noticeable, return to normal
                                                                                                                                                      • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                        • Certain visit occasions will struggle to bounce back
                                                                                                                                                          • The landscape is becoming increasingly competitive
                                                                                                                                                            • Remote work trends eliminate the need for certain occasions
                                                                                                                                                            • Category Review – Beauty and Personal Care

                                                                                                                                                              • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                                                • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                                                  • Market overview
                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                      • BPC products are being incorporated into self-care and wellness routines
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Keys Soulcare Instagram post, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                      • Transparency and a focus on ingredients affects BPC uniquely
                                                                                                                                                                        • BPC shoppers are receptive to sustainability initiatives
                                                                                                                                                                          • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                                            • Cost of living increases will put pressure on BPC consumers’ willingness to spend
                                                                                                                                                                              • The importance of BPC routines makes it difficult for brands to break through
                                                                                                                                                                              • Category Review – Technology and Communications

                                                                                                                                                                                • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Market overview
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The pandemic has opened the tech market up to older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Leveraging digital tech familiarity to drive smart home device sales
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sports media is highly valuable and adapting with consumer trends
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Environmental concerns place additional constraints on manufacturing
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • New innovations are seeing momentum slow
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Canadian Lifestyles – Fast Facts

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Current Financial Concerns

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Inflation is a concern for most Canadians, and is growing
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The most common financial concerns today are broad and generic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Current financial concerns, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Concerns about the economy and job prospects reflect different priorities
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Current financial concerns: the economy and job prospects, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Current financial concerns: the economy and job prospects, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Financial stability: Canadians’ past, present and future
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Current financial concerns: debt, standard of living and retirement, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Women are the most concerned about this financial stability
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Current financial concerns: debt, standard of living and retirement, by age and gender, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Retirement concerns are common among multicultural Canadians
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Current financial concerns: saving enough for retirement, by race, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • A minority worry about affordability, but it is a major concern
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Current financial concerns: ability to pay, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Changes to Shopping Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • One solution to rising prices is to put more effort into shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: increased effort, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Women are more likely than men to compare prices, look for coupons
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: increased effort, men vs women, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: increased effort, women by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers who are struggling with their finances are the most likely to increase effort
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: increased effort, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Many shoppers are changing the way they purchase products
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: changing purchases, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Stocking up is much easier for some shoppers than others
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: “I use a second fridge or freezer at home for extra storage” (% agree), by living location, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Loyalty programs are a secondary focus
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • An opportunity for store brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Switching to store brands, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cutting back on purchases is a threat for companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers will take a different approach to the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Shopping behaviour changes compared to a year ago: changing market approach, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rising gas prices could spark greater online shopping demand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Avoiding driving, by work location, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Stricter budgets could make impulse purchases more challenging
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Inflation could be a catalyst for second-hand products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Buying second-hand, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • How Canadians Think About Brands

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand loyalty is real
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Loyalty is trailing among younger Canadians
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: “I can think of at least one brand that I am very loyal to” (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Store brands versus name brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger consumers should be a target for name brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Store brands versus name brands (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Multicultural differences in brand opinions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Store brands versus name brands (% agree), by race, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dads prefer name brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Store brands versus name brands (% agree), by gender and parental status, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Local and sustainable brands can differentiate in a crowded market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • In Quebec, local and sustainable can work together
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Local and sustainable brands (% agree), by region, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Getting younger consumers to scrutinize product sourcing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Local and sustainable brands (% agree), by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Current market conditions will be a hurdle for local, sustainable brands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Local and sustainable brands (% agree), by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Local and sustainable brands (% agree), by concern about rising prices, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • How Extra Money is Used

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Behaviours are consistent with last year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: How extra money is used, 2021 vs 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Personal finances are a focus area for Canadians
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Financial priorities vary across cultures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: How extra money is used: personal finances, by race, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: How extra money is used: personal finances, by language spoken at home, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Short- and long-term thinking is impacted by current finances
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: How extra money is used: personal finances, by financial situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Spending habits are spread over a number of categories
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dining out is an egalitarian expenditure, while travel is not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: How extra money is used: expenditures, by household income, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Boston Pizza Instagram post, July 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Travel is not a priority for young Canadians
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: How extra money is used: expenditures, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Young adults who live with their parents should be a target for the entertainment industry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Comparing Canada to the US
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: How extra money is used, Canada vs US, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Perceptions of Self and Other Canadians

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Inflation has put Canadians in the same boat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Descriptions of self and others, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Women and older Canadians have a more collective perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Concerned about inflation, men vs women, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Concerned about inflation, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Financial perspectives are indicative of broader attitudes and behaviours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • According to Canadians, “middle class” has a very broad definition
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Considered “middle class”, by household income, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Opinions are shaped by individuals’ own realities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Describes most Canadians (NET), healthy vs struggling/in trouble finances, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Canadian perceptions are more collective than Americans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Describes me and most…, Canadians vs Americans, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Describes most Canadians/Americans but not me, Canadians vs Americans, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Canada’s Political Landscape

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Canadians are more liberal than Americans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Political beliefs, Canada vs US, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • How political beliefs vary across demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Age differences exist, but are subtle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Political beliefs, by age, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men are more conservative than women, while women are less likely to share an opinion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Political beliefs, men vs women, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Racial differences are evident
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Political beliefs, by race, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Education, working situation and vaccination status all correlate to different political opinions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Political beliefs, by education level, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Political beliefs, by current work situation, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Political beliefs, by vaccination status, 2022
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            About the report

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Click to show report

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Contact Us