Description

“Canada’s diversity is what sets it apart as a country. And with the immigration targets set by the government, it is only going to become more diverse in the years ahead.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand the market’s diversity at a deeper level and how it impacts consumer behaviour trends – now and into the future.”
Scott Stewart, Associate Director, Lifestyles & Retail

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Canadians’ multiculturalism and backgrounds.
  • Consumers’ perceptions of important Canadian values.
  • Feelings of representation within advertising.
  • Categories in which it’s important to shop locally.
  • How Canadians see themselves as shoppers.
  • The tactics consumers use to save money while shopping.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
      • Executive Summary

          • Canada today
            • The people
              • The economy
                • The markets
                  • The consumer
                    • Multiculturalism is complex and multifaceted
                      • Canadians skew to traditional, local, loyal, frugal shopping – with exceptions
                        • Consumers are ready and able to find savings
                          • Ad representation is noticed by particular cultural groups
                          • Canada Today – The People

                            • Generational makeup by the numbers
                              • Figure 1: Canadian population, by age group, 2022
                            • A shift in Canada’s power structure
                              • Canada’s diversity has shifted in recent decades
                                • Figure 2: Population of racialized groups in Canada (000s), 2001-2021
                              • Immigration will continue to support Canadian population growth
                                • Remote work has settled, but only 1 in 6 work at home all the time
                                  • Figure 3: Working location, by generation, 2023
                                • Mental health is becoming a front-and-centre topic in Canada
                                  • Figure 4: Mental health concerns, 2023
                              • Canada Today – The Economy

                                • Inflation remains the top concern, with increased attention on interest rates
                                  • Inflation is settling, but is still hitting Canadians in important categories
                                    • Figure 5: Consumer price index, January 2021-June 2023
                                  • Inflation concerns have plateaued, but interest rates give Canadians another reason to lose sleep
                                    • Figure 6: Top concerns: inflation and interest rates, 2023
                                  • Household saving rate is finally back to normal levels
                                    • Figure 7: Household saving rate, Q4 2019-Q1 2023
                                  • Unemployment remains steady while job vacancies decline
                                    • Figure 8: Job vacancies, Q1 2021-Q1 2023
                                  • GDP has stabilized post-pandemic
                                    • Figure 9: Gross domestic product, April 2019-April 2023
                                • The Market – Overview

                                  • Canadian consumer spending in 2022
                                    • Spending by category
                                      • Figure 10: Total Canadian consumer expenditure (billions), at current prices, 2022
                                  • Category Review – Housing

                                    • Analyst perspective
                                      • Top takeaways
                                        • Market overview
                                          • Opportunities
                                            • Consumers prefer to obtain a mortgage with their primary bank/credit union
                                              • Mortgage brokers are viewed in a positive light, especially by younger people
                                                • There’s still interest in income properties
                                                  • Homebuyers are motivated by pride of ownership
                                                    • Challenges
                                                      • Rising rates are a concern for many consumers
                                                        • Baby Boomers aren’t looking to sell
                                                        • Category Review – Personal Finances

                                                          • Analyst perspective
                                                            • Top takeaways
                                                              • Market overview
                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                  • Improving the financial health of Canadians
                                                                    • Half of younger men trust investing advice on social media
                                                                      • Challenges
                                                                        • Half of consumers have cut spending due to high inflation
                                                                          • Robo-advisors are not meeting expectations
                                                                            • Physical branches remain important
                                                                            • Category Review – In-home Food

                                                                              • Analyst perspective
                                                                                • Top takeaways
                                                                                  • Market overview
                                                                                    • Opportunities
                                                                                      • Tiered solutions make more sense for packaged foods
                                                                                        • Convenience still resonates with Canadians, regardless of inflation
                                                                                          • Tech continues to become more engrained in the shopping experience
                                                                                            • Challenges
                                                                                              • As grocery prices rise, Canadians look for different ways to save
                                                                                                • Canada’s evolving population dynamics necessitate adaptation in the food industry
                                                                                                • Category Review – Alcoholic Beverages (at Home and On-premise)

                                                                                                  • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                    • Top takeaways
                                                                                                      • Market overview
                                                                                                        • Opportunities
                                                                                                          • Alcoholic beverages help facilitate reconnections with friends
                                                                                                            • Trial formats offer flexibility and potential savings for consumers
                                                                                                              • Challenges
                                                                                                                • The alcoholic beverage landscape continues to be more competitive
                                                                                                                  • There is a more sober-curious mindset in Canada
                                                                                                                  • Category Review – Non-alcoholic Beverages (at Home)

                                                                                                                    • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                      • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                        • Market overview
                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                            • Packaging remains the best way for beverages to bolster their environmental bona fides
                                                                                                                              • Generative AI can be used to connect beverage brands to consumers
                                                                                                                                • Challenges
                                                                                                                                  • Water is winning, which can impact other beverage categories
                                                                                                                                    • The solidification of remote work hurts foodservice and, therefore, coffee sales
                                                                                                                                    • Category Review – Dining Out

                                                                                                                                      • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                        • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                          • Market overview
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Total Canadian consumer expenditure (millions): foodservice and food, at constant 2012 prices, Q1 2019-Q1 2023
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                            • Restaurants are an important part of consumers’ lives
                                                                                                                                              • Flipping the script to make dining out the ‘affordable’ option
                                                                                                                                                • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                  • Restaurants are feeling the ripple effects of inflation
                                                                                                                                                    • Restaurants are dependent on other industries
                                                                                                                                                      • The evolution of delivery makes life more difficult for restaurateurs
                                                                                                                                                      • Category Review – Beauty and Personal Care

                                                                                                                                                        • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                                          • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                                            • Market overview
                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                • Validate beauty’s place in self-care routines
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands can build trust with more transparent formulation claims
                                                                                                                                                                    • Support consumer engagement with further education
                                                                                                                                                                      • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                                        • Engagement with beauty declines with age
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers need safety assurances
                                                                                                                                                                          • Category Review – Technology and Communications

                                                                                                                                                                            • Analyst perspective
                                                                                                                                                                              • Top takeaways
                                                                                                                                                                                • Market overview
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Diversity in tech has never been more important
                                                                                                                                                                                      • There’s space and demand for more affordable entertainment technology
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Stand out as a non-negotiable source of entertainment during tight financial times
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Challenges
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Convincing consumers of the importance of connection speeds
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Multiple barriers exist to further metaverse adoption and usage
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Canadian Lifestyles – Fast Facts

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Canada’s Multiculturalism

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Racial diversity is increasing
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 12: Race, Gen Z vs Baby Boomers, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers’ personal backgrounds are diverse
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Country of origin, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Number of years living in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Parents’ place of birth adds a layer to diversity and multiculturalism
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Parents’ country of origin, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Languages of proficiency, by personal background, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • How multiculturalism varies within Canada
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Canada’s multiculturalism is regional
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Personal background, by region, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger generations are more diverse
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Personal background, by generation, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Canadian Values

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Most believe freedom is an important aspect of this country
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Most important Canadian values, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Most important Canadian values: freedom, by age and gender, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Most important Canadian values: freedom, by region and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • How equality, diversity and inclusivity vary across the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Most important Canadian values, overall vs South Asian and Chinese consumers, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Reitmans | Diversity is the Fabric of Canada campaign, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • How Canadian values have changed since 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Most important Canadian values, 2018 vs 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Representation in Advertising

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Representation in recently seen advertisements, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newer Canadians feel represented in the ads they see
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Representation in recently seen advertisements, by length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • French Canadians see themselves in advertisements
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Representation in recently seen advertisements, by language spoken at home, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lower income households and retirees feel underrepresented
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Representation in recently seen advertisements, overall vs HHI <$25,000 and retirees, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Importance of Local

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fresh food is the most locally-relevant category in the market
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Important to buy locally, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger consumers aren’t shopping locally
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Categories important to buy locally, by age, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • South Asian and Chinese consumers are less interested in localism
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Categories important to buy locally, by race, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Personal backgrounds don’t have a major impact on localism
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Categories important to buy locally, by personal background, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Types of Shoppers

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Canadians skew to traditional, local, loyal, frugal shopping habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Shopper types, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Traditional shopping skews to older consumers, digital to younger and more diverse
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Shopper type: traditional, by age, employment status, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Shopper type: digital, by age, employment status, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Local and traditional shoppers have a lot in common
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Shopper type: local, by age, employment status, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • International shoppers are more common in certain parts of the country
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Shopper type: international, by region, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Shopper type: international, by living location, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Loyal and adventurous shoppers don’t need to be mutually exclusive
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Loyalty skews to older consumers, but does not skew across race or multicultural factors
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Shopper type: loyal, by age, employment status, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Shopper type: adventurous, by age, employment status, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Doritos® Roulette™, May 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Boston Pizza Instagram post, July 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Quebec consumers are particularly loyal
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Shopper type: loyal, by region, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers are more frugal than luxurious
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Self-description of shopping behaviours, by age, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Self-description of shopping behaviours, by race, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Frugality over luxury is common across financial situations
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Self-description of shopping behaviours, by household income, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Self-description of shopping behaviours, by financial situation, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Budgeting Tactics in Retail

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers have a toolbox of ways to save money while shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Shopping tactics (NET: always/often), 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Canadians are savvy savings seekers
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Shopping tactics: deals/discounts/promotions (NET: always/often), men vs women, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Different discount strategies across multicultural groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Shopping tactics: deals/discounts/promotions (NET: always/often), overall vs Chinese and South Asian consumers, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Shopping tactics: deals/discounts/promotions (NET: always/often), overall vs newer Canadians, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Savings tactics are relevant for younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Shopping tactics: deals/discounts/promotions (NET: always/often), by age, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Everyday shopping habits can lead to savings
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Shopping tactics: everyday behaviours (NET: always/often), overall vs Chinese and South Asian consumers, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Everyone looks to save regardless of personal finances – but they have different approaches
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Shopping tactics: everyday behaviours (NET: always/often), by financial situation, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Premium purchases and splurging are relatively uncommon
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Shopping tactics: pay more for a premium version of the item I want (NET: always/often), by age, gender, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Shopping tactics: splurge on things I really want even if it’s outside my budget (NET: always/often), by age, gender, race and length of time in Canada, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Leisure Trends – Canada – 2023Targeting dads who spend
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Shopping tactics: paying for premium and splurging (NET: always/often), by gender and parental status, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Quebec consumers are reluctant to spend
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Shopping tactics: paying for premium and splurging, overall vs Quebec, 2023
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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