Description

“Leisure behaviours are evolving; digital tech is making media a more central part of leisure time while also making it easier to enjoy leisurely activities during work time.
Meanwhile, market factors are driving a shift from out-of-home to in-home leisure time – creating a major threat for the former and sparking growth opportunities for the latter.”
Scott Stewart, Associate Director, Lifestyles & Retail

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Recent leisure activities.
  • The at-home leisure activities consumers would engage in if they had more free time.
  • The out-of-home leisure activities consumers would engage in if they had more time.
  • How leisure behaviours have changed compared to a year ago.
  • The role of technology and media in leisure activities.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

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

            • Top takeaways
              • Consumer trends
                • Media is at the centre of at-home leisure
                  • Out-of-home leisure is losing ground to in-home leisure
                    • Leisure behaviours vary significantly across demographic groups
                      • Competitive strategies
                        • Brands strategically associate themselves with leisure activities
                          • Figure 1: Nespresso Instagram post, 2023
                        • Out-of-home leisure stakeholders are demonstrating value
                          • Figure 2: Toronto Blue Jays Twitter post, 2022
                        • Market predictions
                          • Out-of-home leisure will continue to lose ground to in-home
                            • Figure 3: Category outlook: leisure trends, 2023-28
                          • Opportunities
                            • Multitasking and ‘piggybacking’ means white space opportunity
                              • Many consumers want to feel like their leisure time was productive
                                • Parents prioritize time with their kids
                                • The Market – By the Numbers

                                  • At-home leisure expenditures are above pre-pandemic levels
                                    • Figure 4: Household consumption expenditure at current prices, Q4 2019 vs Q4 2022
                                    • Figure 5: Full-service restaurants monthly sales at current prices, 2019-22
                                • Market Factors

                                  • Economic trends impact leisure preferences
                                    • External factors continue to squeeze Canadians’ budgets
                                      • Some consumers are worse off than last year, but many are stable
                                        • Figure 6: Financial situation compared to a year ago, 2023
                                      • COVID-19 remains a factor that can impact leisure activities
                                        • Figure 7: Concern about exposure to COVID-19, 2020-22
                                      • Canadians are returning to workplaces, but remote work remains common
                                        • Figure 8: Working location, 2021 and 2022
                                      • Opportunities arising from this shift
                                        • Stress and anxiety are common; leisure time can help
                                          • Figure 9: Factors that contribute to stress, 2023
                                          • Figure 10: Reasons for feeling in control of personal health, 2023
                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                        • Brands drive usage by associating themselves with leisure time
                                          • Figure 11: Nespresso Instagram post, 2023
                                          • Figure 12: Beats by Dre Instagram post, 2022
                                          • Figure 13: Lays Instagram post, 2023
                                        • Toronto Blue Jays offer bulk value to attract more fans
                                          • Figure 14: Toronto Blue Jays Twitter post, 2022
                                        • Netflix’s crackdown on sharing will cause some Canadians to adapt
                                          • Figure 15: Netflix Canada Twitter post, 2023
                                        • Parents’ leisure time is focused on their children
                                          • Figure 16: Mattel Instagram post, 2022
                                          • Figure 17: Boston Pizza Canada Instagram post, 2023
                                      • Leisure Trends – Fast Facts

                                        • Leisure Activities

                                          • Canadians have many ways to spend their free time
                                            • Figure 18: Leisure activities done in the past six months, 2023
                                          • Age and gender are key factors in how consumers spend their spare time
                                            • Figure 19: Leisure activities done in the past six months, by age, 2023
                                            • Figure 20: Leisure activities done in the past six months, men vs women, 2023
                                          • Leisure time can be productive
                                            • Figure 21: “Productive” leisure activities done in the past six months, by living situation, 2023
                                          • Regional and racial skews are evident, indicating cultural differences in leisure
                                            • Figure 22: “Productive” leisure activities done in the past six months, overall vs Quebec by language spoken at home, 2023
                                            • Figure 23: “Productive” leisure activities done in the past six month, overall vs Chinese, South Asian and Black/African Canadian, 2023
                                          • Relaxing, in-home leisure is still common
                                            • Figure 24: “In-home” leisure activities in the past six months, moms vs dads and overall, 2023
                                          • Out-of-home leisure activities skew to younger Canadians
                                            • Figure 25: “Out-of-home” leisure activities done in the past six months, by age, 2023
                                          • These outings are susceptible to economy-level trends
                                            • Figure 26: “Out-of-home” leisure activities done in the past six months, by expected change in financial situation in 12 months, 2023
                                          • Leisure activities overlap and create opportunities
                                            • Figure 27: Leisure activities done in the past six months, overall vs consumers who have gardened for leisure in the past six months, 2023
                                            • Figure 28: Juliet Sear Instagram post, 2019
                                            • Figure 29: Leisure activities done in the past six months, overall vs consumers who have gone to a movie theatre in the past six months, 2023
                                        • Preferred At-home Leisure Activities

                                          • Media plays a central role in at-home leisure
                                            • Figure 30: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home, 2023
                                            • Figure 31: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home: media, by age, 2023
                                          • Moms and dads have different, potentially conflicting ways of spending their free time
                                            • Figure 32: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home: media, moms vs dads, 2023
                                            • Figure 33: BDI Furniture Instagram post, 2022
                                          • South Asian Canadians are an important audience for streaming platforms
                                            • Figure 34: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home: media, overall vs South Asian Canadians, 2023
                                          • Reading, chores and naps show that not all free time is digital
                                            • Helping busy Canadians find more time for leisure
                                              • Figure 35: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home: books, chores and naps, men vs women, 2023
                                              • Figure 36: Indigo, Chapters and Coles Facebook post, 2023
                                            • Parents want to spend time with their kids
                                              • Figure 37: Most likely to do with a few hours of free time at home: spend time with my kids, parents by age of children in household, 2023
                                          • Preferred Out-of-home Leisure Activities

                                            • Time away from home can be leisurely or productive
                                              • Figure 38: Most likely to do with more free time away from home, 2023
                                            • Leisurely out-of-home activities are prime opportunities for consumer expenditures
                                              • Travel skews to married people without kids, but is low for dads and French Canadians
                                                • Figure 39: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: travel, by marital and parental status, 2023
                                                • Figure 40: Via Rail Canada Instagram post, 2023
                                                • Figure 41: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: travel, overall vs Quebec English and French speakers, 2023
                                                • Figure 42: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: travel, overall vs parents by gender, 2023
                                              • Relaxing activities can resonate with financially stressed Canadians
                                                • Figure 43: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: relaxing activities, by finances compared to a year ago, expected finances in 12 months and concerns about rising prices/inflation, 2023
                                              • Struggling restaurants could benefit from targeting older Canadians
                                                • Figure 44: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: dine in at restaurants, by age, 2023
                                              • Family outings are important to parents
                                                  • Figure 45: Espace pour la vie Facebook post, 2023
                                                • Time away from home can be productive
                                                  • Men more likely to exercise, work and improve skills; women more likely to shop in their free time
                                                    • Figure 46: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: productive activities, men vs women, 2023
                                                    • Figure 47: F45 Training Instagram post, 2023
                                                    • Figure 48: Chang School TMU Instagram post, 2021
                                                    • Figure 49: HomeSense Instagram post, 2022
                                                  • Productive leisure time is more interesting to younger Canadians
                                                    • Figure 50: Most likely to do with more free time away from home: productive activities, by age, 2023
                                                • Changes in Leisure Activities

                                                  • Canadians are spending more time at home
                                                    • Figure 51: Doing more of compared to a year ago, 2023
                                                  • Food and entertainment see the biggest shifts
                                                    • Figure 52: Activities compared to a year ago: food and entertainment, 2023
                                                  • People who are struggling financially are the most likely to spend more time at home
                                                    • Figure 53: Doing more compared to a year ago: cooking and watching TV/movies at home, by financial situation, 2023
                                                    • Figure 54: Doing less of compared to a year ago: dining in at restaurants and going to movie theatres, by financial situation, 2023
                                                    • Figure 55: The Keg Steakhouse Instagram post, 2023
                                                  • South Asian and Black/African Canadians are cooking/watching more at home
                                                    • Figure 56: Doing more of compared to a year ago: cooking and watching TV/movies at home, overall vs Chinese, South Asian and Black/African Canadians, 2023
                                                  • Canadians are cutting expenditure more than Americans
                                                    • Figure 57: Spending over the past 12 months: food in restaurants, Canada vs USA, 2023
                                                    • Figure 58: Spending over the past 12 months: leisure/entertainment, Canada vs USA, 2023
                                                  • Other types of outings are seeing a decline, too
                                                    • Figure 59: Doing less of compared to a year ago, 2023
                                                  • Shopping mall declines could indicate a longer-term shift in behaviours
                                                      • Figure 60: Activities compared to a year ago: going to shopping malls, by generation, 2023
                                                      • Figure 61: Yorkdale Style Instagram post, 2023
                                                    • Exercise trends have been less drastic than other leisure activities
                                                      • Figure 62: Activities compared to a year ago: exercising, 2023
                                                      • Figure 63: Sportchek Instagram post, 2023
                                                      • Figure 64: Northern Fitness Instagram post, 2022
                                                    • Younger consumers are the most likely to be exercising more
                                                      • Figure 65: Doing more of compared to a year ago: exercising, by age, 2023
                                                      • Figure 66: Fabletics Instagram post, 2023
                                                  • Tech and Media in Leisure

                                                    • Tech is a leisure time fixture for most consumers
                                                      • Younger Canadians are the most likely to stay connected
                                                        • Figure 67: Tech usage during leisure time (% agree), by age, 2023
                                                      • Multicultural consumers are more likely to multitask with tech and media
                                                        • Figure 68: Tech usage during leisure time (% agree), overall vs Chinese, South Asian and Black/African Canadians, 2023
                                                      • Content creation is a leisure activity for some Canadians
                                                        • Younger Canadians are driving this trend
                                                          • Figure 69: “I create content in my free time” (% agree), by age, 2023
                                                          • Figure 70: “I create content in my free time” (% agree), by age and gender, 2023
                                                        • How to capitalize on this leisure trend
                                                          • There’s an opportunity to swing the pendulum the other way
                                                            • Figure 71: Petit St. Vincent Instagram post, 2023
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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