Settling in Canada poses challenges (for many, the cold weather was tougher than expected) but also many opportunities to establish roots in this country (like celebrating Canada Day or Thanksgiving). It often takes time for newer Canadians to find their footing financially (in many cases because they’re younger), but their purchasing power increases the longer they live in Canada.

Brands that want to connect with newer Canadians – those individuals who have lived in Canada for less than 10 years – will need a clear strategy. That includes leveraging platforms like YouTube and ad-based streaming services, creating messaging that speaks directly to specific groups, as well as short- and long-term plans to connect with newer Canadians as they spend more time in the country and build a stronger financial foundation.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Immigration trends to Canada and demographics of newer Canadians
  • Challenges when coming to Canada and feelings of identity in this market
  • Celebration of Canadian and multicultural holidays
  • Streaming platforms used by newer Canadians – including ad-based vs ad-free tiers
  • Brand initiatives and actions that newer Canadians are most interested in seeing
  • The types of foods and dishes – Canadian, home country or other international countries – that newer Canadians are eating most often

Canada's population growth is driven by immigration, making newer Canadians important consumers. Connecting with them now and in the future is pivotal for brands.

Scott Stewart, Associate Director, Lifestyles & Retail

Market Definitions

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Newer Canadians: people who have lived in Canada for less than 10 years
  • Established Canadians: people who have lived in Canada for 10 years or more

Table of Contents

  1. Executive summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
  2. Target audience overview

    • Newer Canadians by the numbers
    • Immigration is driving Canada's population growth
    • The rate of immigration to Canada is outpacing the US
    • Graph 1: immigration totals (millions) – Canada, 2011-21 and US, 2010-22
    • India is the leading source country for newer Canadians
    • Graph 2: source countries of permanent residents admitted to Canada, 2022
    • India's influence has grown
    • Graph 3: population size of racialized groups, 2016 vs 2021
    • Graph 4: places of birth of recent immigrants, 2016 vs 2021
    • Newer Canadians are a younger group
    • Graph 5: age of recent immigrants, 2021
    • Ontario has the most newer Canadians
    • Graph 6: geographic distribution of recent immigrants by province, 2006-2021
    • Market context
    • Canadian imports are diversifying
    • Graph 7: international merchandise trade by principal trading partner*, 2018-24
    • Newer Canadians have less wealth
    • Graph 8: under $100,000 in total savings/investments, newer vs established Canadians by age, 2024
    • Graph 9: under $100,000 in total savings/investments, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Not only is there less wealth, but also tighter finances
    • Graph 10: current financial situation, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Newer Canadians quickly adopt credit cards
    • Graph 11: use of credit and debt products, households with a major income earner aged 35-54, by years in Canada, 2019
    • Credit card usage doesn't lead to outsized debt overall, but Newer Canadians have more unsecured debt
    • Graph 12: types of unsecured debt, 2023
    • Wages go up with time in Canada, especially for economic immigrants
    • Graph 13: median wage of immigrant women admitted in 2009 (2019 constant dollars), by immigration category, 2010-2019
    • Graph 14: median wage of immigrant men admitted in 2009 (2019 constant dollars), by immigration category, 2010-2019
    • Economic immigrants become high earners
    • Not all newer Canadians expect to be here long term
    • Graph 15: expected time in Canada, 2024
    • Government policies will affect the number of international students in Canada
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Consumer fast facts (continued)
    • Experience coming to Canada
    • Canadian weather takes getting used to
    • Graph 16: aspects of moving to/settling in Canada that were more difficult than expected, newer Canadians, 2024
    • Open feedback about Canadian weather
    • Some newer Canadians had more trouble adapting to the weather
    • Graph 17: aspects of moving to/settling in Canada that were more difficult than expected – adapting to the weather, newer Canadians by race, 2024
    • How to use the weather to connect with newer Canadians
    • Embracing the weather as a positive
    • Wintering in Canada 101
    • The housing market is unfriendly for new entrants
    • Teaching newer Canadians about Canada-specific financial tools
    • Some items can be hard to find
    • Culturally-appropriate sportswear makes brands more welcoming
    • uses third-party sellers to broaden its reach
    • Feelings of identity
    • Newer Canadians have varying feelings of identity
    • Graph 18: feelings of identity, newer Canadians, 2024
    • A Canadian identity builds over time
    • Graph 19: feelings of identity, by time in Canada, 2024
    • Canada's diversity is part of its identity
    • Graph 20: "I consider myself a Canadian" – agree, by time in Canada, 2024
    • That diversity is a point of pride
    • Molson celebrates bringing people together
    • Fostering a uniquely complex identity
    • A connection to home manifests in shopping behaviours
    • The demand for imports runs counter to sustainability trends
    • Bulk Barn offers incremental steps towards sustainability
    • Newer Canadians and Canadian holidays
    • The holidays are an opportunity to participate in Canadian culture
    • Most newer Canadians participate in Canadian holidays
    • Graph 21: any participation), newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Many spend those holidays with friends
    • Graph 22: holiday participation – I spend time with friends, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Why friends play a larger role for newer Canadians
    • The opportunity: "make holidays your own"
    • Newer Canadians as a summer long-weekend target
    • Canadian identity branding on Canada Day
    • Multicultural holidays now play an important role in Canada
    • Graph 23: Diwali participation, South Asian newer Canadians, 2024
    • Diwali should be a consideration for event-based stakeholders
    • Mintel Trend: Serving the Underserved
    • Video content subscriptions
    • Newer Canadians are streamers, but don't use linear TV
    • Graph 24: access to platforms at home, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Age is one factor, but not the only one
    • Graph 25: have access to traditional cable/satellite/broadcast TV at home, newer vs established Canadians, by age, 2024
    • Graph 26: have access to Netflix (NET) at home, newer vs established Canadians, by age, 2024
    • Linear TV is a legacy medium driven by familiarity and habit
    • Advertising to newer Canadians should focus on streaming platforms
    • Graph 27: access to platform at home – with ads vs without ads, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Ad-based tiers are a savings tool – and a communication opportunity
    • Subscription hopping is another way to save
    • Newer Canadians are heavy YouTube users
    • Graph 28: YouTube usage, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Language is one reason for YouTube's value
    • Graph 29: YouTube usage, newer Canadians by mother tongue, 2024
    • Many newer Canadians have access to ad-free YouTube Premium
    • YouTube competes directly with other streaming platforms
    • Half of newer Canadians use their smartphone for 5+ hours a day
    • Graph 30: daily device usage, newer Canadians, 2023
    • Developing marketing campaigns with smartphones in mind
    • Newer Canadians are establishing a new media landscape
    • Interest in brand initiatives
    • Culturally-inspired products are an opportunity
    • Graph 31: interested in seeing from brands in Canada, newer Canadians, 2024
    • Authenticity is important
    • Putting your money where your mouth is
    • Rogers waived long-distance fees and donated amid a crisis event
    • The Vancouver Canucks show up to wish a happy Lunar New Year
    • Nods to newer Canadians' cultures are secondary tactics
    • Graph 32: interested in seeing from brands in Canada, newer Canadians, 2024
    • Newer Canadians show little interest in home advertisements
    • A multi-pronged approach, grounded in tangible actions
    • Cultural food preferences
    • It takes time to shift to a North American diet
    • Graph 33: "My diet includes a lot of…" % agree, consumers born outside of Canada by time living in Canada, 2024
    • Food preferences come down to taste and familiarity
    • Parents are more likely to use dishes from their home country or culture
    • Graph 34: "My diet includes a lot of…" % agree, newer Canadians by parental status, 2024
    • Supporting newer Canadian parents' home cooking
    • YouTube is an important resource for meal ideas
    • Graph 35: sources of meal ideas, by place of birth, 2023
    • Fusion ideas from brands on YouTube
    • International dishes are connected to heritage, but could drive traffic elsewhere
    • Graph 36: attitudes towards international foods (% agree), newer vs established Canadians, 2023
    • Letting shoppers know about the availability of internationally-inspired products
    • Specific preferences in categories like fish and sauces
    • Graph 37: types of fish eaten at home in the past six months, newer vs established Canadians, 2023
    • Graph 38: I typically use this at home, newer vs established Canadians, 2023
    • Patak's produces family-inspired pastes and sauces
    • Using online channels to attract shoppers
    • Finding the right mix over time
    • Newer Canadians' housing situations
    • Most newer Canadians rent
    • Graph 39: housing situation, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Newer Canadians have smaller living spaces
    • Graph 40: size of home, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Graph 41: type of home, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • Single-room lifestyles are a common reality
    • And they're spending more of their money on those homes
    • Graph 42: percentage of net income spent on mortgage/rent, newer vs established Canadians, 2024
    • But they remain optimistic about home ownership
    • It's not just less space, it's fewer amenities
    • No BBQ, no problem
    • Coffee shops as a 'third space'
    • Graph 43: location of coffee consumption in the past month, newer vs established Canadians, 2023
    • Mintel Trend: Flexible Spaces
    • Viewing newer Canadians through a housing lens
  4. Competitive strategies

    • Launch activity and innovation
    • The RBC Newcomer Advantage
    • Lactalis adds specialty brand Khaas to its lineup
    • Vegetarian dishes are an important part of newer Canadians' diets
    • Google AR could break down language barriers
    • Kraft Peanut Butter welcomes newcomers with limited-time jars
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Scotiabank connects with newer Canadians in multiple ways
    • H&R Block helps newer Canadians understand tax season
    • Kia uses culture-specific ads to create a targeted approach
    • Fido speaks directly to newer Canadians travelling back home
    • Telus' foundation supports people in Canada and abroad
    • Opportunities
    • Two key themes in competitive strategies
  5. Appendix

    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

About the report

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