Description

“Snacking remains a central part of Canadians’ eating habits and as they stay home because of COVID-19, snacking’s role has intensified. More time at home means more occasions to ‘nosh’. Snacking brands that are able to address consumers’ needs in this moment may see their relevance increase now and in the future.”
–    Joel Gregoire, Associate Director for Food & Drink

This report will look at the following areas:

  • COVID-19’s impact on snack sales at grocery is likely to be generally positive as Canadians spend more time at home. That said, performance will vary by category given.
  • Canadians will look to food to not only meet their physical needs, but their emotional needs as well as Canadians continue to socially distance. Depending on the category, there will be different ways for snacks to meet this need.
  • Price is the most important consideration for Canadians when choosing what snacks to purchase. Depending on the depth and length of a COVID-19-induced recession, look for price’s importance to increase.
  • While there’s room for flavour innovation, Canadians are generally more likely to be influenced by familiarity when choosing what snack foods they purchase. As consumers look for a sense of normalcy during the pandemic, familiarity may have more currency.
  • Canadians have a ‘sweet tooth’. ‘Sweet’ is easily the most popular flavour with Canadians, even when compared to Americans. Snacks with sweet flavours, or sweet combined with other flavours, are therefore more likely to hold general appeal with Canadians.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

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

            • Impact of COVID-19 on snacking
              • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on Snack foods, May 2020
            • Key trends
              • Salty snacks are the snack food of choice for Canadians
                • Figure 2: Snack foods eaten in the past month, March 2020
              • Canadians have a sweet tooth, which is particularly apparent when compared to Americans
                • Figure 3: Preferred snack flavours, Canada vs US, March 2020 (Canada)/November 2019 (US)
              • Half of Canadians “stress snack”
                • Figure 4: “I eat snacks when I’m stressed” (% any agree), by age and gender, March 2020
              • Canadians prefer familiar flavours when shopping for snacks
                • Figure 5: Importance of familiar vs new flavours when purchasing snacks, by selection, March 2020
              • Canadians show interest in ‘gourmet’ flavours
                • Figure 6: Snacks Canadians show interest in, March 2020
              • Many Canadians are looking for plant-based snacks
                • Figure 7: Interest in plant-based snacks, by age and gender, March 2020
              • What it means
              • The Impact of COVID-19 on Snacking

                • Summary
                  • Figure 8: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on Snack foods, May 2020
                • Opportunities and Threats
                  • COVID-19 supports consumption of familiar snacks, but represent a potential challenge for products that rely on trial
                    • Impact on the snacking market
                      • COVID-19’s impact will vary by snack food category
                        • Shifts in consumer behaviour
                          • Snacking’s role in offering comfort is now more important
                            • Connectivity’s importance rises in an occasion that is predominantly personal
                              • Healthy snacking still has its place
                                • How the crisis will affect snacking’s key consumer segments
                                  • Working from home means more chances to ‘nosh’
                                    • Younger Canadians are more engaged in snacking
                                      • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the snack industry
                                        • A recession will heighten importance on value and ethics
                                          • COVID-19: Canadian context
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • The food supply chain is getting more attention in the COVID-19 era
                                              • Canadians’ average weight rising as population ages
                                                • Immigration’s importance to population growth impacts snacking in Canada
                                                • Market Factors

                                                  • Canadians’ average weight rising as population ages
                                                    • Figure 9: Percent of Canadian adults (18+) who are overweight or obese, 2015 & 2018
                                                  • Immigration is fuelling Canada’s population growth…
                                                    • Figure 10: Percentage of Canadians who are visible minorities or not visible minorities, by age, 2016
                                                  • …and Asia is the primary source
                                                    • Figure 11: Distribution of immigrants living in Canada, by region of birth, 1996-2036
                                                  • The food supply chain is getting more attention in the COVID-19 era
                                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Messaging around comfort will take precedence
                                                      • Gourmet flavours can be an alternative to foodservice experiences
                                                        • People pine for plant-based snacks
                                                        • What to Watch

                                                          • Messaging around comfort will take precedence
                                                            • Figure 12: Antidote Lavender Flowers + Red Sale Chocolate (US), August 2019
                                                            • Figure 13: Dakota Style Roasted No Salt Sunflower Kernels (US), October 2019
                                                            • Figure 14: Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut Butter Grain-Free Bar with Reishi (US), June 2019
                                                            • Figure 15: Imlak’esh Organics Goji Berries (US), September 2019
                                                          • Gourmet flavours can be an alternative to foodservice experiences
                                                            • Figure 16: Air Cheese Gouda Crunchy Cheese Bites (US), March 2020
                                                            • Figure 17: Wilde Chicken & Waffles Thin & Crispy Chicken Chips (US), July 2019
                                                            • Figure 18: Miss Vickie’s Signatures Hickory Smoked Salt Chips (Canada), September 2019
                                                            • Figure 19: Pringles Reuben Flavored Potato Crisps (US), March 2020
                                                            • Figure 20: Aufschnitt Premium Products Spicy Chocolate Beef Bar (US), March 2020
                                                            • Figure 21: Specially Selected Mushroom Arancini Bites (US), June 2019
                                                            • Figure 22: Specially Selected Mushroom Arancini Bites (US), January 2020
                                                            • Figure 23: Vosges Haut Chocolat Super Dark Matcha 72% Dark Chocolate (US), September 2019
                                                          • People pine for plant-based snacks
                                                            • Figure 24: Avolov Chili and Lime Avocado (US), January 2020
                                                            • Figure 25: Dang Tropical Mango Coconut Chips (US), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 26: Earth & Soil Baked & Crunchy Watermelon Chips (US), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 27: Indianlife Palak Spinach Chips (US), March 2020
                                                            • Figure 28: HTY Seaweed Crisps with Purple Rice (US), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 29: Vegan Rob’s Cauli Crisps (Canada), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 30: Big Win Dried Green Bean Snacks with Seas Salt (US), April 2020
                                                            • Figure 31: Peeled Snacks Garden Herb Organic Baked Pear Crisps (US), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 32: Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks (US), February 2020
                                                            • Figure 33: Genuine Health Maple Walnut Fermented Vegan Proteins + Snack Bar (Canada), March 2020
                                                            • Figure 34: Pan’s Applewood BBQ Mushroom Jerky (US), November 2019
                                                            • Figure 35: Savory Wild Sesame, Ginger & Korean Chili Portabella Jerky (US), October 2019
                                                            • Figure 36: Foreal Foods Chili Lime Coconut Jerky (US), January 2020
                                                          • Ethical and the environmental positioning will remain an opportunity
                                                            • Figure 37: Alter Eco Burnt Caramel Dark Salted Organic Chocolate (Canada), August 2019
                                                            • Figure 38: Spudsy Bangin’ Bar-B-Q Sweet Potato Puffs (US), December 2019
                                                            • Figure 39: Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Wasabi Ranch Potato Chips (US), January 2020
                                                            • Figure 40: Dolfin Dark Chocolate with Fig & Vanilla Salt from Madagascar (US), September 2019
                                                            • Figure 41: Divine Chocolate Dark Chocolate with Mint Crispy Thins (US), December 2019
                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Salty snacks reign as the snack food of choice for Canadians
                                                            • Price is the most important consideration when purchasing snacks
                                                              • Despite price’s importance, Canadians show interest in premium snacks
                                                                • Canadians have a ‘sweet tooth’
                                                                  • Half of Canadians “stress snack”
                                                                    • Routine and familiarity drive snacking preferences
                                                                    • Snack Foods Eaten

                                                                      • Salty snacks reign as the snack food of choice for Canadians
                                                                        • Figure 42: Snack foods eaten in the past month, March 2020
                                                                      • Women tend to be more avid snackers
                                                                        • Figure 43: Snack foods eaten in the past month, by gender, March 2020
                                                                      • Old and young alike snack, but there are differences
                                                                        • Figure 44: Snack foods eaten in the past month, by age, March 2020
                                                                    • What Matters Most When Purchasing Snacks

                                                                      • Price is the most important consideration when purchasing snacks
                                                                        • Figure 45: What is most important when purchasing snacks (top 3 NET), March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 46: What is most important when purchasing snacks, by selection, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 47: ‘Low price’ is most important when purchasing snacks, by age and gender, March 2020
                                                                      • Canadians prefer familiar to new flavours when shopping for snacks
                                                                        • Figure 48: Importance of familiar vs new flavours when purchasing snacks, by selection, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 49: Importance of familiar vs new flavours when purchasing snacks, by age and gender, March 2020
                                                                      • Snacking is first and foremost a personal occasion
                                                                        • Figure 50: Importance of eating on my own vs being good to share, by selection, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 51: Importance of eating on my own vs being good to share, Chinese Canadians vs overall, March 2020
                                                                      • Women place greater importance on nutrition
                                                                        • Figure 52: Importance of health-related considerations when purchasing snacks, by selection, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 53: Importance of health-related considerations when purchasing snacks by gender, March 2020
                                                                    • Areas of Interest in Snacking

                                                                      • Despite price’s importance, Canadians show interest in premium snacks
                                                                        • Figure 54: Snacks Canadians show interest in, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 55: Miss Vickie’s Apple Cider Vinaigrette & Shallots Flavoured Chips, September 2019
                                                                        • Figure 56: Miss Vickie’s Let’s Stay In Tonight, April 30, 2018
                                                                      • Many Canadians are looking for plant-based and ethically sourced snacks
                                                                        • Figure 57: Interest in plant-based snacks, by age and gender, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 58: Interest in ethically-sourced snacks, by age and gender, March 2020
                                                                      • Younger consumers show greater interest in snack foods with benefits
                                                                        • Figure 59: Interest in snacks with select benefits, by age, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 60: Interest in snacks with select benefits, women by age, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 61: Bulletproof Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bar, December 2017
                                                                      • A fifth of Canadians show interest in snacks with cannabis
                                                                        • Figure 62: Interest in snacks with cannabis and CBD oil, by age, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 63: Interest in snacks with cannabis, CBD oil and hemp, by parental status, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 64: Interest in snacks with cannabis and CBD oil, by region, March 2020
                                                                    • Flavour Preferences in Snacking

                                                                      • Canadians have a ‘sweet tooth’…
                                                                        • Figure 65: Preferred snack flavours, March 2020
                                                                      • …particularly when compared to Americans
                                                                        • Figure 66: Preferred snack flavours, Canada vs US, March 2020 (Canada)/November 2019 (US)
                                                                      • Gender impacts flavour preferences in snack foods
                                                                        • Figure 67: Select preferred snack flavours, by gender, March 2020, November 2019
                                                                        • Figure 68: Select preferred snack flavours, by age, March 2020, November 2019
                                                                      • Asians show different flavour preferences
                                                                        • Figure 69: Preferred snack flavours, Chinese and South Asian* Canadians vs Overall, March 2020
                                                                    • Attitudes toward Snacking

                                                                      • Half of Canadians “stress snack”
                                                                        • Figure 70: Attitudes toward snacking (% any agree), March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 71: “I eat snacks when I’m stressed” (% any agree), by age and gender, March 2020
                                                                      • Routine and familiarity drive snacking preferences
                                                                        • Figure 72: Attitudes toward snacking (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 73: Correspondence map – relationship between types of snacks eaten and dayparts, July 2016
                                                                      • Younger consumers’ attitudes offer a more casual take on ‘meal time’
                                                                        • Figure 74: Attitudes toward snacking and meals (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                                      • When eating out, snack-sized portions are associated with making better choices
                                                                        • Figure 75: Attitudes toward snacking and eating out (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                                      • Snacking and the media are intrinsically linked
                                                                        • Figure 76: Attitudes toward snacking and media (% any agree), by age, March 2020
                                                                        • Figure 77: Colgate Ryan’s Bubble Fruit Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste (Canada), October 2019
                                                                        • Figure 78: Attitudes toward snacking and media (% any agree), men 18-34 vs women 18-34, March 2020
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations

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