Consumer Corner: Canadian Food Trends 2009

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 Introduction | The big three | How is the current economic situation affecting canadian sonsumers? | Information source

Have you been wondering about general food trends in Canada and how the economic situation is affecting Canadians? Some key findings from the 2008 “NPD Eating Patterns in Canada Report ” can shed some light on this.

The resilience of the consumer in just making it work may lead to other cost saving behaviours that may or may not last.  Knee jerk cost cutting may be the reaction of the consumer, however understanding their true behaviour and providing economical and efficient solutions that fit in with their behaviour will be the best solution for food companies for both the short and long term.

Some of the key trends we were watching in 2008 are conducive to a weak economy. Many of these trends will be amplified during the current financial situation, particularly those pertaining to leftovers, and eating at home.  NPD is finding consumers are:
  • Cooking more meals at home
  • Planning meals in advance
  • Eating more efficiently (i.e. eating foods at non traditional time such as eating cold cereal for snacks and yogurt for dessert).
  • Carrying lunch from home more often
  • Eating out less in restaurants and when eating out choosing less expensive restaurants
  • Replacing eating out at restaurants with more home meal replacements
  • Trading down to less costly foods (e.g. more private label, less expensive cuts of meat, etc)
  • Using coupons more
The Big Three
  • Taste!
  • Nutrition!
  • Convenience!
Canadians continue to strive to find the perfect combination of taste, convenience and nutrition.

Today, nutrition is gaining in importance, but the demand for taste and convenience continue to be high. 

Ranking of important attributes when preparing the weekday evening meal 
(close ended list)
How to read this table: 67% of respondents indicated that nutrition is an important attribute in the preparation of the evening meal.

Meal components usually stocked at home
Ease of preparing meal
Other adults like it
Short preparation time
Kid’s like it
Inexpensive meal
Few meal components

How is the Current Economic Situation Affecting Canadian Consumers?

Canadians will be changing their spending patterns as a result of their perceived conditions of the Canadian economy. They plan on going to restaurants less and eating at home more.

With a Slowing economy, Consumers will Curb Discretionary Spending
of Canadians had to cut back on household spending recently. 

Specific things they are cutting back on:
are cutting back on entertainment
79%are cutting back on vacation
78%on luxury intems
61%on clothing
61%on energy consumption
60%on gasoline/griving
48%on groceries
27%on cell phone
25%on cable TV
6%on education
Source: Ipsos Public Affairs Views on the Global Economy, December 2008

Information Source

The information in the NPD Eating Patterns in Canada Report is based on four different NPD Group services.
  • National Eating Trends (NET) tracks consumption behaviour relating to retail and restaurants.
  • HealthTrack survey adds an attitudinal component and health/diet status to the NET database.
  • SnackTrack tracks the consumption and sourcing of snack foods by individuals.
  • CREST collects information about purchases of prepared foods and beverages at restaurants.
Canadian Food Trends for 2009 report in pdf version

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Consumer Corner: The 2016 Canadian Census - An Alberta Perspective
Consumer Corner: Sugar - The Sweeter Side of a Unique Canadian Industry
Consumer Corner: Understanding Consumer Trends and the Push to Innovate
Consumer Corner: Genetically Modified (GM) Foods and Consumer Concerns
Consumer Corner: Canadian Consumer Perceptions of Meat Preparation
Consumer Corner: Demand for Processed Meat
Consumer Corner: Millennials - who are they and what do they like when it comes to food?
Consumer Corner: Demand for Dairy Milk and Milk Alternatives
Consumer Corner: Generational Differences and Demand for Food
Consumer Corner: Insect Protein, a Fad or Future Need?
Consumer Corner: Snacking and Mini-meal Trends in Canada: How to take a bite out of Canada's snack food market.
Consumer Corner: Functional Foods
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Consumer Corner: Growth of the U.S. Organic Market
Consumer Corner: Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S. -- 2013
Consumer Corner: Benchmarking Domestic Consumption of Pork
Consumer Corner: Understanding the Consumer Mindset on Sustainability
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Consumer Corner: The Morning Rush: Breakfast Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Pet Market Outlook, 2014
Consumer Corner: Emerging Consumer Trends and New Opportunities for Small and Medium Business
Consumer Corner: Market Trends for Fruit and Vegetables
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Consumer Corner: Changing Food Retail Landscape in Canada and Alberta
Consumer Corner: Canada's Ethnic Landscape: Eating Patterns among the Asians
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Consumer Corner: Millennials: Meet the Boomer's Kids (Part 2: Consumption Habits of Millennials by Meal Occasions)
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Consumer Corner: Local Impact of a Global Crisis: Increasing Food Prices
Consumer Corner: Fresh Pet Food in North America
Consumer Corner: Snacking in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 2: Consumption Habits of Boomers by Meal Occasions
Consumer Corner: Eating Pattern Recession - Part 3
Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 1: Profile of Boomers, Their Food Consumption Habits and Attitudes
Consumer Corner: Sodium/Salt and Canadian Diet: Pass the Salt Please! or Hold the Salt Please!
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada -- Part 2
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada - Part 1
Consumer Corner: The Impact of Health on Eating Behavior of Canadians
Consumer Corner: Emerging Consumer Demand for Premium Foods & Beverages in Canada (Qualitative Research Evaluation)
Consumer Corner: Factors Influencing Pulse Consumption in Canada
Consumer Corner: Health and Wellness
Consumer Corner: Dinner Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Breakfast Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Food Trends 2009 - Current Document
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jeewani Fernando.
This document is maintained by Erminia Guercio.
This information published to the web on July 30, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 6, 2014.