Canadian Consumer Behavior

March 15, 2019

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are low cost products that are sold quickly, mainly because they are not meant to last a long period of time (for example, fruits and vegetables, bread, soft drinks, toilet ware, etc).


In Canada, spending habits vary by province. Consumer profiles are not the same in Ontario than in Quebec. Actually, Nielsen found out that people from Quebec are the ones that spend the most in FMCG and also the ones that go most to the supermarket and retail stores in general (and Ontario is the province with the lowest FMCG spending).


Trends in common

  • Health Awareness: Canadian consumers are becoming more aware of the advantages of healthier choices in food and cosmetics.
  • Customized goods: They want to get exactly what they need, this also applies to services.
  • Internet impact: Canadian consumers prefer to research extensively about the products they want to buy online (and this research is also done through internet, checking reviews, similar products, etc).

According to Javier Hidalgo (Spanish delegate of the Government of Aragon, Spain), the Canadian consumer “is a consumer with high income and economic solvency, very sensitive to environmental problems, but also with a strong sense of well-being and personal care, which leads him to consume many gourmet, nutritional and ecological products. On the other hand, it is usually a demanding consumer, who likes to be informed in detail by comparing the quality of the product, its origin, composition and price. In general, he values ​​the European product very positively but at the same time he has very high expectations of it, highly valued a high-quality sale and after sales service".

It is also notable that Canadian consumers are looking to spend their money in experiences over products (Mintel Press Team);

  • 39% prefer to spend their money in Entertainment experiences (going to the cinema mainly)
  • 38% prefer to spend their money dinning out.
  • 35% prefer to spend their money traveling.
  • 33% prefer to pay debt with their money.
  • 30% prefer to spend their money in personal treats.
  • 27% prefer to invest their money.

Statistics about Canadian consumer:

  • 62% of Canadians live in Ontario and Quebec
  • 80% of Canadians live within a radius of 160 kms of the border with the United States
  • 85% of millennials in Canada like to try new products constantly.

According to TFO Canada, “Canada depends heavily on imports to boost economic growth and satisfy consumer demands. Canadian Imports in five years reached a peak of $ 511 billion in 2014, making Canada the 13th largest import market in the world. Although the Canadian market is about 10% of the size of the US market, in fact it imports almost twice as much as its southern neighbors at the per capita level”.


Purchasing power

TFO Canada also states that “Canadian consumers with high incomes continue to be a small niche of the population of 35.7 million, 380,000 Canadians have an annual income of $ 150,000- $ 249,000, only 180,000 earn more than $ 250,000. Although the per capita income in the United States is higher than in Canada, the rate of growth of Canadians who earn more than $ 150,000 grows faster than the same group in U.S”.


Canada represents an exciting opportunity for many companies that want to export their products. Infinitus can help you to do it! Contact us to let us know your needs and goals, and keep in mind that the services we offer you include:

  • Overview of how competitors are dealing in the developed markets.
  • Strategic advice of how to achieve results faster, redefine sales strategies, etc.
  • Introduction of your products and services to distributors, business partners, final customers.
  • Participation in events (trade fairs, conferences, presentations, focus groups and more.)