Food In Canada


Consumer confidence is up, but restraint is new mantra: Nielsen

Canadian consumers are feeling much more optimistic about the economy, but they’re still cutting back on certain items, eating in and switching to cheaper grocery brands.

In fact, 51 per cent of Canadian consumers surveyed in the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index say they have purchased more private label brands during the economic downturn.

And of those consumers, 91 per cent will continue to purchase private label brands when the economy improves.

Those were just some of the findings in Nielsen’s recent research, which was released May 6.

Canadians’ confidence outpaces other countries

The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 27,000 internet users in 55 countries, including 500 internet users in Canada.

The results show that Canadian consumer confidence is on the rise, up to 16 points in a year, and it’s outpacing many nations around the globe, including the U.S.

Canadian consumer confidence rose to 100 (100 = average) up from an index score of 84 in Q1 2009.

During the same time period, U.S. consumer confidence improved by only five index points to 85.

Staying in is the new night out

Yet while Canadians are optimistic, two-thirds (65 per cent) believe the country is still in a recession and plan to demonstrate continued restraint in their purchasing behaviour.

“Staying in is the new night out,” said Carman Allison, director of Industry Insights, The Nielsen Company.

“Consumers tell Nielsen they will continue to cut back on going out for meals and entertainment, which provides tremendous opportunities for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers. FMCG companies also need to take note of the continued consumer interest in private label products. Interestingly, women and 25 – 29 and 35 – 39 year olds indicate the greatest desire for private label items. Knowing how to reach the right consumers in the right way is critical in today’s environment.”

The research also found that Canadian consumers are seeking deals and according to Nielsen’s research, 82 per cent of consumers are saving on household expenses by buying items when they are on sale, followed by 55 per cent using coupons and 44 per cent stocking up when purchasing items.