Food for Thought: How Canadians’ Dietary Choices Are Influencing Food Purchases

Food for Thought: How Canadians’ Dietary Choices Are Influencing Food Purchases

Consumers today are taking an active role in managing their health, which includes following proper nutrition guidelines to prevent and control health issues. These healthy attitudes are having an impact on food trends, providing Canadians with a multitude of options to help them achieve their goals, including minimizing future health problems (82%) and losing weight (69%). Canadians’ shifting focus toward healthy living is influencing their dietary choices, and many are doing so to help prevent health conditions, which empowers them to use food as medicine to manage conditions.

Canadians have access to a wealth of health information and products they can use to exercise greater control over their health. According to Nielsen’s Global Ingredients Study, 80% of Canadians believe that foods made at home are healthier than prepared foods, and 73% feel better about companies that are transparent about their products.

Helping consumers choose healthier food options may also drive healthier bottom lines for manufacturers and retailers. The global study also found that over half of Canadian (54%) are willing to pay more for foods and drinks that don’t contain undesirable ingredients. Whether Canadians’ diets are driven by choice or to help quell medical conditions, there’s a host of ingredients they’re trying to avoid.

With so many ingredients on Canadians’ undesirable list, shoppers are scanning the shelves for items that fit their preferred diets. Many shoppers are left searching for products that are low in sugar (37%), low in sodium (37%) and contain no artificial colours or flavours (35%).

As consumers continue to focus on their health, it will become increasingly important for retailers and manufacturers to understand their shifting wants and needs. Offering products that fit into their healthy lifestyles will be key to a successful relationship with your customers.


The insights in this article were derived from:

  • The Nielsen Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey.
  • Nielsen PanelViews Health & Wellness Survey of 6,006 Canadian Nielsen Homescan panel members conducted online in English and French from Nov. 11, 2015 – Dec. 1, 2015.