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BrandSpark KNOWS what Canadians look for in every day products: 65,000 surveyed in annual BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study

BNPA2015Toronto, ON (January 13, 2015) – Results of the twelfth annual BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study are now available. This study is THE comprehensive source of insights about Canadian shopping habits for everyday consumer packaged goods (CPG). More than 65,000 Canadians participated in the 2015 study, which also determines the winners of the 100% consumer-voted Best New Product Awards (BNPAs).

“BrandSpark’s research not only delivers insights about Canadian shopping habits, but our historical data allows us to forecast consumer trends. This is why Canadian companies value BrandSpark’s expertise as a leader in uncovering consumer trends and helping them use this information to deliver increased sales. We KNOW what Canadians look for in their everyday products,” said Robert Levy, President of BrandSpark International and Founder of the BNPAs.


For a complete list of 2015 Best New Product Award winners, please visit


2015 Canadian Consumer Trends


Canadians embrace innovation:  78% like trying new products

Canadians like trying new products, with interest strongest among younger shoppers, 85% of millennials report that they like to try new products and 69% of seniors report the same. Consistently across generations, 65% of Canadian shoppers say that they would be willing to pay more for a new product if it was better than the current selection of similar products, lower than the 73% of American shoppers who say they same – reflecting Canadians’ drive to maximize their value for money.

Interest in new products is supported by shopper belief in the value of research and development in product innovation: 60% of Canadian shoppers believe that products identified as “new” are superior to the “old” ones. For Canadians, the most innovative new products are often those that re-invent how consumers use the products, like single-dose laundry detergent pods or single serve coffee brewers. But Canadians also love new products that offer incremental benefits to the traditional product experience, like two of this year’s CPG innovator leaders: Fusion ProGlide with Flexball offering an even closer shave, or Glad Stand-up food storage bags, a new bag shape for more space efficient food storage.


Canadians are slowly embracing mobile smart-tech as part of their shopping routine, using the devices on 13% of household shopping trips

The study reports that 60% of Canadians own a smartphone device and more than half “often use” their devices while shopping in-store, if not on every trip. Among them, 58% regularly take pictures of products they are considering to purchase, 48% compare prices across different retailers, and 45% check digital flyers to compare promotions. Twenty per cent of shoppers reported making different purchase decisions because of information they accessed on their smartphone while in store.


The pen is mightier than smart-tech: 84% of Canadians report that they still use written shopping lists

While 3 in 5 Canadian shoppers own a smartphone, the majority, 84%, still put pen to paper when writing their shopping list. This is fewer than the 89% of American shoppers who report the same habit. Even with list in hand 43% of Canadians will stray and make impulse purchases, the same as our neighbours to the south. The study also discovered that Canadians report forgetting to pick up something on their list on 11% of trips.


Flyers still fly: 91% of Canadians check grocery store flyers at least each month

Print flyers remain crucial to influencing the purchase behaviour of Canadians, with 91% checking grocery store flyers every week or month. This trend also holds true for mass merchandise retailers and drug stores, at 81% and 76% respectively. Digital flyers are gaining acceptance with 62% of Canadians stating that they check them regularly, up from 57% a year ago. Yet a majority of Canadians, 74%, still prefer the print format.


Canadians crave deals: 87% of Canadians feel proud when they get great value for their money

Getting the most value for money continues to be a major area of focus for Canadians. Beyond reading flyers, Canadian shoppers go the extra mile to find the best deals: 87% will stock up when their favourite products are on sale, 57% shop multiple stores to get the best prices on different items, and 56% regularly participate in retail loyalty programs.


Transparency builds trust: 55% of Canadians say their trust in a brand increases greatly when detailed product information is provided

When Canadians were asked to rate what increases their trust in brands, at the top of the list was customer care and responding quickly to serious product issues, both cited as “greatly” increasing trust by 62% of Canadians. While 43% said that high-value promotions would greatly increase their affinity for a brand, a greater portion, 49%, said the same about consistent pricing. Positive social actions not related to a brand’s products also increase trust, with 64% saying that support for charitable causes would increase their trust in a brand, including 19% who said it would greatly increase.


Canadians are trying to make healthier food choices:
84% of Canadians believe there is a lot they can do with food and nutrition to prevent illness

Canadians want to make healthier choices and they recognize the importance of diet in improving overall health, though the bombardment of health information can also be confusing: 67% report that they are knowledgeable about health and nutrition issues, but this is down from 73% a year ago. Meanwhile, 77% say they are concerned about their personal health, up from 73% in the past year. While most Canadians want to eat healthier, there are challenges: 72% feel that healthier foods generally cost more, and 49% believe that there aren’t enough convenient healthy options.


Canadians trust consumer endorsements for their beauty and personal care decisions:
78% of Canadians consider the endorsement of a consumer-voted award very influential

When purchasing beauty and personal care products, more than 80% of Canadians consider it important to find products that are well priced, easy to use, and are proven effective. Additional factors Canadians look for in these types of products include brand trust, gentleness, and dermatologist approval. Canadians are becoming more mindful of ingredients in beauty and personal care products with 26% avoiding specific ingredients like alcohol, ammonia, and synthetic fragrances. This increases to 30% looking only at female shoppers.

Canadians also appreciate endorsements to support their decision to try new beauty and personal care products: 78% of Canadians consider the endorsement of a consumer-voted award very influential.


About the 2015 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study

The 2015 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study is representative of the Canadian household shopper, conforming to the PMB national profile. Companion studies are conducted in the United States, China, and Europe.

Jan 13, 2015 | By Hsing Liang | Tags:

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Thanks for joining Keeping Up with The Shopper, we are excited to share our industry insights with you.

Concerns? Contact us at 647-727-4575 or email us at

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Please complete the form

Thanks for joining Keeping Up with The Shopper, we are excited to share our industry insights with you.

Concerns? Contact us at 647-727-4575 or email us at

Privacy Policy