The health-conscious consumer: Nutrition research and trends

Penny pinching, tech-savvy and last (but certainly not least) health-conscious. This is the modern consumer, as indicated by trends uncovered in Brandspark’s 2015 Shopper Study. Surveying more than 65,000 Canadians coast to coast, they learned how Canadians shop – and what they shop for. Concern over personal health is on the rise (77% compared to 73% in 2014), and consumers are looking towards dieting to improve their overall health. Of Canadians surveyed, 84% said they believe there is a lot they can do with food nutrition to prevent illness. While the majority of Canadians aspire to eat better, there are roadblocks; 72% feel that healthier foods generally cost more, and 49% believe there aren’t enough convenient healthy options.

Compared to Europeans, Canadians are strong believers that a good diet can help prevent illness and lead to better well-being (88% of Canadians agreed, versus 74% of Germans and 69% of Brits). We’re also more apt to make healthy lifestyle changes and feel more informed about nutrition.

Other survey findings support this trend, demonstrating how Canadians are looking to live a healthier lifestyle:

  • • 56% of Canadians are choosing smaller portions as a weight-loss strategy
  • • 62% of consumers are changing their diets to include more fresh foods, and almost half of consumers say that choosing organic, sustainably-sourced ingredients is important to them
  • • 41% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for food with health benefits
  • • 62% say they prefer preparing their own meals so they know what’s in the food they’re eating
  • • 83% of Canadians cook dinner at home 4+ nights per week

Here are some simple tips to share with your clients:

  • Opt for lean and plant-based sources of protein: When enjoying meat, poultry and fish, prepare them with little or no added fat. Incorporate fatty fish into your diet, like this Salmon with Peanut Cucumber Relish. Or, try out a meatless meal!
  • Choose healthier fats: While fats can add a lot of flavour, enjoy in moderation! Swap out the oils in your salad dressings for healthier alternatives, like peanut oil, that are naturally trans fat-free and lower in cholesterol. Try this tasty Peanut Basil Vinaigrette.
  • Load up on fruits and vegetables: Packed with nutrients and fibre, try to up your intake of fruits and vegetables. Fill half your plate with veggies, like Bok Choy with Peanuts, and pack them as snacks over chips or cookies.


Sources:, Grocery Business, Nielsen Canada, MetrixLab