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Consumption Culture Compass – Pearl’s Take on Ipsos Trends

consumption culture

Pearl recently attended a webinar from Ipsos on the consumption culture compass framework exploring how our eating habits are changing. Here is our take.


For businesses to succeed, it’s vital to understand and adapt to the various factors shaping consumer behavior and meet the ever-changing preferences of different customer groups.

Generations and life experiences

Understanding seven generations (Gen Alpha, trailing Gen Z, leading Gen Z, millennials with kids, millennials with no kids, Gen X and boomers+) is crucial as they have unique life experiences influenced by history, culture and technology. This understanding guides us in effectively meeting the unique needs of each generation.

Population shifts and inflation impact

Major societal forces, like population shifts and inflation, shape our food choices. Increasing population will lead to increasing demands but households are shrinking. So it’s really important to evaluate the behaviours and attitudes in smaller households versus overall households to uncover growth opportunities. Inflation also affects consumer attitudes and behaviours, leading to changes in shopping and eating habits.

Millennials impact on consumption

In 2029, more adults will be millennials and they are changing how money is spent, especially on food. Millennials are the main reason more people are going to restaurants and spending money there. Moreover, the diverse cultural mix in Canada is influencing changes in the population. This has resulted in Canadian restaurants introducing a variety of new dishes, altering meat consumption habits and enhancing the flavours of the food they offer.

Navigating attitudes and behaviours during inflation

  • 77% of Canadians feel inflation’s effects and 84% think companies use it for more profit.

Many (61%) are surprised by rising prices, affecting their thoughts and actions.

  • Different generations respond differently. Gen Z advises not shopping when you are hungry, millennials change grocery habits and Gen X entertains less.
  • Boomers buy fewer prepared foods. There’s an 8% increase in Canadians preparing multicultural dishes.

Being green and socially responsible

Being eco-friendly and socially responsible (ESG) matters more now. Millennials and families with kids are willing to pay extra for products that are good for the environment and society. It’s important to talk to people in a way that fits their needs and experiences. People want food that’s tasty, easy and makes them feel good. They also care about their mental well-being. And now, they’re interested in experiences, social connections, energy and good value in what they buy.

Value Trigger and health priorities in consumption decisions

Deciding what to buy involves considering what gives good value for money and ways to save. The value trigger (good value for money and saving money) plays a role in 35% of consumption decisions. Snacking, in particular, has seen a 7% increase in this value trigger. People care about nutrients, physical and emotional well-being and now, there’s a growing interest in things that boost metabolism.

Nutritional awareness and eating less

People care a lot about what’s in their food, focusing on calories, sugar, protein and carbs. Millennials are into checking labels for real and clean ingredients. Additionally, people are eating less overall. This is influenced by worries about inflation and different habits, especially among younger folks.

Technological impact on your choices

Technology affects how 3 in 10 people make daily choices about what to consume. Yet, 1 in 5 people don’t fully trust health information online due to worries about where it comes from, marketing claims and declining trust in institutions.

Trends in dining out and solo snacking

People are spending more on eating out and bringing food to others’ homes (potluck). About 60% of daily eating happens alone and daytime snacking is increasing. Evening snacking is going down, making it less clear when a meal ends and a snack begins.

Implications: Organizations should stay informed, flexible, and innovative to meet the evolving needs and expectations of consumers.

If you want insights, strategy or innovation connect with us at or Susan Weaver at 416-908-2446. 

Source: Ipsos webinar, December 2023

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