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The conflicted consumer – 2021 food consumer survey

Future of food: a Canadian perspective

More than a year of living with a global pandemic has revealed a series of contradictory tensions among Canadian consumers. We’re baking our own bread, yet ordering in more than ever. We’re obsessed with fresh fruit and vegetables, but we can’t get enough of sugary, salty snacks. We’re committed to supporting local businesses, yet we’re shopping on Amazon more than ever. Are these duelling consumer personalities simply a response to intense feelings of scarcity? Has the pandemic experience unlocked new needs and preferences that are here to stay? Or did the crisis simply accelerate impulses that have been here all along?

The pandemic has become both a catalyst and disruptor for retail businesses worldwide, including those in the food and grocery sector. Its impact likely will be lasting and wide-ranging, and several key trends are expected to reshape consumer behaviour in the years to come, including:

  • Home cooking
  • Shopping basket bifurcation
  • Grocers go green and double down on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Healthy diet, healthy mind
  • Virtually identical experiences

The Conflicted Consumer; 2021 food consumer survey, the first of our article series on the future of the food in a post-pandemic world, Deloitte explores the tensions that are driving Canadian consumer behaviours and trends, along with the resulting effect on food and grocery retailers. The findings are based on a survey of more than 1,000 Canadian consumers across age groups, financial situations, and geographic regions.

Read the report to explore what the future of food looks like in Canada. For any questions, please reach out to Marty Weintraub directly.


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