Most Canadians believe they can help the environment through shopping choices

Over three-quarters of Canadians believe that eating better and buying smarter can help prevent illness and positively impact the environment, according to a new global survey of consumer purchasing trends. BrandSpark International, a marketing and branding research company based in Toronto, released the findings of its annual Global Shopper Study Wednesday, and found that Canadians […]

Over three-quarters of Canadians believe that eating better and buying smarter can help prevent illness and positively impact the environment, according to a new global survey of consumer purchasing trends.

BrandSpark International, a marketing and branding research company based in Toronto, released the findings of its annual Global Shopper Study Wednesday, and found that Canadians and Americans led the pack when it came to trying new products, staying informed about health and nutrition and environmental attitudes.

Among the findings, nearly 30% of Canadians and Americans were optimistic their families would be financially better off in six months—a view held by just 12% of respondents in France, 17% in the U.K., and 20% in Germany.

Globally, 81% of respondents believe that manufacturers “still have a long way to go” in reducing the amount of packaging used, while 76% of Canadians and Americans were optimistic that daily purchasing choices had a positive effect on the environment—much higher than 45% of German respondents, 53% in the U.K. and 59% in France.

And while nearly half of respondents globally felt that organic products were better for the environment, only 38% were willing to pay for products that were more environmentally friendly.

But results truly deviated with regards to food and nutrition concerns. For example, while all respondents generally agreed that food and nutrition can help prevent illness, the number of Canadians and Americans actively making lifestyle changes to be healthier was almost double that of French and German respondents.

In North America, respondents were most interested in foods that claimed no trans or saturated fats, no artificial sweeteners, flavours or preservatives. In France, consumers considered natural foods and foods free of genetic modification, colours and flavours most important. And in the U.K., shoppers ranked foods low in sugar, saturated fat and salt as their top three.

“Comparing the attitudes and habits of shoppers internationally reveals universal drivers of shopper behaviour,” said Robert Levy, president of BrandSpark International, in a statement

The results were collected via online survey from more than 250,000 participants located in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and 100,000 shoppers from Canada, according to a BrandSpark release.

The company also plans to release its first annual Canadian Ethnic Shopper Report for Chinese and South Asian citizens “soon.”

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