Canadians preparing for more sustainable, financially conscious holiday season: Survey

Consumers plan to scale back celebratory meals this year, according to the latest EY Future Consumer Index Survey

Many Canadians plan to cut down on consumption this holiday season by purchasing less food and alcohol, according to a new study. 

Ernst & Young’s (EY) latest Future Consumer Index Survey said Canadians are trying to be more sustainable and financially cautious this year, with over a quarter scaling back celebratory meals to reduce waste. 

Worries around the cost of living and climate crisis are deepening, leaving consumers concerned about the country's economy (93%) and their personal finances (84%).

"Although consumers feel the threat of COVID-19 is fading, they are concerned about the rising cost of living which is affecting how they allocate disposable income" Monica Chadha, EY Canada retail leader, said in a statement. "In the face of price increases Canadians are not only trading down to cheaper private label alternatives – they're also choosing to purchase less all together."

Overall, Canadians are optimistic about the future with 74% looking forward to getting "back to normal" and 48% eager to catch up on experiences they missed out on due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

But retailers should expect consumers to be more frugal this year. Almost half of respondents are choosing not to increase their spending on their families and over a quarter plan to spend less compared to last year. 

Consumers are also looking for cost-effective ways to be sustainable, whether buying fewer physical goods (42%) or shopping locally (30%) and choosing gifts with less packaging (40%).

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