CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR & SENTIMENT STUDY

Know More About Canadian Consumers as They Navigate New Normals

Looking Ahead: Monthly Canadian Consumer Sentiment Survey

Numerator is conducting a monthly consumer sentiment study to help brands better understand when and how consumers plan to resume their normal lives. Each month, Numerator is surveying Canadian consumers to learn more about how they’re feeling, what they’re comfortable doing, and when they expect to return to normal behaviours and activities.

About the Survey

Beginning in February of 2021, Numerator’s Canadian consumer sentiment survey is fielded to roughly 1,000 consumers on a monthly basis. All consumers are active members of Numerator’s Canadian OmniPanel.

Canadian Consumer Concern Regarding COVID-19

  • Concern over COVID-19 has decreased slightly since last month. 2 in 5 consumers say they are highly concerned about COVID, down 6% from last month but tracking with March figures.
  • Fear of lockdown remains persistent for some; over 1 in 3 are still concerned about potential lockdown measures and gathering restrictions, constant with the past three months.

COVID-19 Impact on Canadian Consumer Behaviour & Comfort Levels

  • Comfort levels increased slightly for almost all behaviours this month. Behaviours with the most significant increases include shopping inside a store with no masks, gathering with friends and family with no masks, and traveling for leisure.
  • While 3 in 5 consumers still prefer wearing a mask in public, this figure is down significantly from 72% in February. Less than half still prefer to shop at retailers where masks are required (47%) and think proof of vaccination should be required for all public indoor spaces (46%). These numbers are also down from prior months.

Canadian Consumer Expectations for Post-COVID Normals

  • Optimism about a return to normal held relatively steady from April to May, with 1 in 4 (28%) feeling highly optimistic (8/10+), continuing to trend away from the low of 19% at the start of the year.
  • Despite the increased optimism, consumers have continued looking down the road when it comes to timing expectations for a return to normal. Only 2 in 3 are expecting a return to normal by sometime in 2022, well below March numbers (82%). 1 in 3 don’t expect normalcy until 2023 (24%) or never at all (9%).
  • A majority of Canadians are not changing their timing optimism, with 60% holding firm on their prior expectations.

Economic Concerns Faced by Canadian Consumers

  • Concern over the economy has grown for Canadians. Almost 2 in 3 rate their level of concern at 8/10 or higher (64%), up from April (59%). This figure is still below the high of 69% in March.
  • Lingering consumer concern is in large part due to fear of increased prices. As inflation persists, rising prices on essential goods & services is the primary economic concern, followed by rising prices on other (non-essential) goods and services. Economic recession, product/supply shortages, and job security are also significant concerns for many Canadians.

COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Behaviour

For past insights into Canadian consumer behaviour and sentiment as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our survey insights from March 2020 through January 2021.

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