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Every penny counts! Synovate research shows Canadian grocery shoppers favour discount coupons to offset rising grocery prices


TORONTO — Global market research firm Synovate today released its findings from a recent survey which found that 57% of Canadian grocery shoppers are using discount coupons more than before to offset rising grocery prices.

Apart from rising gas prices, food prices are increasing as well. Nine in ten Canadians who do all or part of the grocery shopping for their household think that grocery prices are somewhat or much higher than a year ago.

Consumers are becoming more cautious with their spending on food items since eating at home should be more cost effective compared to dining out. How else are Canadian grocery shoppers dealing with higher food costs besides using discount coupons?

- Almost half of the grocery shoppers surveyed in Canada will delay making a purchase until the item goes on sale. This is especially prevalent in Quebec (54%) and among French speakers (55%).
- 44% of grocery shoppers surveyed said they have switched to a cheaper brand. This is higher among 18-34 year olds (55%), households with kids under 18 (54%) as well as those whose annual household income is $25k or less (52%). Essentially, younger, lower income people and households with more mouths to feed are switching to cheaper brands in an effort to mitigate the impact of higher grocery prices.
- More than a third (36%) have switched to a cheaper grocery store. Consumers surveyed in Ontario (49%) as well as those living in households with kids under 18 are more likely to switch stores in an effort to reduce their grocery bill. Younger grocery shoppers have a greater likelihood to make the move to a different store (45% of 18-34 year olds), whereas only 1-in-4 of those aged 55+ say they have changed where they shop for groceries in the past year.
- A little over a quarter (27%) are buying more items in bulk; this is happening more in Ontario (31%) and the West (30%); and less in Quebec (17%).

In general, women and households with kids under 18 years old were more likely to have changed their shopping habits in response to rising grocery prices. For instance 62% of female grocery shoppers nationally say they use coupons more than before, compared with 51% of males.

Adrian Murphy, Vice President of Syndicated Research North America for Synovate said, “Overall, food prices seem to be increasing faster or more frequently than before. Even if you’re not a price cautious person by nature, you may become one now. Canadians are reprioritizing their spending habits.”

The survey also reveals that 17% of grocery shoppers say that they have changed their eating habits to save money. This was somewhat higher among those aged 18-34 and those living in households with kids under 18 (both 21%).

About the survey

This survey was conducted from May 5 to 9, 2011 with 1,022 Canadians adults (aged 18+) through Synovate’s twice weekly online omnibus survey, eNation Canada. Respondents for this survey were selected via a systematic random sample from among those who have agreed to participate in Synovate Panel surveys. The Synovate online panel is composed of over 130,000 Canadian adults who have been recruited to regularly participate in Synovate’s online surveys. Data were projected to represent the entire Canadian adult population based on census data from Statistics Canada, using various weighting factors including income, region and population density.

The information contained above conforms to the principles of survey disclosure and best practices for the market research industry. The full questionnaire is available on request.

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates insights to help clients drive competitive brand, product and customer experience strategies. A truly borderless company with offices in over 60 countries, our approach combines best in class global research capabilities with personalised service, local knowledge and the flexibility to create teams and processes that meet clients’ specific requirements. At Synovate, our clients sit at the top of our organisational chart, driving us to continually develop more innovative research solutions that predict actual business outcomes. For more information, visit

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