President's Choice

President's Choice

February 02, 2006 06:59 ET

President's Choice: Most Canadians Say They Have At Least One Food They Can't Live Without

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 2, 2006) -

Attention: Food, Lifestyle, Health, Nutrition, Family, Assignment Editors and Reporters

Second annual President's Choice®/Ipsos-Reid Healthy Eating survey shows more than 80 per cent of Canadians find it hard to eat properly at some point during the day

Ninety-four per cent of Canadians say they just can't live without a favourite food - and according to the second annual President's Choice (PC®)/Ipsos-Reid Healthy Eating survey, many suggest they're not eating as well as they could because of their must-have meals. In fact, 59 per cent of Canadians say they'd like to eat healthier but don't want to give up their favourite foods, with 40 per cent citing comfort foods like macaroni and cheese or pizza as real weaknesses.

"Canadians want food choices that help make it easier to eat better and live healthier without giving up the foods and flavours they love - and President's Choice has a proven track record of bringing innovative, great tasting products to Canadians," says Paul Uys, Vice President, Loblaw Brands Limited. "Last February, we introduced 80 new PC Blue Menu™ products to the market, and consumer response was overwhelming -- Canadians love the fact that these products are better-for-you, taste great, and are value-priced. With the launch of the PC Healthy Insider's Report, we now have over 200 PC Blue Menu and PC Mini Chefs™ products."

Two of the new PC Blue Menu products that specifically target the comfort food craving are PC Blue Menu Reduced Fat Macaroni and 3 Cheeses ($2.49/340g box, frozen) and PC Blue Menu Vegetable, Pesto and Feta Cheese Stone Baked 100% Whole Wheat Crust Pizza ($5.99/500g box of 2, frozen). Both keep the comfort coming, with the fat kept in check!

Breaking down the barriers to healthy eating

Canadians know that it's important to eat well - in fact, 82 per cent of Canadians say that finding the time to prepare and eat healthy meals is a priority, yet half (50 per cent) still find it difficult to make healthy food choices, even though they know it's important to do so.

There are a number of other perceived barriers to healthy habits other than favourite foods that may explain why eating well can be a challenge. Time of day certainly seems to be a factor, with more than 80 per cent of Canadians finding it hard to eat properly at some point:

- One in four (24 per cent) find it hardest to eat healthy snacks, with women finding this the hardest choice of the day (30 per cent vs. 17 per cent for men)

- Eating a healthy breakfast is difficult for 21 per cent of Canadians, and is the number one meal challenge for men (24 per cent vs. 18 per cent of women).

- Lunch is a struggle for 16 per cent, while 15 per cent still find dinner to be daunting.

- Seven per cent of Canadians always have a hard time making healthy choices!

"President's Choice offers a number of great choices that help make it easier to eat healthy whether it's breakfast on the go or a snack in the middle of the day," says Uys. New PC Blue Menu Muffins (available in three flavours -- $1.99/4) and PC Blue Menu Rice and Corn Crisps (available in three flavours -- $1.49/106g bag) are just two examples of products that can help keep Canadians on track when it comes to breakfast and snacking - cited as the two most difficult times to eat healthy.

Cost, taste, and choice

The perceived cost, taste and overwhelming number of choices when it comes to healthier food products also seem to be barriers for many Canadians. In fact, 60 per cent feel that the costs of eating healthfully have increased, while 54 per cent say their family would eat more healthfully if the nutritious options tasted better. Furthermore, six in ten (59 per cent) Canadians indicate that they can be confused by the many different things they're supposed to look out for when shopping for healthy foods.

President's Choice Blue Menu products tackle these concerns, too. In fact, all PC Blue Menu products are still priced competitively with national brands, and best of all, healthy eating never tasted so good! Plus, all PC Blue Menu products feature a bright blue menu on the front of each package that makes it simple to identify the products and their key nutritional information at a glance - something that should please the 82 per cent of Canadians who find it easier to make healthy choices when products clearly indicate their health benefits!

Recognizing responsible trends

Fads may come and go, but PC Blue Menu products are developed with leading health authorities to ensure they offer sound nutritional value. None of the PC Blue Menu products contain hydrogenated oils, and each offers at least one key nutritional benefit: lower in fat, lower in calories, lower in sodium, high in fibre, providing omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or offering soy protein.

Don't pass the salt!

"Canadians do recognize that specific foods are important in achieving a well-balanced diet," says Uys. "Interestingly enough, the Healthy Eating survey found that 68 per cent of Canadians think it's important to incorporate sodium-reduced foods into their diet, and 58 per cent of younger Canadians aged 18-34 agree with this statement. This is an age group that typically loves their salty foods, so the fact that they're aware that it's important to choose foods that offer responsible sodium levels is encouraging." Products like new PC Blue Menu Reduced Fat Crunchy Chicken Breasts offer up to 225 mg less sodium than leading national brands.

Fabulous fibre

About 40 per cent of Canadians would like to incorporate more fibre into their diet, but find it difficult. "There are so many great and easy ways to add fibre to your diet - yogurt with a high-fibre muffin and a handful of almonds is a perfect breakfast to take on the go," says Uys. PC Blue Menu now has new muffins in Wild Blueberry 10-Grain, Raisin Bran Flax and Cranberry Orange Soy that are a great source of fibre and low-fat, too.

The joy of soy

Speaking of soy, the Healthy Eating survey found that just 29 per cent of Canadians incorporate soy protein into their diet on a regular basis. While overall, soy is just one component of healthy eating towards lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk, evidence continues to be strong on the benefit of soy protein when compared against other alternative products such as milk, cheese, hot dogs, and burgers that Canadians often consume. Not only is soy a great source of vegetable protein and so low in saturated fat - but many soy foods can be a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a good source of calcium. Despite this, 27 per cent of Canadians feel they get enough protein from other sources; 25 per cent aren't familiar with soy protein; 20 per cent say they're not interested; 18 per cent don't like the taste; 13 per cent don't know how to incorporate it into their daily diet; and five per cent don't know how much they should eat.

Nutritionists recommend consuming 25 grams of soy protein each day - about eight grams per meal. "When you consider that just one glass of PC Soy Beverage contains about a third of your daily requirement, it's easy to swallow," says Uys. "Furthermore, great tasting new products like PC Blue Menu Whole Wheat Soy Loaf ($1.99/675g) and PC Blue Menu Fruit & Yogurt Chewy Bars (two flavours, 160g/box of 4) make it easy to incorporate soy protein into everyday meals."

Turn your favourite food Blue!

So many Canadians say they have favourite foods that they simply cannot live without - but how healthy are they? As part of President's Choice commitment to the continued development of innovative new products that meet the lifestyle needs of Canadians, PC is offering one lucky winner the chance to turn their ultimate must-have meal into a PC Blue Menu product! The winner will have the chance to be a PC product developer for a day, working in the famous PC Test Kitchen to help create a sinfully healthy PC Blue Menu version of their favourite food! For more information and to enter, visit www.presidentschoice.ca as of February 4th, 2006.

Get Healthy with the PC Healthy Insider's Report!

The PC Healthy Insider's Report launches across the country on February 4, 2006 (February 5 in Atlantic Canada), and features more than 50 new PC Blue Menu and PC Mini Chefs products, in addition to recipes and healthy eating tips! Pick up a copy wherever President's Choice products are sold or visit www.presidentschoice.ca for more information.

About the survey

The Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted on behalf of President's Choice from January 2 to January 5, 2006. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within plus/minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error is larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Please visit www.ipsos.ca for full tabular results.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor, and a leading provider of general merchandise products and services. The company is deeply committed to satisfying a broad range of consumer needs, and strives to continually expand the retail experience and build customer loyalty by providing convenience, variety and a range of fresh offerings to suit the lifestyles of busy, value-conscious Canadians. Loblaw Companies Limited is also one of the largest private sector employers in Canada, employing over 135,000 full-time and part-time employees.

Regional statistics and product photos are also available.

PLEASE NOTE: PRICES MAY VARY BY REGION.

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