NPD Group

NPD Group

March 02, 2005 08:00 ET

The NPD Group Canada: Are Canadians More Health Conscious Than Americans



MARCH 2, 2005 - 08:00 ET

The NPD Group Canada: Are Canadians More Health
Conscious Than Americans

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 2, 2005) -

Largest report on Canadian eating trends demonstrates differences in
eating patterns

What do you reach for at snack time? If you are Canadian, the most
common answer is fresh fruit, while our American neighbours are more
likely to grab a chocolate bar. This is just one of the many findings
revealed in the most comprehensive report available on Canadian eating
patterns. The NPD Group, a market research firm, today released Eating
Patterns in Canada 2004 (EPIC), the definitive source on Canadians'
eating habits.

EPIC analyzes in-home and away-from-home consumption and breaks out what
Canadians eat and drink by meal (breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner).
It also draws upon U.S. comparisons in areas such as attitudes and
dieting trends.

"EPIC tracks Canadians' eating habits all year long with three
continuous diary studies, making it the most comprehensive eating trends
study in Canada," says Marion Chan, Director, Food and Beverage, NPD
Group Canada.

One of the many trends examined in EPIC 2004 is the difference in
consumption behaviours between Canadians and Americans.

Although obesity is alarming in both countries, the incidence of dieting
in the U.S. is much higher than in Canada. Canadians are relying less on
diets and are putting more emphasis on overall nutrition than on
specific ingredients or food attributes. As part of the overall emphasis
on nutrition, Canadians are more concerned than Americans about choosing
healthy snacks. This is apparent with the fastest growing snack food in
Canada being fresh fruit (40 per cent), whereas in the U.S. it is
chocolate candy (35 per cent). In the U.S. chocolate is among the
fastest growing snack categories, and in Canada it is among the fastest
declining. That said, fresh fruit is a growing snack food in the U.S.
(In 2004, 28 per cent of Americans ate fresh fruit for a snack at least
once a week, compared to 25 per cent in 2002.)

In the U.S., soft drinks and iced tea are much more common beverage
choices at in-home lunches than in Canada. The number one lunch beverage
in the U.S. is carbonated soft drinks (30 per cent), whereas in Canada
it is milk (29 per cent). Milk, however, is starting to lose ground as
the top in-home beverage in Canada, being replaced by juice, coffee and
carbonated soft drinks.

More households in the U.S. than Canada feel that the most important
things about food are the look, smell and taste (45 per cent of
American, versus 34 per cent of Canadians). Canadians are asking for a
balance of nutrition and convenience in their foods; it is no longer
enough to eat food that just tastes and smells good. (21 per cent of
Canadians and 15 per cent of Americans disagree that how food tastes is
more important than the nutritional value).

One similar trend in Canada and the U.S. is that both groups feel
strongly against trans fats. "The trend against trans fats sends a clear
message to all manufacturers and operators that they need to be more
proactive in addressing these concerns," says Marion Chan.

About EPIC

Eating Patterns in Canada 2004 is the most definitive source on
Canadians' eating and drinking habits.

Food manufacturers use EPIC to help understand the long-term trends and
insights of the food industry, allowing them to position their companies
proactively and advise their consumers on new product ideas and
manufacturing plans. Foodservice organizations use EPIC to help meet the
latest consumer demands when looking to attract new audiences, increase
revenue or even to choose the hottest menu items.

Further information about EPIC 2004 is available at

About The NPD Group, Inc.

Since 1967 The NPD Group has provided reliable and comprehensive sales
and marketing information for a wide range of industries. Today more
than 1,300 manufacturers and retailers rely on NPD to help them better
understand their customers, product categories, distribution channels
and competition.


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