Copper Branch

Part
01
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Part
01

Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurants

Three examples of vegan or vegetarian quick service restaurants (QSR) in Canada are Globally Local, Apiecalypse Now!, and Vegwood. For the purposes of this research, QSR is defined as a fast-food establishment that provides takeout and limited table seating. All restaurants included are exclusively vegan or vegetarian.

Globally Local

  • Globally Local is a vegan fast-food franchise with three locations in Toronto and London, Ontario.
  • It features an all-day breakfast and menu items like burgers, faux-chicken, tacos, salads, and wraps. Side options include french fries, onion rings, and mac 'n cheese. Its dessert menu offers cookies, ice cream, and nut bars.
  • Globally Local provides a 24-hour drive-thru and delivery service through Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes.
  • It markets itself as serving "iconic fast food made with plants." The franchise also showcases notable media coverage on its website. It has been featured in publications like VegNews, One Green Planet, and CBC.
  • Its Facebook page has 22,537 followers. Globally Local uses the platform to promote contests, recent media coverage, and customer praise. There is no unique advertising for vegan, vegetarian, or healthy eaters specifically. Rather, Globally Local presents itself as no different from other popular fast-food chains aside from its ingredients and often uses humor to this end.
  • The franchise also has an Instagram page with 17,400 followers. It uses the platform to highlight menu items, press mentions, its food truck, and interactions with its patrons. Much like with its Facebook page, Globally Local's Instagram account appears to use humor and imagery to present itself as a trendy fast-food restaurant that uses plant-based ingredients but is more than capable of competing with non-vegan chains.

Apiecalypse Now!

  • Apiecalypse Now! is a vegan pizza parlor and bakery located in Toronto, Canada that first opened in 2010.
  • Its menu features specialty pizzas and salads, as well as side options like poutine, onion rings, tofu nuggets, and nachos. The bakery won Now Magazine's 2014 award for Best Bakery in Toronto.
  • Apiecalypse Now! provides delivery service through Door Dash.
  • It markets itself as "a little punk on the outside" but dedicated to "making the best possible food for the city and the community." Apiecalypse Now! also loves animals, and its website notes the restaurant's partnerships with "All Creatures Rescue, Wildlife Defense League, the Bunny Alliance, and Toronto ADL." It frequently donates to "Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, Sea Shepherd Australia, [and] Marineland Animal Defense."
  • Apiecalypse Now! has an Instagram page with 18,100 followers where it promotes coupons, specials, menu items, and its annual participation in VegFest, a vegan food festival. It also incorporates popular adult cartoons like the Simpsons into its posts. It does not market to vegans, vegetarians, and healthy eaters any differently than it does to the mainstream public.
  • The restaurant is less active on other social media platforms. It has a Twitter page with 826 followers and a Vimeo account with 15 followers. Apiecalypse Now! has an unofficial Facebook page, but there has been no activity since 2016.

Vegwood

  • Vegwood is a vegan QSR located in Toronto, Canada similar to Panera Bread in terms of fast-food restaurants.
  • It has a small menu that features burgers, tofu ribs, and faux-chicken sandwiches.
  • Vegan Village is the parent company of Vegwood and a vegan candy shop called Sweets. The company promotes a loyalty program on Vegwood's website where patrons receive a free gift after their seventh visit to either business. This program is not directly targeted at vegans per se, but the vegan community might be more likely to participate in it than the general public.
  • The restaurant's main advertising platform is its website. Vegwood's tagline is "Vegan Food That Doesn't Taste Vegan!" It markets itself as providing affordable vegan meal choices in a casual environment with "a laid-back vibe" and highlights its commitment to "environmental consciousness."
  • Its social media marketing efforts are modest. Vegwood has an Instagram page with 348 followers and a Facebook page with 114 followers. Both platforms are used to promote business hours, holiday specials, and menu items.
Part
02
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Part
02

Vegan / Vegetarianism

Three common factors that motivate people to start eating a vegan or vegetarian diet are personal health, concern over animal welfare/cruelty, and environmental impact.

Personal Health

  • Many Canadians are choosing to be vegan or starting a vegetarian diet for reasons related to personal health.
  • Health is becoming a key factor for those starting a vegan or vegetarian diet, with many desiring to do what is beneficial to their bodies, while being healthy is turning into a lifestyle.
  • The Vegan Society states that going vegan allows one to get nutrients from plant foods. It cites research from the British Dietetic Association as well as the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that links vegans to lower rates of cancer, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • The Vegan Society claims that going vegan or starting a vegetarian diet allows one to get nutrients from plant foods, which offers health-promoting options such as seeds, whole grains, fruits, and nuts that have beneficial fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  • A survey by Dalhousie University showed that over 12% of people in Canada suffer from diabetes and less than 12% have allergies that have made them to become vegan or vegetarian.
  • Additionally, 20% of Canadian households containing at least two kids have to evaluate for allergens, thus causing them to go vegan or vegetarian.
  • Another survey by Vegan Option Canada indicated that 512 respondents reported that improving their health motivated them to start eating a vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • In 2019, Health Canada issued a significant alteration to Canada’s Food Guide by recommending that Canadians indulge in a more plant-based diet for health reasons, such as consuming more vegetables and fruits.

Concern Over Animal Welfare/Cruelty

  • The Vegan Society revealed that thwarting the exploitation of animals is a significant factor in motivating people to becoming a vegan or vegetarian.
  • A survey by Dalhousie University unearthed concerns over animal welfare/cruelty and has motivated many Canadians to begin a vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • Several individuals "believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom" and bypassing animal products is a means of combating animal cruelty/exploitation everywhere, as it exhibits actual empathy towards animals.
  • A study from Insights West concerning diet and food trends throughout Canada indicated that the volume of citizens thinking about a more plant-based diet cite unease over animal cruelty as a motivation for becoming a vegan or vegetarian, with 7% of Canadians following a primarily plant-based diet.
  • About 512 respondents to the Vegan Option Canada survey mentioned "the inner peace that comes with knowing that they are living in alignment with their values and not harming animals."
  • The survey also showed how not contributing to animal suffering, enslavement, murder, torture, and violence against animals moved people to start eating vegan or vegetarian diet, as it afforded them emotional peace.
  • According to the University of Guelph Food Focus, the utilization of antibiotics in the production of meat is encouraging Canadians to initiate a vegan or vegetarian diet.

The Environmental Impact

  • The Vegan Society claims that an action that people can perform to reduce their carbon footprint is by becoming a vegan or vegetarian.
  • The group says that the grain feed needed for the production of meat greatly contributes to habitat destruction, deforestation, and species extinction.
  • Also, the group states that utilizing land to generate grain feed for meat production contributes to creating malnutrition globally by causing impoverished regions to farm crops meant for animal feed as opposed to food for human consumption.
  • Individuals are also motivated towards starting a vegan or a vegetarian diet as it will help them respect life as well as the environment.
  • According to Professor Emily Kennedy (University of British Columbia), Canadians are opting to conduct ethical consumption judgments "most closely related to a desire to reduce their impact on the environment."

Research Strategy:

To identify the most common factors that motivate people to start eating a vegan or vegetarian diet in Canada, we began our research by searching through relevant surveys, studies, and research. We were able to locate a surveys by the Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph Food Focus, and Vegan Option Canada, along with a study done from the New Insights West, that contained useful data.

We selected three factors that were the most consistently mentioned across the board by multiple sources.
Part
03
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Part
03

Healthy Dining in Canada

Healthy dining/take out trends in Canada, including those related to quick-service restaurants (QSRs), are the proliferation of vegan and vegetarian main-dish options and the use of cauliflower-based alternatives. Full details about each trend are presented below.

TREND #1: Vegan & Vegetarian Entree Options

  • Fast food and casual dining restaurants like McDonald’s and Pizza Pizza are beginning to cater to the 10% of Canadian diners who identify themselves as vegan or vegetarian, as well as the increasing number of Canadian consumers that desire to have healthier eating options available to them. They are catering to these crowds by offering vegan and vegetarian entree options or alternatives to their popular menus.
  • Some predict that the flexitarian trend is driving results seen in Canadian dining out establishments where these restaurants are increasing and expanding their vegan and vegetarian main options. Plant-based or healthier options are no longer relegated to the sides menu (e.g., fries, side salads). Instead, chains are offering main entrees like burgers and pizzas.
  • Other experts note that the more health-focused millennials and Generation Zers are what's driving the trend; still, others note that beef prices and a desire for fair animal treatment also contribute. “The Dalhousie report showed that among the Canadians who identified as vegetarians and vegans, more than half were under the age of 35.” This group (millennials) tends to be driven by concerns regarding their health and beauty.
  • There are several restaurants that are at the forefront of the trend to offer more vegan and vegetarian options; they include A&W, Carl’s Jr., Pizza Pizza, Harvey’s, Quesada, and Red Robin. “The more upscale B.C.-based chain Earls Restaurants Ltd. restaurants recently unveiled a vegan menu section at several of its U.S. and Canadian locations and Aroma Espresso Bar Canada revealed its so-called power burger, a vegan patty that it says ‘tastes like a traditional hamburger.’”
  • Some experts predict that “for Carl's Jr., however, tackling the flexitarian trend might be just the ticket it needs to overcome customer deficits, which persist despite its switch from racy ads to more food-focused advertising.” One report found that only 11% of consumers who were aware of the Carl’s Jr. brand would choose it when dining out for fast food; stakeholders are hoping its partnership with Beyond Meat will bring those numbers up.
  • Another trend observed within the vegan/vegetarian options is that consumers are willing to pay more for these healthier options. Carl’s Jr. is also taking advantage of this trend since its plant-based Famous Star burger is almost $4 more expensive than its meat-based counterpart.

TREND #2: Cauliflower Alternatives

  • In addition to the healthier main-dash options now available at Canadian QSRs, there is a noted increase in the use of cauliflower in many popular dishes which is used to appeal to health-conscious consumers and those who are just wanting different tastes.
  • Canadians are placing an emphasis on eliminating processed and refined foods. One food service expert believed this emphasis would increase the demand for healthy eating alternatives and that dishes with more plant-based substitutions would make clean eating easier.
  • In fact, since 2017, cauliflower-based appetizers and sides have grown by 21%. Another driver of the cauliflower movement is that 27% of people (32% of Generation Zers) say they’d purchase healthful snacks more often if there were more unique flavors. Additionally, grocery stores saw a 71% increase in cauliflower products.
  • This trend is likely also bolstered by the fact that 63% of Canadians agree that food choices impact their emotional health (84% agree it impacts their physical health).
  • But the demand is not just for appetizers and sides, cauliflower is used in several eating establishments in Canada as an alternative for more calorie-dense or meat-based products. An example of this is the sale of Buffalo Cauliflower Wings at Canada’s Montana’s BBQ & Bars. Other establishments are also getting in on cauliflower wing-alternatives like Romer’s Boneless Red Hot Cauliflower Wings.
  • Additional restaurants are also diving into the cauliflower trend by using it in pizza crust. For instance, Virtuous Pizza, a 100% plant-based eating establishment, is a rapidly growing chain with already four locations in Vancouver and Portland. Pizza 73 is also offering a cauliflower-based crust.
  • Likewise, Canadian provinces, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, saw searches for cauliflower pizza increase by 120%, 150%, and 100%, respectively, in 2018.
Part
04
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Part
04

Healthy Eater: Demographics

The typical healthy eater in Canada is a white female, ages 65-74 years old, with above-average income, a university qualification, and who lives in British Columbia.

AGE

  • More than 34% of ladies who consider themselves healthy eaters are 65-74 years old.

SEX

  • According to the Canada grocer report, Canadian women are the main healthy eaters. About 72% of men in the country try to eat healthy as opposed to 80% of women.

Income

  • No publicly available data provided information on the income level of healthy eaters in Canada. However, we have been able to provide helpful insights on the income level of plant-based eaters as its also a form of healthy eating.
  • Plant-based eaters in Canada earn an annual income of over $150,000 or less than $80,000 a year.
  • According to research, "in households with an income less than $50,000, pollsters found more than half (55 per cent) have chosen less healthy options or cut back on meat (59 per cent)."

Race

  • No publicly available data provided information on the race of healthy eaters in Canada. However, since the five largest ethnic groups in Canada are Canadian, English, Scottish, French, and Irish, we assumed that most healthy eaters in Canada are white, since these are primarily white ethnicities.

Location

  • The largest number of healthy eaters in Canada are from British Columbia, the province has a self-health indicator of 97.85%.

Education

  • Canadians with a university qualification are more likely to be healthy eaters. According to report from Statista, about 49% of Canadians with a university qualification try to eat healthy.

Research Strategy

We commenced our research by analyzing surveys and news reports regarding healthy eating in Canada. This included reporting by Canadian grocer, CTV News, ipolitics and more. While this allowed us to find some requested data, we were unable to find information on the income level, race or number of children for the typical healthy eater. The most recent information on the sex of healthy eaters in Canada was from 2017.

Next, we reviewed statistical sites such as Statista and Statistics Canada, as these sites usually provide a great deal of demographic data. However, while we did find data on the educational level of healthy eaters, the data on race and children was not available. The data on statista was behind a paywall but we were able to retrieve some data from the highlights.

Next, The team then decided to use the province in Canada with the largest number of healthy eaters as a proxy for finding the race. We searched for polls, articles and reports on healthy eaters race in British Columbia. Unfortunately, we were able to find data about the population growth and demographic profile of the province but nothing relating the race of healthy eaters.

Our multiple research strategies did not uncover any data on whether the typical healthy eater in Canada has children so this has been excluded.

Part
05
of nine
Part
05

Healthy Eater: Psychographics

Healthy eaters in Canada eat healthily to maintain a longer life span. They actively participate in different activities/actions to be more healthy. They hold core values about eating healthy, which guides their choices regarding consumption.

Habits

  • In 2019, more people in Canada focused on healthy eating habits as it is essential for improving overall health. There has been an increased level of water consumption by healthy eaters in Canada. About 35% of them have increased their water consumption.
  • Notably, up to 32% of Canadian citizens partake in some sort of dietary action to improve their health, with around 7.1% and 2.3% of them following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
  • The number of individuals consuming foods such as chia seeds, which are proven to be more healthy than processed foods, has risen. Eating less genetically modified food helps one to become healthier.
  • More people are resorting to healthier options such as superfoods and holistic health trends. They are also reducing their meat consumption. Many Canadians eat foods such as kale and broccoli to improve their health and diet.

Hobbies

  • A new era brought about new changes in people's lifestyle and the things they do for pleasure. Hobbies for healthy individuals may include cooking. Healthy eaters like to participate in the preparation of the food that they eat.
  • Healthy eaters are also avid shoppers, as they usually purchase the items that they eat. They shop for goods that serve as the best choice for their diet.
  • They also surf the internet to find better ways to consume healthy food. This hobby allows them to be more informed about their diet and new types of cuisines to prepare.
  • Healthy eaters tend to read food guides. For example, many individuals were aware and utilized food guides to improve their health and eating habits, according to a 2018 study.

Spending

  • Many healthy eaters find that the prices for some food items are too high. More than 52% of them stated that they were unable to afford such prices, even though the food was the healthier choice.
  • Healthy eaters spend less on meat, or they do not buy meat at all. The lack of demand for meat has resulted in a decrease in meat prices and an increase in the prices for fruits and vegetables.
  • With the increase in prices for fruits and vegetables, healthy eaters eat out less and cook at home. They spend less money, especially low income earners.
  • Healthy eaters spend less by abiding by their budget. They purchase what they need and what is affordable to them.

Values


Research Strategy:

To obtain information to develop a psychographic profile of healthy eaters in Canada, we searched for Canada's food guide, which provided details on the background of Canada’s dietary problems and other health issues they faced.

A blog written by Mozart Don Givanni provided useful information about the eating habits of Canadians. He also presented the hobbies of healthy eaters in Canada. He stated that there was a shift in the consumption of meat to a higher consumption of vegetables. Similarly, Emma Bedford provided statistics on the trends of the eating habits of Canadians.

Also, health seekers stated that healthy eaters value a balanced diet, eating less processed food, etc.

Part
06
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Part
06

Flexitarian: Demographics

Baby boomers constitute the largest segment (42%) of flexitarians in Canada.

AGE

  • About 42% of flexitarians in Canada are baby boomers, and constitute the largest segment of the flexitarians in Canada.
  • People in Canada aged between 54 years and 76 years, i.e., baby boomers (33%) are reducing or eliminating meat from their diet, compared to those aged 39-53 years (29%), 24-38 years (23%), 0-23 years (10%), and 76+ years (4%).
  • About 6.4 million Canadians who actively restrict their animal protein consumption are aged 38 years or younger.

LOCATION

  • By regions in Canada, Ontario (46%) constitutes the highest population of people reducing or eliminating meat from their diet compared to British Columbia (15%), Quebec (15%), Prairies (13%), and Atlantic Canada (9%).

SEX

  • Flexitarians cite their health as their primary reason for reducing their animal-based product consumption.
  • In Canada, more women agree that they can replace meat in their diet (50%) compared to 40% of men.
  • Also, more women chose health benefits as an important factor influencing their decision to reduce their meat intake compared to men. However, health benefit was an essential factor for both genders.

CHILDREN

  • Over 50% of households with two children chose health benefits as an important factor influencing their decision to reduce their meat intake, compared to households with one child (above 40%), and homes with three children/no child (less than 40%)

INCOME LEVEL

  • In Canada, households earning less than $34,999 (8%) are willing to reduce their meat intake over six months compared to households earning $35,000-$49,999 (7%), $50,000-$74,999 (6%), $75,000-$99,999 (14%), $100,000-$149,999 (12%), and $150,000+ (5%).
  • This data indicates that consumers earning between $75,000 and $99,999 are most likely to reduce their meat consumption, and those earning $150,000+ are least likely to.

LEVEL OF EDUCATION

  • People with a graduate degree were the most willing to reduce their meat consumption over six months (14%) compared to those with a university degree (11%), college diploma (8%) registered apprenticeship/trade diploma (3%), high school diploma (7%), and some high school education (7%).

RESEARCH STRATEGY

There was minimal available information regarding the demographics of flexitarians in Canada, possibly because this category of people still represents a relatively small percentage of the world's population (14%), or because 82% of North Americans are omnivorous consumers. As such, not many studies might have been conducted, not to mention for specific countries. However, we were unable to find any studies that provided a demographic profile for flexitarians in Canada.

We began our search by looking for such studies and surveys that could provide the demographics of the flexitarians in Canada from research and consulting firms such as Deloitte, Ipsos. We hoped to obtain some, if not all, of the required demographics for flexitarians from these sites as they usually provide such data for the broad range of countries in which they are located. However, we could not find any conducted studies or surveys for flexitarians in Canada. Ipsos, however, conducted a study on diets globally. The report provided data points for flexitarians, but they were not tailored to Canada.

Next, we decided to search for each data point separately from news and media reports, as well as food/diet-related sites. The websites we checked include but are not limited to Plant Based News, Strategy, Restobiz, Pique Newsmagazine, and CBC News, among others. We hoped to find details such as the gender variants of flexitarians, or locations in which they are most populated in Canada. We also hoped to find links to studies of this category in the region. However, the reports we found only provided details such as the rise of flexitarians in Canada and the primary reason for the development.

Further, we looked for sites that could provide statistical data such as the age and income demographic breakdown of flexitarian from sites such as Statista. We found a similar report, but it was for the US. There was no such available data for Canada.

After discovering from the earlier strategy that health was the primary reason for the rise in the flexitarian category, we decided to research further to see if there were any such surveys or studies that cited health as a reason for diet change. We hoped such data would help to narrow the field for the typical flexitarian demographic in Canada since no studies have been conducted for that specific category. We found a 2018 study by Dalhousie University, which provided some meaningful insights which we have provided as part of our findings above. However, we were unable to find any data specific to the flexitarian segment that orders quick service restaurant food online. We also did not find any information specific to race.
Part
07
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Part
07

Flexitarian: Psychographics

Flexitarians in Canada tend to be female baby boomers in the middle-class. The psychographics of this cohort reveals that they are conscious spenders who value social ethics and work. They are also regular users of the internet who enjoy taking care of their home.

Demographic Profile of Flexitarians in Canada

Flexitarians in Canada are most likely to fit the following demographic profile, based on the previous research:
  • Baby boomers.
  • Female.
  • Have incomes in the $75,000-%150,000 range (i.e. middle class).
This demographic profile has therefore been used as the basis for the following research on the psychographics of flexitarians in Canada.

Habits

  • Flexitarian consumers in North America think dietary balance is important.
  • Women in Canada often check their email and use social media (even more so than men).
  • A survey of Canadian seniors in the baby boomer range found that the women of this cohort often engage in household work on a typical day (91%), often spending an average of 3.5 hours a day on these types of tasks.
  • Baby boomers in Canada spend about 12.7 hours per week using the internet.
  • Baby boomers in Canada have good financial habits as 67% say they have a budget, and 61% say they are satisfied with their financial situation.
  • Dr. Doug Norris, chief demographer of Environic Analytics says that Canadian baby boomers are active, healthy, and curious.
  • Recent surveys have shown that there has been a "notable rise in cannabis use among those 50 and older."

Hobbies

  • A survey of Canadians found that the most common hobbies involve music (58%), food (54%), reading and writing (48%), travel (46%), pets (40%), health and fitness (38%), technology (35%), video games (35%), arts and crafts (33%), socializing (32%), watching sports (31%), gardening (28%), photography (23%), and dancing (14%).
  • Three-quarters of baby boomer women in Canada report that they spend around 3.5 hours each day exercising, using technology, and socializing. Meanwhile, 90% say they watch TV or read.
  • When asked where they get their political news, Woman in Canada responded saying that they get their news from the TV (57%), digital media (53%), CBC (51%), Facebook (42%), Newspapers (40%), Twitter (26%), and Podcasts (18%).
  • Many Canadian baby boomers are using the internet to research their hobbies, which include DIY renovation (23%), gardening (14%), decorating (17%), emailing (64%), and traveling (34%).
  • When asked what they plan to do during their retirement, Canadian baby boomers' most popular responses were travel, home renovation, part-time working, volunteering, and sports/exercise. Less than 8% said they would engage in family caretaking, language courses, art courses, self-indulgence, and leisure activities,

Spending Habits

  • Among flexitarians in North America, spend around $643 on meat each year.
  • Women in Canada tend to be the primary shoppers of their households. According to survey results published by Nielsen, 77% of Canadian women are willing to receive coupons via social media, while 76% are willing to participate in surveys, 66% are willing to join a loyalty program, and 60% make online purchases.
  • Among Canadians overall, 80% identify as part of the middle-class and 48% said they wouldn't be able to make ends meet if their paycheck was late by one week.
  • Wolfgang Lehmann, chair of sociology at Western University suggests that middle-class Canadians tend to own a home and a car. He also adds that the lifestyle of a middle-class Canadian depends largely on the cost of living in their geographic area.
  • In Canada, household spending tends to be largely allocated to shelter and transportation.
  • Canadian baby boomers are facing the economic realities of retirement and therefore many are diminishing their levels of consumption (54%). Their financial situation is very important for this cohort (86%).

Values

  • Flexitarians in North America may be influenced by social causes related to meat consumption, such as environmental concerns. Animal welfare and cost savings are other reasons suggested for why many Canadians are shifting towards a flexitarian diet.
  • Many flexitarians are older individuals who are influenced by younger members of their family and friends who are vegan or vegetarian.
  • 92% of Canadian women surveyed said they are registered to vote. Additionally, 32% report themselves to be liberal, and 20% report themselves to be conservative. When asked if they were more likely to vote for a feminist political candidate, 60% of Canadian women surveyed said yes.
  • When asked what they think the most pressing political issues are currently, Canadian women responded by ranking cost of living (28%), climate (18%), economy and jobs (17%), and healthcare (11%).
  • 75% of Canadian women said they would not vote for a political candidate who expressed anti-immigrant, xenophobic, or racist views.
  • Wolfgang Lehmann, chair of sociology at Western University suggests that middle-class Canadians tend to be polite people who tend not to have radical views, however, they may differ among themselves when it comes to their views on immigration and taxation.
  • According to Marc Garneau, Canada's Transport Minister, middle-class Canadians tend to value hard work, getting ahead, and providing a better future for their children.
  • Canadians over the age of 55 in Canada are reported to be quite happy, especially those in the higher income levels, however, they do not consider money as a key source of happiness. Instead, a sense of freedom and "belief that they were living the life they had imagined for themselves" were the highest reported reasons for happiness among this cohort. Additionally, recognition among peers and family members as well as good health were noted as key factors related to happiness.
  • The values of Canadian baby boomers are focused around preserving their social standing and a decreasing desire for consumption.
  • Sylvian Charlebois, a professor at Dalhousie University states that Canadian baby boomers like to follow the status quo.
Part
08
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Part
08

Vegan / Vegetarians: Demographics

Based on our research, the "typical" vegetarian/vegan in Canada is a white female, under the age of 35, with above average income, a university degree, and who lives in British Columbia.

Age

  • More than 50% of people in Canada who consider themselves vegetarian or vegan are under the age of 35.

Sex

Income

Race

  • There was no publicly available data that provided information on the typical race of vegetarians in Canada. However, we did find data on vegetarians in the United States that we were able to use as a proxy.
  • The data suggested that the race of vegetarians essentially mimicked the race breakdown of the country. Therefore, since the five largest ethnic groups in Canada are Canadian, English, Scottish, French, and Irish, we assumed that most vegetarians/vegans in Canada are white, since these are primarily white ethnicities.

Location

  • The largest number of vegetarians in Canada are from British Columbia, with 8.5% of them reporting they were vegetarian and 4% vegan. This compared to the national numbers of 7.1% and 2.3%, respectively.

Education

  • Canadians with a university degree are three times as likely to be vegetarian than those with a high school degree only.

Research Strategy

We began our research by examining surveys and news reports from the last two years on the topic of vegetarians/vegans. This included reporting by Mercy for Animals, CTV News, and The Georgia Straight. While this allowed us to find much of the requested data, we were unable to find information on the race or number of children for the typical vegetarian.

We continued our search on statistical sites such as Statista and Statistics Canada, as these sites usually provide a great deal of demographic data. However, while we did find data on the number of vegetarians by region and generation, the data on race and children was not available.

Next, we expanded our search to North America to see if the data was available for the larger region. This allowed us to find data on U.S. vegetarians, but there was no additional data found on Canadians or North Americans overall. Therefore, we used the race data on the U.S. as a proxy for Canada. The data provided above on race further explains where the data came from.

Our multiple research strategies did not uncover any data on whether the typical vegetarian in Canada has children so this has been excluded.
Part
09
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Part
09

Vegan / Vegetarians: Psychographics

Sixty-three percent of vegans and vegetarians in Canada are under the age of 38, which means they are mostly millennials and Gen Zers. This group of people is more likely to be city dwellers, have a higher food IQ, go online to make more informed decisions on their food and beverage purchases, and care about their health. Below are more details about the psychographic profile of vegans and vegetarians in Canada.

Lifestyle and Habits

  • Vegans in Canada are more likely living in cities than in small towns.
  • Sylvain Charlebois, a Dalhousie University professor of food distribution and policy, says that vegans and vegetarians in Canada "will be raising their children the way they are eating themselves," which will pave the way of these plant-based groups playing a bigger role in society.
  • In wanting to keep a healthy level of protein consumption, vegetable proteins such as chickpeas and lentils are often consumed by these groups of people.
  • The age group 26 to 35 are known for their preference for something convenient, easy, and fast, and they are more likely to opt for ready-to-eat meal solutions, heat-and-eat, or partially homemade. They also want strong, bold flavors as evident by their increased consumption of ethnic foods. They account for 44 percent of the total Mexican food servings in Canada.
  • Millennial and Gen Z consumers in Canada are looking to food not only to support their physical well-being but also their emotional well-being.
  • The age group 26 to 35 has increasing food IQ because of growing interest and awareness in health and personal dietary preferences. However, Gen Zers are considered the most educated when it comes to health and wellness as the importance of healthy eating has been instilled in them at a much younger age than the older generations.

Hobbies

  • Canadians aged 26 to 35 spend about five hours a day consuming online media, primarily by watching videos, browsing, and social networking.
  • They are also more likely to go online to make more informed decisions on their food and beverage options.
  • Fifty percent of Canadians aged 25 to 34 conduct online transactions every week.
  • Thirty-six percent of the total restaurant traffic in Canada is by the millennials.

Spending Habits

  • Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z influence their family's food and beverage purchases.
  • Canadian vegans who are millennials are more likely to choose their food and beverage according to their dietary sensitivities and restrictions. However, this purchasing decision is not driven by medical reasons but rather by personal preferences. This age group is also more likely to shop around, with only 22 percent of them choosing the same restaurant regularly. In comparison, 31 percent of boomers choose the same restaurant on a regular basis.
  • Sixty-six percent of Canadians aged 18 to 23 dine out at a foodservice outlet at least once a week or more. Despite their frugality, they spend a little extra when they are out. Unlike millennials, this group dine out not because they are too busy for meals and cooking, but because they crave for something.

Values

  • Canadian vegans and vegetarians are primarily concerned about health, with 45% of the men and 47% of the women saying health benefits were the factors influencing their initial decision on shifting their diet.
  • Women vegans and vegetarians are more likely to be concerned about animal welfare than their male counterparts.
  • Younger consumers, specifically those born after 1994, are less likely to believe that eating meat is a fundamental right.
  • Almost 14 percent of youth and young adults in major cities in Canada reported having vegetarian dietary practices, and this young group are "especially likely to value and engage in behaviors related to health-conscious diets and sustainable food production."

A Special Focus on British Columbians

  • A survey found that British Columbia has the largest vegetarian and vegan populations, at about 8.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. In comparison, nationally, 7.1 percent reported to be vegetarians and 2.3 percent to be vegans.
  • When focused on young British Columbians, the percentage goes even higher, with almost 40 percent of the population 35 years old and younger adapting plant-based diets: 28 percent reported to be vegetarians and 9.2 percent to be vegan.
  • The following are the some insights into the psychographic profile of the British Columbians 35 years old and under:
    • At 35 percent, British Columbians aged 18 to 34 are more likely to dine out about once a week or more often compared to the province's overall average of 27 percent.
    • The same age group is also more likely to stand in line or queue for more than 60 minutes to enter a restaurant.
    • A third of millennials took a photograph of a dish served to them.
    • British Columbians aged 18 to 34 are more likely to have tipped more than 20 percent than the older generations, though three in ten have left a restaurant without tipping.
    • Millennials are significantly more likely to endure terrible service again for a restaurant with great food, at 38 percent. In comparison, only 21 percent of Gen X and 14 percent of boomers would go back to such a restaurant.

Research Strategy

To provide a psychographic profile of vegans and vegetarians in Canada, we started our research by looking into market reports of veganism and vegetarianism in Canada. With this strategy, we found a report about vegetarianism among young adults in major Canadian cities by the Public Health Nutrition and a survey on plant-based dieting by Dalhousie University. From these two sources, we found several insights into the values of Canadian vegans and vegetarians. However, we could not find anything about their lifestyle, hobbies, and spending habits.

We then changed our strategy and focused on the demographic majority of the vegans and vegetarians in Canada. The idea was to create a psychographic profile of the demographic majority of the said groups. From the report from Dalhousie University, we found out that 63 percent of vegans in Canada are under the age of 38, so we therefore assumed that they are mostly millennials and Gen Zers. We then gathered insights into the lifestyle, hobbies, and spending habits of Canadian millennials and Gen Zers, or those belonging to the age group 35 and under, to create the psychographic profile of the vegan and vegetarian population of Canada.
Sources
Sources

From Part 04
Quotes
  • "Overall, the survey found one-in-three Canadian households are struggling to feed their families, a figure that jumps to 47 per cent in households with an annual income of less than $50,000."
Quotes
  • "72% of Canadians 65 and older s say nutrition is important when planning meals, compared to 57% of those ages 18 to 34 As Canadians age, they are more likely to be on a diet, with 14% of people ages 46 to 64 on a diet by choice and 7% on a diet prescribed by a doctor 44% of Canadians 65 and older follow Canada’s Food Guide, compared to 21% of people ages 18 to 34"
Quotes
  • "food that is naturally grown or prepared, without artificial substances or processes"
Quotes
  • "The proportion of Canadians eating fruits and vegetables less than five times a day exceeded the national average by more than 20% in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut, with a rate of 74.1% ASR and 76.6% ASR respectively."
Quotes
  • "British Columbia holds the healthiest eaters in Canada. The province abounds in fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish and seafood, serving the domestic market and exporting to the global marketplace"
Quotes
  • "According to research, about 97.85% of people in BC are said to be healthy."
Quotes
  • "Canadians with annual incomes of over $150,000 are twice as likely to be plant-based than those who earn less than $80,000 a year"
Quotes
  • "Some 49 percent respondents who have a university qualification stated that they were not perfect, but try to eat healthy when they can."
Quotes
  • "Therefore, since the five largest ethnic groups in Canada are Canadian, English, Scottish, French, and Irish, we assumed that most healthy eaters in Canada are white, since these are primarily white ethnicities."
From Part 09
Quotes
  • "Nearly 14% of the sampled youth and young adults in major Canadian cities reported vegetarian dietary practices and may be especially likely to value and engage in behaviours related to health-conscious diets and sustainable food production."
Quotes
  • "In B.C., about 8.6 per cent are vegetarian and 3.9 percent are vegan, according to the poll of 1,049 Canadians. That makes us about 35 per cent more likely to go meat-free than the average Canadian."
  • "But the numbers for young British Columbians stunned Charlebois. More than 28 per cent of British Columbians 35 and under are vegetarian and 9.2 per cent are vegan."
  • "Among Canadians of all ages, 7.1 per cent identify as vegetarian and 2.3 per cent as vegan"
  • "British Columbia appears to be leading a dietary revolution as nearly 40 per cent of British Columbians 35 and under say they follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, according to national survey data."
Quotes
  • "City dwellers were three times more likely to commit to veganism than those in small towns."
Quotes
  • "Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie, says the most “disturbing fact” for meatmakers is that the majority of Canadian vegetarians and vegans are under the age of 35. That, he says, means that the increases in vegetarians’ ranks will likely only ramp up as today’s vegetarians become a bigger part of society. “Likely they’ll be raising children the way that they’re eating themselves,” he told CTV’s Your Morning."