Food trends mapped for the U.S. and Canada

June 22, 2011

The next decade holds out different food futures for consumers in two neighborly nations.

America and Canada are congenial neighbors – but with different cultures and lifestyles driving divergent food trends in each country over the next decade.   

The successes of brand marketers and retailers in courting numerous population groups within the U.S. aren’t quite the same as developing foods, packages and messages that will go over well in both the U.S. and Canada.

Two new reports from the NPD Group set out the next decade’s food futures for both nations, and point out similarities and differences.  Insights like these could help diminish product launches offered with inappropriate flavors, textures, form and packaging – which have created some memorable busts.

The NPD reports are A Look Into the Future of Eating – Canadian Marketplace, and A Look Into the Future of Eating – United States Marketplace.

First, the standout similarity predicted by these studies:  Convenience will continue to be a leading factor in food consumption. Easy meals such as yogurt, fruit and snack bars, and heat-and-eat entrees like canned soup and frozen pizza, should grow almost equally in both the U.S. and Canada over the next ten years.

Some key differences the decade will bring, according to NPD:

  • Americans will increase their consumption of sweet snacks and desserts three times more than Canadians.
  • Canadians prefer salty and savory snack foods, and their consumption of these will outpace population growth.
  • Consumption of heat-and-eat breakfast foods such as bagels and frozen pancakes will grow in the U.S. but fall in Canada.
  • Consumption of salads, warm side dishes and main-dish proteins like meat and fish will grow faster in the U.S. than in Canada.

The Lempert Report would like to see reports issued on Mexico, Central and South America as well because so many companies are looking to these nearby neighbors for greater growth. The sharper the CPG approaches in these countries and the more authentic their offers, the quicker the brand uptake will be among people who emigrate to the U.S. and acculturate here as well.