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Rising cost of food and other basics affecting all Canadians, EY consumer survey

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EY's research found that overall, growing economic uncertainty and inflation are putting a dent in consumer confidence. 

TORONTO — Canadians across low, middle to high income backgrounds are struggling to adjust to increasing cost of basic necessities according to a report from EY Future Consumer Index Survey.

EY’s research found that overall, growing economic uncertainty and inflation are putting a dent in consumer confidence.

53 per cent of Canadians say rising costs are affecting their ability to purchase goods. Another 61 per cent of consumers surveyed say they plan to save money for their future instead of splurging on non-essentials.

Over half of shoppers are pivoting to private label brands for fresh and packaged food, and 37 per cent of Canadians are prioritizing experiences over buying physical goods.


“The fabric of daily life has shifted in many ways — from where people travel and seek entertainment, to how they work and meet their needs. These significant shifts, coupled with inflation, are driving consumers at all income levels to change their shopping behaviours and rethink purchase decisions,” said Lokesh Chaudhry, EY Canada Consumer co-leader in a statement.

“To be relevant in the future and drive customer loyalty, companies need to better understand the growing range of consumer needs, eliminate pain points and quickly respond with the right offering at the right price.”

EY also says that with two-thirds of Canadians now preferring to use their spending money on at-home experiences, companies will need to identify and invest in emerging digital capabilities to be able to deliver the experience directly to the consumer. On the other hand, customers who are willing to venture out are demanding more from physical stores, with a quarter planning to only visit stores that offer an above-average experience.

“In line with the growing desire for simplicity and flexibility, the most appealing experiences will be those that are easy to access and take minimal time investment — that means more digital touchpoints, frictionless brand experiences and personalized consultations in the metaverse,” said Chaudhry in a statement.


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