Disinterested in snacking, Quebecers indulge in dessert 30 per cent more than the rest of Canadians
TORONTO, November 6, 2012 – Similar to French European culture, deprivation is not in the vocabulaire of French Canadians. According to the 15th edition of Eating Patterns in Canada (EPIC), a recent study from leading market research company The NPD Group, eating dessert with supper is most common in Quebec, occurring after 112 meals annually per capita versus 89 in Atlantic Canada, 57 in Ontario and 55 on the west coast.
Though Quebec’s desserts of choice tend to be cake (19 per cent) and cookies (18 per cent), Health Canada notes that they have the lowest proportion of obese adults in the country (22 per cent). Also, while some believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is lunch and dinner that are of most significance to this region. Most of these meals are prepared at home, with six out of 10 lunches and 6.5 out of 10 dinners in Quebec households being made from scratch.
“We’re certainly seeing influences of the well-known French European diet in French Canada, but with the demands of the western world, convenience is a key factor for Quebecers when preparing meals,” said Joel Gregoire, foodservice industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Knowing this, restaurants in this market that are looking to attract new clientele will need to use healthy, wholesome meals made with fresh ingredients as their draw.”
Less calorie conscious than the rest of Canada, Quebec households take great pleasure in eating. The majority (82 per cent) also feel that it is important to enjoy full and regular meals each day, which compares to 60 per cent of western Canadians and 63 per cent of Ontarians. As a result, Quebec residents are also the least likely of all the provinces to snack.
Twenty-nine per cent try to avoid snacking entirely and, unlike the rest of the country, have fewer snack occasions annually. Quebecers are also less likely to skip traditional meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
“Because French Canadians are focused on the three core meals of the day, retailers and food manufacturers should look to make the planning for each one as simple as possible,” continued Gregoire. “Promoting the versatility of key ingredients and their ease of use to consumers is where those hoping to capitalize will find their recipe for success.”
Preparing fulsome meals takes organization, so Quebec residents are most likely to plan their meals on a weekly basis. Similar to the rest of Canada, women remain primarily responsible for planning and shopping for dinner, however in the country’s other provinces this preparation is tackled daily.