It’s less about emotions The majority of Canadians believe they are living a healthy lifestyle and are proactively looking after their health in order to feel and look better, be happier and have more confidence. While these benefits resonate across the country, research from Mintel’s Healthy Lifestyles Canada 2016 report reveals that the motivations for living a healthy lifestyle for Quebecers are less likely tied to one’s physical appearance and the emotional aspects that come with it. Where just over half of Canadians overall are motivated to live a healthy lifestyle in order to look better, only two in five Quebecers agree. What’s more, where Canadians are spurred by the desire to feel happier and be more confident, Quebec residents are less likely to be moved by these emotional aspects. Instead, their frame of mind for living a healthy lifestyle may be tied to more practical reasons. An example of how this manifests itself is seen with their greater concern about the health risks associated with their weight, despite seeing lower obesity rates in the province compared to national levels (according to Statistics Canada). Food and eating are more sacred Quebecers are more likely to agree that “food is the best medicine” compared to Canadians overall Quebecers hold a unique relationship with food compared to the rest of the country. While the average Canadian under-45 leans more towards believing that it is healthier to graze throughout the day than to eat three square meals, Quebecers are much less inclined to agree with this sentiment, suggesting that taking time to eat meals and the inherent value placed on food may be more sacred for Quebec. Indeed, results from Mintel’s Dining Out Canada 2016 report show that Quebecers are less likely to eat at casual dining restaurants and show a greater preference for full-service restaurants than the average Canadian. There may also be a greater awareness of the nourishing qualities of food itself; Quebecers are much more inclined to agree with the sentiment that “food is the best medicine”, as compared to the rest of the country. What it means With a lesser focus on the emotional reasons for living a healthy lifestyle comes a greater craving for information about how to addresses practical issues associated with healthy living. Quebecers will be welcoming of resources that provide them with greater access to experts; support tools such as virtual chat platforms with nutritionists and in-person consultations with dieticians. Grocery retailers, drug stores and even mass merchandisers are well positioned for these types of offerings. Marketing efforts are likely to resonate more strongly if health benefits associated with particular types of foods are clearly spelled out. Foodservice operators (particularly full service restaurants) are at an advantage in Quebec and are likely to see gains reinforcing the nourishing qualities of food – particularly as they relate to the various seasons. Vital to any support and marketing efforts put forth is that content and connection points be available in French. Ultimately, businesses targeting the Quebec audience need to ensure there is a greater emphasis on the practical benefits of healthy living than when connecting with consumers in other areas of Canada. Carol Wong-Li is a Senior Lifestyle and Leisure Analyst at Mintel, researching and writing reports on the Canadian lifestyle and leisure industries. She has worked in market research and consulting for over 8 years both on the research and supplier side. You might also be interested in: Canada VS US: Baby Boomers Canada VS US: Dining out Keeping skin’s “good bacteria” healthy What do American dads really think about baby food?