For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel's team of global category analysts.

While Mintel coverage is featured in media publications around the world, we are sharing a few stories from Canadian media that focuses on consumers, industries and markets. These stories discuss North American consumer sentiments, behaviors and purchasing habits from the unique perspectives of Mintel analysts.

1. Chocolate’s premium push

When consumers strive for healthier lifestyles, one of the first priorities is maintaining a balanced diet. However, one indulgence consumers give a pass to is chocolate. With the perception that dark chocolate benefits cholesterol control, antioxidants and boosting brain function, consumers are looking to premium chocolate as their permissible indulgence. (Read more…)

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight, Food and Drink at Mintel said:
“We’re all supposed to be watching what we eat, and we’re supposed to be more careful, but people are definitely still eating chocolate. And they’re eating it because it’s comforting, or because they feel it’s a great reward—you know, all the reasons you can think of to eat chocolate.

“I’m seeing that people are willing to pay for that indulgence; they’re willing to put the money out there to get the treat they want.”

2. America is drowning in milk nobody wants

More than a decade ago, Chobani bought an old Kraft processing plant in New York and within a couple years, Chobani was in supermarkets everywhere, making Greek Yogurt a staple of the American diet. The dairy industry in New York expanded and grew, with yogurt as a main driver. Currently, the dairy industry has soured. With changing tastes and new government challenges, farmers have a surplus of milk that can’t be sold and has to be dumped. (Read more…)

Caleb Bryant, Senior Drink Analyst at Mintel said:
“Greek yogurt was a very big innovation in the yogurt market. For decades, yogurt was runny and high in sugar. Then Chobani comes onto the scene and changes the idea of what yogurt can be.”

3. What are Canadians spending priorities?

Canadians are feeling more comfortable financially and they’re putting more of their discretionary income toward “experiences” like entertaining and dining out. The findings are part of Mintel’s Canadian Lifestyles 2018 report, which it compiled based on a survey of 2,000 respondents. (Read more…)

Carol Wong-Li, Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst at Mintel said:
“This trend in experiences over things is seen as more emotionally rewarding for consumers and allows them to create memories with others. This is a boon for non-essential categories such as dining out and entertainment – areas that consumers had taken a step back from in previous years owing to a more conservative approach to spending that has been alleviated over the last year.”

4. Scrutiny of paper coffee cups stacks up

Brands such as Dunkin’ and McDonalds as well as other coffee chains have contributed to the growing movement of changing their cups from plastic to paper. However, the rise in paper cups has been scrutinized, specifically the bonded plastic lining that needs to be separated before the paper can be recycled. As coffee continues to grow in popularity, governments are stepping in to create regulations to curb coffee cup related waste. (Read more…)

What we said:
The number of coffee shops in the U.S. jumped 16% between 2012 and 2017, according to Mintel.”

5. How Much Herbicide Can You Tolerate in Your Food?

Glyphosate is an active ingredient in a herbicide known as Roundup, and is found in many of our favorite foods. As consumers become more aware of what’s in their orange juice, oatmeal and granola bars, new claims are showing up on food labels to satisfy discerning consumers. The vast majority of U.S. corn and soybeans are genetically modified to withstand the ingredient and assurances from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency saying it isn’t a problem because of it’s low levels, leaves the purchasing decisions up to consumers. (Read more…)

What we said:
About one-third of vegetable buyers think “pesticide-free” is important, according to Mintel.”