Caddle Research Webinar Insights
October 12, 2023

The Caddle Research Webinar on August 17, 2023, revealed several noteworthy trends in consumer behaviour shaping the current landscape of shopping and spending.

  1. Shrinkflation Awareness: A prevailing sentiment among Canadian consumers is that meat products are shrinking in size while prices remain constant, a phenomenon dubbed “Shrinkflation.”
  2. Changing Perception of Meat Costs: While 42% believed meat was the most expensive food category, this percentage has decreased from 50% the previous year, indicating a shift in consumer perception.
  3. Meat Purchase Reduction: Consumers display a significant decrease in meat purchases
    compared to the previous year, with females and Baby Boomers leading this trend.
  4. Regional Variation in Meat Purchase: Calgary stands out with over a 13% reduction in meat purchases compared to other regions.
  5. Private-Label Preference: Consumers are increasingly turning to private-label brands for budgetfriendly options. Atlantic Canada, along with Millennials and Gen X, leads this trend. However, Gen Z has reduced private-label purchases, possibly to support smaller brands.
  6. Digitized Shopping Habits: Millennials and Gen Z are using digital flyers extensively for purchasing decisions, particularly in Atlantic Canada. This trend coincides with a 15% inflation rate in these provinces, with younger generations also relying heavily on smartphones for shopping.
  7. Pre-Shopping Research: Younger generations are adopting a trend of researching prices and reviews online before commencing their shopping trips.
  8. Changing Loyalty Patterns: Store loyalty is diminishing as consumers actively seek deals. Grocers are responding by emphasizing rewards programs, coupons, and flyer promotions. Reviews are also gaining importance, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z.
  9. Coupon Usage: Millennials and Gen Z are at the forefront of using coupons, especially through e-coupons via social media or email.
  10. In-Store Shopping Behavior: Consumers are increasingly seeking deep discounts on in-store products. Grocers are challenged to retain shoppers’ focus and engagement in the store amidst the distractions of smartphones.
  11. Consumer Guidance by Grocers: Millennials and Gen Z are more inclined to follow grocers’ suggestions for purchases and deals, indicating a growing reliance on expert guidance


The webinar further shed light on the causal factors behind changing consumer behaviour in the context of inflation:

  1. Budget Consciousness: More consumers, particularly Millennials, adhere to budgets, adapting their shopping habits to accommodate rising prices. Baby Boomers show less responsiveness, possibly due to a sense of financial security.
  2. Impact on Meat Purchases: Drastic price hikes in meat have sharply reduced meat purchases.
  3. Calculator Usage: Consumers use calculators to maximize their budgets and make informed purchasing decisions.
  4. Age and Price Awareness: All consumers are actively engaged in assessing the fairness of prices, with experience and age influencing their price sensitivity.
  1. Competing Priorities: Food purchases are vying for consumers’ budgets alongside housing and lodging costs.
  2. Restaurant Industry Challenges: As consumers tighten their belts, restaurants experience the most significant impact of inflation, resulting in decreased patronage.
  3. Budget Reallocation: Consumers maintain their budgets from the previous year but reallocate spending toward different categories.
  4. Dynamic Shopping Habits: Bulk food freezing is losing appeal as consumers seek more flexible, marketresponsive shopping practices.


In conclusion, the Caddle Research Webinar of August 17, 2023, illuminates the evolving consumer behaviour and inflation dynamics in the current landscape. Consumers are responding to high prices by proactively altering their spending patterns. Private-label brands, coupons, and discount offers are gaining favour, while meat purchases have been significantly curtailed due to escalating prices. The resolute awareness of shopping costs remains constant among consumers.

The webinar anticipates continuity in the prevailing trends, with a gradual transition towards indulgence over the coming years. Consumers are expected to seek quality, value-add, and pleasurable experiences.

The “Grocerant” trend will persist, impacting restaurant businesses. Moreover, the future of animal agriculture is under discussion, focusing on the ethical dimensions and potential market shifts in consumer preferences for meat.

To navigate these changes, the report suggests forging “partnerships” with Millennials and Gen Z, working collaboratively and considering their values in shaping the future of consumption. The insights from this webinar offer valuable guidance to businesses aiming to adapt and thrive in the evolving consumer landscape.