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Eating behavior in Canada - statistics & facts

With more data available than ever about what constitutes healthy eating behavior, some may feel under pressure to change their behaviors in order to improve their overall health. The primary motivator for changing one’s eating behavior is weight loss, followed by the desire to protect one’s long-term health and to have more energy. Over 20 percent of Canadians observe some sort of committed dietary regimen. Canadians also tend to have a taste for ethnic cuisine and experimenting with new and exciting foods. Some of the most popular ethnic cuisines to cook at home in Canada are Italian, American, and Mexican cuisine. However, Canadians seem to prefer eating Chinese food at restaurants rather than cooking it themselves.

It is a common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and almost 60 percent of Canadian consumers eat breakfast every day. Among breakfast eating Canadians, around 30 percent prefer a bagel breakfast sandwich, followed by croissants and English muffins. As for lunch, over half of Canadians eat lunch at home during the week. On average, home cooked meals are less caloric and more nutritious than meals at restaurants.

Canada is home to approximately 2.3 million vegetarians and 850,000 vegans, the majority of which reside in British Columbia and Ontario. Although the majority of Canadians are meat eaters, with almost half of consumers eating meat daily, retail sales of meat substitutes, including both soy and plant-based proteins, are forecast to grow in the coming years. Such growth signals a shift in the market towards more ethical and sustainable consumption.

Along with plant-based meat substitutes, some of the leading healthy food trends in Canada include turmeric spiced food and beverages, plant-based dairy substitutes, and cauliflower pizza crusts. The most common consumer views for what consists of a healthy meal in Canada are an abundance of fruits and vegetables, low sugar, low salt, and all-natural ingredients.

Interesting statistics

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Eating behavior in Canada

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Key figures

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Meal and cooking habits

Specialty diets



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