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Industry NewsGrocery pickup, fresh baked goods top Christmas spend for Canadians

Grocery pickup, fresh baked goods top Christmas spend for Canadians


Canadians plan to use grocery pickup this holiday season and fresh baked cookies and cakes top their Christmas grocery items according to a Field Agent survey of more than 1,000 Canadians.

Not suprisingly, consumers want to cut down on the time spent in-store given the ongoing health and safety concerns due the pandemic. Close to one third of Canadians, 32 per cent, say they’re planning use grocery pickup and 70 per cent say they plan to purchase freshly baked, non-packaged cookies, followed by 50 per cent who plan to purchase freshly baked cakes.

Canadians also plan to favour big box stores with their holiday grocery purchases with Walmart, Costco and the Real Canadian Superstore the top three grocery retailers. 

And whether shopping in-store or online, the top uncertainty among Canadian shoppers this holiday season is product availability.

Here are some key takeaways on the report. The Field Agent full report is available online.

1. The pandemic will have a negative impact on Holiday Shopping

Christmas under COVID-19 will be different than last Christmas. Spending will decrease overall with 50 per cent of Canadians saying they will spend less this year vs. only 6 per cent who say they will spend more. With increasing restrictions on shopping due to Wave 2 of the pandemic, retailers will face significant challenges in the 2020 holiday season.

2. Online shopping and delivery/pickup have taken on a new importance in 2020

More online shopping: it’s the top way that shoppers plan to change their shopping habits this year. These days, it’s more than just convenience driving the use of remote shopping methods. Large crowds are a top concern for the safety-aware.

3. Brick-and-mortar retailers are hardly obsolete

This does not mean that physical stores will be empty this holiday season. Only 7 per cent of shoppers surveyed plan to avoid visiting stores entirely. However, as shoppers plan to make fewer trips and spend less time browsing, retailers and brands will need to get creative to attract their attention as they get in and get out.

4. Customers are a valuable source of suggestions for retailers and brands

It’s true, sometimes these suggestions (especially lower prices and free shipping) read like a wish list. But shoppers’ unselfish priorities and motivations make themselves clear. Their top suggestion, after all, was for retailers to prioritize safety and cleanliness this holiday season.

5. Early shopping is the name of the game

We’ve all seen empty store shelves this year (the words “toilet paper” still send shivers down our spines). And availability is the shopper’s top uncertainty this holiday season. Because of this, and out of concern for holiday crowds, many people plan to shop earlier in the season than usual.

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