What is the sound of Canada's economic recovery? This is the question Interac hopes to answer. The company has launched Sound of Spending, a soundwave that tracks national shopping trends throughout the pandemic. Debit spending on food, home, entertainment, travel and shopping was mapped against different musical instruments, revealing the changing spending habits of Canadians over time, and demonstrating the return of consumer confidence evidenced through rising shopping levels in recent months.

The Sound of Spending blends creativity, anonymized and aggregated data, and technology. Through the track, we can hear that:

  • Canadians' spending hit a high note in early March 20201 with a rise in grocery spending frequency by 15 per cent.
  • Canadians' spending hit a low note in April 2020 due to declared states of emergency with the spending frequency associated with restaurants, entertainment and travel decreasing by 35 per cent.
  • Canadians' spending hit a high note in May 2020 with a rise in home improvement spending frequency by 186 per cent.
  • Canadians' spending hit a low note again in January 2021 as the country was hit by COVID-19's second wave, with the spending frequency associated with shopping and other categories decreasing by more than 50 per cent.
  • As economies started to open up, Canadian spending hit a high note again due to a rise in shopping and entertainment spending frequency by 37 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

Interac also created an online tool that encourages Canadians to enter their spending habits and generate a song unique to them. Canadians can compare their Sound of Spending to the national soundwave via an Interac interface that leverages spending variables to generate a unique song customized to each user.

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