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Canadians like Salty Snacks, Americans like Sweet Snacks, but Both like Convenience

TORONTO (May 25, 2011)—Cross-border differences and similarities between Canadians and Americans have been revealed via two recent studies by leading market research company The NPD Group. According to A Look into the Future of Eating-Canadian Marketplace and A Look into the Future of Eating-United States Marketplace, Canadians are fond of salty or savoury snack foods, like cheese, chips, and crackers, and their consumption of these foods will outpace population growth over the next decade. Americans, on the other hand, were found to have more of a sweet tooth than a salty one and are projected to increase their consumption of sweet snacks and desserts three times more than Canadians within the next 10 years.

The two nations are also moving in different directions when it comes to morning meals, with Americans projected to increase their consumption of "heat and eat" breakfast foods, such as bagels and frozen pancakes, while Canadians will be decreasing their consumption of the same products, according to the NPD reports. Americans were also projected to increase their consumption of salads, warm side dishes, and main dish proteins, like meat or fish, in the next 10 years, at higher rates than Canadians.

"In spite of the fact we share a continent, it is interesting to see the differences between Canadians and Americans," said Joel Gregoire, food and beverage industry analyst-NPD Canada and author of A Look into the Future of Eating-Canadian Marketplace. "While many Canadians and Americans may view our respective cultures as parallel, there are clearly factors that affect each culture's food intake."

In both studies, NPD employs a forecasting methodology that incorporates generational influences, population, and long-term historical trends using its databases tracking Canadian and American eating patterns. The food industry market research reports cover a broad spectrum of food and beverage categories, preparation methods, meal situations, and other food-related behaviours.

While the reports identified several differences in future eating behaviours between the two countries, there were also similarities. Convenience was found to be a key factor in the consumption of foods with both Canadians and Americans. Easy meals, such as yogurt, fruit, and snack bars, and heat and eat entrees, like canned soup and frozen pizza, are projected to grow almost equally in both countries over the next ten years.

"The comparison between the findings of the two studies indicates there is more to each individual culture than meets the eye and that ultimately these factors will affect food consumption choices in years to come," said Gregoire. "Understanding the differences and similarities between Canadian and American consumers will now enable food and beverage companies operating in both countries to influence the future as well as guide their plans for product portfolio, positioning, and innovation."

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