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Perceptions of the Canadian brand

Associating Canada with positive attributes is one thing, but how do survey respondents in the seven CETA and CPTPP member countries view Canadian products and brands? The good news is the results also tend to be positive in that area.

Overall awareness of Canadian products is strong at 67% (including 16% who say they’re very aware). Once again, Japan (47% aware, 8% very aware) and Germany (38% aware, 11% very aware) scored at the bottom. Mexico (69% aware, 14% very aware), Italy (49% aware, 30% very aware) and Australia (54% aware, 17% very aware) scored at the top of the seven countries surveyed.

Looking at generational groups, the results were once again positive for Canadian companies. Awareness is very high among younger consumers, with millennials (53% aware, 23% very aware) and generation Z (51% aware, 19% very aware) scoring highest.

In surveying consumers about Canadian goods and brands, we also asked them about their views of different product categories. Once again, the results were positive: 56% believe Canadian products to be of the same quality as local products, while 30% think our goods are better. Breaking the results down by product category, furniture and home goods and food and beverage products scored highest: 89% believe Canadian furniture and home goods to be of the same or better quality, while 88% said the same for food and beverages.

Looking at purchase history, food and beverage items once again topped the list of product categories, with 67% having bought Canadian goods in that area in the past. Despite the positive views of the quality of Canadian furniture and home goods, that category ranked lowest (24%) for purchase history, followed by electronics (26%). Purchase history also tended to be higher among younger generations: 71% of millennials, for example, said they had bought Canadian food and beverage products, versus 54% for the greatest generation and 59% for baby boomers.

Purchase history of Canadian goods by product category

72% of respondents report having bought Canadian products.

Canadian companies can take heart in survey respondents’ intent to buy Canadian goods. Across all product categories, respondents pointed to a greater likelihood to buy Canadian goods in the future when compared to their purchase history.

Once again, younger generations show significant promise with a higher intent to purchase than other age groups. Looking at furniture and home goods, 58% of generation Z said they intend to buy Canadian products in the future (versus a survey average of 51%). Millennials also expressed a high intent to purchase across the product categories, including alcoholic beverages (67% versus a survey average of 63%), beauty and cosmetics (62% versus an average of 53%) and fashion (68% versus an average of 62%).

Trends in other areas of the survey also held up in the geographical breakdown, with respondents from Japan, Germany—and sometimes the United Kingdom—tending to rank at or near the bottom across the product categories. Just 28% of Japanese respondents intend to buy Canadian beauty and cosmetic products, followed by German participants at 50% and those from the United Kingdom at 51%.

Topping the list of those planning to buy Canadian goods were Italian and Mexican respondents. Looking at fashion items, 78% of Mexican respondents plan to buy Canadian goods, followed by Italian participants at 65%. Food and beverage items were a notable exception for Italian participants. In that category, while Mexican respondents ranked at the top of the list at 84%, Italian participants were near the bottom, at 73%, while those from Japan broke their overall trend to score third, at 77%.

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Myles Gooding

Myles Gooding

National Consumer Markets Leader & Global Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8598

Anita McOuat

Anita McOuat

National Assurance Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 869 8667

Michael Dobner

Michael Dobner

Partner, National Economics Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 815 5055