Consumers' habits changing, study finds

By Derek Abma, Financial Post, Times Colonist
January 28, 2011

Canadian consumers are "radically reassessing how they spend their money," according to a study released Thursday by American Express.

The credit card company said Canadians are becoming more particular about getting value for their money, and there is greater awareness of the ethical implications of their purchasing decisions.

That's based on a study of 1,000 Canadians, carried out in August by international research group, The Future Laboratory.

"Consumers are moving from the excessive, impulsive spending of the pre-recession era to more careful, considered spending, in which value for money and quality take precedence over branding," the report said.

"They are more thoughtful in what they buy, and looking for more meaning in their purchases, so they increasingly seek products that are ethical and environmentally-friendly."

Among the main shopping trends the study says will take hold in 2011 and beyond is a preference for buying goods that are locally produced. The study said 36 per cent of Canadians in the study support local businesses because they want to have a positive impact one their communities.

Almost half said the involvement of local firms in the production of a good affects their purchasing decisions, and about as many said they have become more aware of the environmental impact of their buying activities.

No margin of error was provided for the data.

Read the original article online.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist