‘Cost And Convenience’ Over Quality: The State Of Canada’s Eating Habits Revealed

  • A recent study of Canada’s eating habits has revealed that cost and convenience are the main factors influencing the foods Canadians eat, while quality considerations are set aside.
  • The data also highlighted a generational shift, with Gen Zs the most likely age bracket to be influenced by environmental factors.
  • Almost a third (28%) of vegetarians admitted they’re influenced by their children’s food tastes, while close to a quarter (23%) said the meals they cook are influenced by social media trends.
  • Food expert from Chefs Plate shares tips for low cost and convenient meals, highlighting that Canadians don’t have to choose between cost and quality.

A recent study into Canada’s eating habits by meal-box company Chefs Plate has revealed the most common external influences impacting Canadians’ diets.

From ease of cooking, convenience and cheap foods, to environmental considerations and the sway of social media trends, the data delves into the impact these factors are having on Canada’s eating habits.

The study’s standout finding was the emphasis Canadians place on convenience when it comes to cooking, with close to half (46%) admitting convenience plays a significant role in their eating habits. With busy lifestyles – juggling work, family and social commitments – the need for quick and easy to prepare meals has become paramount.

While convenience takes the lead, economic factors also play a huge role in shaping Canadians’ eating habits. Exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, over two fifths (43%) confessed that their main concern is how cheap the food is, and not how nutritious or good quality it is.

The data also highlighted a generational shift, with Gen Zs coming out as the most likely age bracket to be influenced by environmental factors; with over a quarter (26%) saying these considerations impact their eating habits.

Almost a third (28%) of those following a vegetarian diet say they’re influenced by their children’s food tastes, which has a knock-on impact on the meals they enjoy together as a family. While close to a quarter (23%) of vegetarians say the meals they cook are influenced by social media trends.

Influences on Canadians’ eating habits %
How easy the food is to cook 46%
How cheap the food is to buy 43%
Whether or not the food is healthy 37%
How easy the food is to buy 29%
I like to experiment with different food 27%
I stick to what I know and don’t like to change 22%
My child(ren)’s food tastes 14%
The environment 12%
Social media trends 6%

A spokesperson from Canada’s best food delivery service, Chefs Plate, commented: “Overall convenience stands out as the primary driver, but economic, environmental and health considerations all play essential roles in shaping choices made by Canadian consumers.

We are always intrigued to see Canada’s eating habits evolve over time. It’s also extremely telling that cost, convenience and the environment are among the most influential factors impacting a person’s diet choice, highlighting empathy towards the climate crisis, but also considering personal factors such as limited time and finance.”

Food Expert from Chefs Plate Shares Six Tips For Low Cost and Convenient Meals

  • Plan your meals – This tip is number one for a reason! Planning ahead is the ultimate way to avoid buying extra that you don’t need and avoiding food waste at the same time.
  • Buy in bulk – Buying in bulk the ingredients you know you will use, especially those with longer shelf lives such as rice and pasta, is a great way to save money.
  • Seasonal and local produce – Buying seasonal and local produce is cheaper because you are buying it when it is in abundance and it has not travelled a long way. Eating seasonally reduces the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport too.
  • Make the most of your leftovers – Reducing your food waste and saving you money at the same time, using leftovers for meals the following day is one of our top tips!
  • Opt for a meal box – Meal boxes, like Chefs Plate, with their pre-portioned ingredients and easy to follow recipes have been proven to be a popular choice for those seeking a time efficient way to enjoy home cooked meals without the stress of meal planning and grocery shopping.
  • Cooking in bulk – There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home after a busy day and realising you’ve already cooked your dinner! Freezing where possible is a great way of extending your meals’ shelf lives too, for added convenience.

If convenience and cost of food impacts your dining habits, you are not alone. Choosing between quality and nutritious, and convenient and cheap, is a very real issue for Canadians up and down the nation. Take a look at Chefs Plate’s satisfying and cheap meals for more information on how to combat this nationwide issue.


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