Dining out, vacations still important for Canadians

Despite debt levels and some cutbacks, many consumers are still making "sensible splurges."

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Household debt is causing some Canadians to tighten their belts, but many are still willing to make “sensible splurges” in non-essential categories, according to a new report from market research company Mintel.

“While the drop in oil prices was expected to give consumers extra cash for spending, the record-high level of household debt is top of mind among Canadian consumers leading them to adopt a slightly more conservative approach to spending, focusing on paying off debts and making cutbacks,” Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyle and leisure analyst at Mintel, said in a press release.

“There is a glimmer of hope, however, with consumers still looking to treat themselves to long- and short-term rewards, creating a mood of sensible spending for 2015. We’re predicting food-related categories like dining out and groceries will experience reasonable growth this year.”

For dining out, 31% of the 2,001 Canadians surveyed online said they will continue discretionary spending in that area, and 31% also said they would do the same for long vacations. Small “extras” for family members are also considered an area of continued spending for 34% of Canadians.

Canadians are also planning to adopt healthier habits this year, with 64% saying exercising regularly is a priority and 59% citing eating more fruits and vegetables as an important area.

Perceived cutbacks in the past year were around non-essential, pleasure-related areas like out-of-home alcohol (35% saying they spent less in that area), leisure and entertainment (32%) and dining out (33%). However, many also said they were spending the same amount as in previous years (for example, 48% for dining out and 17% said they actually spent more in that area). Spending on in-home food also increased for 31% of those surveyed, although 56% said their spending in that area was about the same.

Overall, consumer expenditures are expected to rise over the next few years, reaching $1.2 trillion in 2019.

Dining-Out

 

Grocery

 

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock. Graphics courtesy of Mintel.