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Alain Giguère

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The 2017 Panorama of Canadian consumers and citizens is beginning to emerge …

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 04-05-17 at 11 a.m.

Consumption, innovation, gaming, escape ... people's craving for them is unrelenting.

All this while an apocalyptic vision of today's world and a crisis of trust in our elites continue to advance!

The 2017 vintage of our Panorama program is gradually appearing on our tables. And what a superb vintage it is: fruity and full-bodied, with notes of citrus and tannin!

But seriously ...

An apocalyptic vision of today's world is on the rise. The environment, the economy, society-everything is changing too fast, making people feel that the end times are near, or at least the end of an era and the beginning of generalized chaos. Cynicism and a crisis of trust in the elites in our society continue to advance.

Yet, on a personal level, people are displaying a new vitality. They are adapting. They are learning to live with our times. People want to learn, continuously improve, develop their capabilities.

Also, they seek escape, amusement, new experiences, be they sensual or highly intense.

And everything is culminating in a record-breaking desire to consume. High debt loads may be curbing consumers' ability to spend but their need for escape is stoking their desire to consume!

However, they do not want to pay! Price has become consumers' No. 1 purchasing criterion.

Great opportunities for the brands and organizations positioned on these trends.

Let us help you get there!

Learn more ...

Celebrating Easter in Quebec!

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 04-05-17 at 10:44 a.m.

With Easter just a few weeks away, CROP wanted to know exactly why, how and by whom this ancestral tradition was celebrated in Quebec today, and we learned that the motivation to celebrate this holy day is not always what we might think.

Easter is most certainly a day of celebration for many Quebecers, but…

… for a majority of our compatriots, Easter is not exactly a day that is charged with religious meaning or Christian fervor, unless one counts among the little over 40% of the 55+ years-old cohort who do imbue it with a spiritual significance.

Chocolate is the way to go!

Two thirds of the Quebecers who intend to celebrate Easter this year plan to offer chocolate to their loved ones. This is a golden opportunity for retailers, particularly those operating chain stores (77% say they will buy their chocolates at a big box store vs. 23% in a specialized chocolate shop).

Some are thinking of other types of presents to mark Easter day, 14% told us that they plan to offer flowers/plants, 11% favor many types of sweets –besides chocolate, of course, while 5% came up with other kinds of gifts. In all, nearly 80% of Quebecers will be exchanging presents on Easter Sunday.

Do you intend to celebrate Easter this year?


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Originally, Easter is a Christian religious holiday. When celebrating it this year, would you do so for its religious and spiritual meaning or for other reasons?


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A special Easter menu to be concocted at home

A great majority (83%) of Quebecers will be doing their Easter feasting right at home or at their friends’ home (73%) rather than in a restaurant (10%).

Our wishes for many happy memories with your loved ones and bon appétit!

Happy Easter!

RRSP or no RRSP, that is the question!

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 03-09-17 at 8:15 p.m.

With the dreaded tax season just around the corner, CROP thought it quite fitting in February to ask Quebec workers about their attitudes and perceptions with regard to their retirement. Here’s what we learned:

Contributing to a pension plan…
a matter of generation

On the whole, more than one in every two Quebec workers have access to a pension fund through their employer and surprisingly, it is older workers who have less of an opportunity to contribute to an RRSP through work.

For the 2016 fiscal year, the 35-54 year-old cohort were more assiduous in securing their retirement by contributing to their RRSP (47% before February) or by intending to do so before March 1st, while one in two workers aged 55 or more have no intention this year to put money into a pension plan.

It seems as if 55+ year-olds are, on the whole, less inclined today toward retirement planning, maybe it’s because they’ve already done so and no longer need to worry about it?










A majority of Quebec workers are optimistic about their financial situation at retirement

Our survey results reveal that men are the most optimistic about their financial circumstances when comes the time for them to retire.

Obviously enough, workers who currently contribute to an RRSP are, on the whole, more confident about a financially secure retirement than those who do not.

All the more reason to keep up with those RRSP payments!

Does your employer offer you the option to contribute to a pension plan?


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Have you contributed or do you plan to contribute to an RRSP by March 1st, 2017?


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When you consider your financial situation at your retirement, would you say that your outlook is…?


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Corporations & social responsibility - It all begins at home!

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 09-28-16 at 1:30 p.m.

For many, the notion of corporate social responsibility primarily evokes the redistribution of wealth in communities, associations and charitable causes, or environmental-protection projects. But one of the main findings of the latest CROP study on this issue leads to a more nuanced conclusion.

For consumers and citizens alike, corporate social responsibility begins with the manufacturing process, the supply chain, the impact that companies have on society and the environment. The commitment to causes, while considered very important, comes second.

A large majority of Canadians expect companies, above all, to treat their employees well, to sell products and services (and those of their suppliers) that pose no danger to people's health or the environment. They also expect companies to adhere to the highest standards of quality and ethics in their practices, wherever they are located.

Canadians are clearly segmented based on their expectations of corporate social responsibility. More than one out of two Canadians want to see companies demonstrate leadership in this area and say that how a company performs in this respect influences their purchasing decisions and choices.

Idealists, for example, have characteristics reminiscent of the alter-globalization movement. They are very ecological. They want wealth to be shared more “equitably”. They believe that their dream of a better world for everyone can be realized. While highly critical of companies, they believe that it is possible to collaborate with them. Because they are very connected and active on social media, they can potentially make a lot of “noise”—both bad and good!—that affects a company’s reputation.

Consequently, brands, companies and institutions need to ensure that the “consumers” belonging to the segments most sensitive to the issue of corporate social responsibility are favourably disposed toward them. Yet, according to our brand studies, this is not always the case!

Is your brand properly positioned on this issue? CROP can help you find out.

By CROP

Social Networks: Users’ Hot Buttons

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 01-29-16 at 10 a.m.

Of course, there is still a certain overrepresentation of people under age 45, but breakthroughs in all age groups are increasingly apparent. Moreover, beyond the demographics, when it comes to the current accelerated expansion of the use of social networks, what especially commands attention is the kaleidoscope of new motivations that attracts people to them.

Indeed, analyses from our Panorama program clearly show that if over half of the population is now active on social networks, their reasons for doing so are increasingly numerous. At first, "early adopters" of this innovation were primarily motivated by the quest for status, to "be someone", to affirm their individual social identities. This motivation is definitely still active, but it is far from the only one that attracts users (those who have seen the movie Birdman will remember the scene where the girl tells her father – a movie star – that he’s nothing in life because he doesn’t even have a Facebook profile!).

The panorama of values that motivate usage has changed enormously since the emergence of these networks. There is now a need to "connect", that is, to share in an emotionally significant manner with others, a need for "humanity", a desire to remain engaged with others, as well as a need to help one another. A desire to improve life around oneself, and to contribute, notably by sharing one’s opinions.

All of this while having fun, playing!

Social networks are now sources of pleasure; they are fun to use (gamification), even, for some, one of the most addictive pastimes. We play at discovering others, to learn to "help one another" to contribute to a better world, as well as curating one’s social identity (through managing one’s profile).

Furthermore, analysis of the use of social networks based on frequency of use also points to a significant segmentation of values that motivate use.

First of all, the most active users, those who use social networks several times a day, incarnate the image of all users: the need to "connect", to share in an emotionally significant way with others, the need for "humaneness", etc. (note that the majority of social media users connect several times a day).

On the other hand, those who go on social networks on an almost daily basis express a need to stay in touch with others because they potentially feel somewhat excluded from society (notably expressing a sense of lack of control over their lives). They want to stay in touch with what's happening in terms of consumption, to know what others consume, to stay “with it", etc.

Finally, note that those who use them less often, those who are new to social networks, have the same motivations as the first generation of users: quest for status and social identity, need for recognition, etc., as if these are entry-level motivations, before being superimposed with other motivations.

In terms of specific networks, with the exception of less frequent Facebook users, all the social networks we analyzed answer the same basic motives: the need to connect, to stay in touch, for "humaneness", to help one another, to contribute, as well as to have fun and "play."

However, in addition, each of the platforms analyzed also answers specific motivations:

Facebook is a portal to assert one’s uniqueness, one’s individuality in society, compared to others, compared to one’s peers. This uniqueness also expresses itself through a certain degree of social activism, as well as through one’s consumption behaviour

Twitter is definitely a strong tool for social protest and the promotion of socio-ethical idealism

LinkedIn answers a need for community and promotion of one’s social status

Instagram is definitely the most narcissistic of all the platforms, the most focused on promoting one’s status, even though it, like Pinterest, expresses the motivation of discovering others

Finally, less frequent Facebook users reflect less frequent social network users in general, who are very focused on status promotion

Thus, in a short amount of time, social networks have developed unique cultural relevance within our society, with multiple roles that overlap and meet multiple needs.

During the same period, social networks became social media. The need to connect found here provides an opportunity for brands to create closer ties with consumers, to mobilize them and increase loyalty. However, they also represent a more immediate risk of punishment, if a brand’s behaviour is not up to people's expectations in terms of social and ecological responsibility. The conversations found on these networks can no longer be ignored by brands and businesses.

Finally, note that in addition to providing very specific answers to people’s individual needs, an undeniable sociopolitical purpose emerges from the diffusion of social media throughout the general population: the opportunity that it provides to contribute to improving the world, to life around us. Although this purpose has been present from the beginning, now it no longer involves just a handful of idealists, it extends to large groups of citizens who want to contribute modestly in their own way towards building a better world.

The opportunity for brands

Brands that assert their presence on social media definitely have the opportunity to offer experiences that meet needs expressed by users’ motivations. For some, fun and status-affirming experiences will be profitable. The content must translate into opportunities to play and assert a certain pride or fantasy.

For others, content that focuses on authenticity, significant emotional connections between people and real commitments in terms of social corporate responsibilities will attract engagement on networks.

Trends in the values and motivations of social network users (2010-2015)*


*Based on data from CROP’s Panorama program, representing the total Canadian population, for which data collection is conducted in late fall every year (n=2400/2500).

By CROP