Canada’s LGBTQ+ Consumers: City Dwellers With Big Spending Power

Canada’s LGBTQ+ Consumers: City Dwellers With Big Spending Power

Canada is home to a diverse population, including dynamic LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and others) communities across the country. And as a consumer group, Canada’s LGBTQ+ communities have very deep pockets, as they are responsible for $3.7 billion in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) purchases each year, which represents 4.4% of the country’s total FMCG purchases.

While LGBTQ+ consumers spend nearly the same amount on FMCG items as the total population (2% less on average) each year, manufacturers and retailers need to be aware of how these powerful consumers are different from a shopping perspective in order to develop effective strategies to reach them.

One key difference is where LGBTQ+ consumers live. More than 40% of LGBTQ+ consumers live in urban centres, compared with only 27% of the total population. Location plays a key role in consumer purchasing decisions and can define whether or not they have the storage space to stock up. Generally speaking, consumers who live in urban centres are living in smaller spaces (condos and apartments), whereas those in rural areas are more likely to live in houses.

More than 40% of LGBT consumers live in urban centres, compared with only 27% of Canada’s total population

Household makeup is another point of differentiation. More than one-third of households in Canada have three or more members; however, less than one-quarter of LGBTQ+ households follow suit. Additionally, there are significantly more one-person LGBTQ+ households (38%) in Canada than the total population (29%).

One contributing factor to smaller LGBTQ+ households is the absence of children in the home. Only 16% of LGBTQ+ households have children, compared with 27% for the total population. As retailers and manufacturers develop their sales and marketing plans, they should be mindful to not over-emphasize products for babies and children.

With Pride Month in full swing, it’s the perfect time for retailers and manufacturers to revisit their LGBTQ+ consumer strategies and ensure that they’re fully represented in annual plans. However, for an inclusive campaign to have the desired impact, it should be conducted regularly, and a company’s overall branding should completely weave in the LGBTQ+ theme.


The insights in this article were derived from Nielsen’s "Represented. Understood. Heard. The Canadian LGBTQ+ Consumer" study, June 2018.