Where Canada’s LGBTQ+ Consumers are Shopping and What they are Buying

Where Canada’s LGBTQ+ Consumers are Shopping and What they are Buying

It’s worth knowing that Canadian LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and others) consumers are big spenders living in big cities. However, it’s equally important for retailers and manufacturers to know where they’re shopping and what they’re buying. Without this key information, sales and marketing plans may not be attuned to meet the needs of this powerful consumer group.

When LGBTQ+ consumers shop for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), they spend more than half (53%) of their dollars in grocery stores, but that still leaves plenty of money to be spent in other channels. While their spending in traditional FMCG channels mimics that of the average Canadian household, LGBTQ+ consumers spend more than the average at select specialty channels. For example, LGBTQ+ consumers significantly outspend the general population in beauty stores, spending two times as much as the average Canadian consumer. They also spend 28% more at pet stores and 18% more in drug stores as they round out their purchases.

Since LGBTQ+ consumers shop more than average in certain specialty FMCG stores, it makes sense that this leads to increased spending on certain products, including hair and pet care products, 21% and 29% more, respectively.  Aside from hair care, LGBTQ+ consumers also spend more on oral hygiene (+15%) and shaving products (+13%), making personal care a key category to authentically connect with this vital consumer group.

While LGBTQ+ consumers spend more in some areas of the store, there are also categories where they spend less. Desserts and baby care lead the way, with LGBTQ+ consumers spending 24% less. However, with the Gayby boom underway and LGBTQ+ families catching up to the total population with small children (7% vs. 11% for the total Canadian population), the baby care category may soon fall off this list.

As LGBTQ+ consumers are a vibrant part of communities across Canada, it’s important that they are represented, understood and heard in the FMCG shopping experience.


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