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May 17, 2007 06:39 AM

Quebecers spend more on food than Cdn average

According to this article (in French) we spend an average of $200 more per year than people in the rest of Canada, and people in the Montréal metropolitan area spend the most on food. (People from abroad will note that this is despite the fact that Ontario and Alberta, for example, are far wealthier on average).

Statistics Canada data confirms that Québec likes to eat - and we are more likely to go to speciality shops - butcher's, greengrocers, fish markets, which cannot help but boost the grocery bill.

We are also less likely to buy supermarket home brands, and to shop at "discount supermarkets"
And more likely to consume speciality or artisinal products.

Of course, there are a lot of people who eat crap here, and an old working-class tradition of particularly bad and unhealthy food. But it is interesting that the statistics actually bear out our growing foodie reputation. I have certainly noticed a difference, for example if I visit people in Toronto.. And the interest in food seems to extend to francophones, anglophones and allophones here.

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  1. Kind of a silly article in that paper, you know it's kind of like saying"TOO MANY"visitors to Paris want fine French food instead of McDonalds and Subway

    1. Only $200 more a year than other Canadians eh? I would have thought people spent more than that a year than other Canadians on dining out alone. When I left Montreal my food budget went to transportation (car, gas, insurance, parking) since public transit isn’t good.

      I’m not surprised more is spent on food though - when one has access to such great restaurants, with creative chefs with strong training with access to excellent fresh produce and the best part is that the consumer also has access to these same farmers/producers as the chefs whose products can get to the table within 2 hour drive. How can one not be interested in food ?

      And when one takes into consideration that Montreal was a city founded by cultures for whom food and family used to go hand in hand (French Canadian, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek, etc.) Albeit a cliché – but the underlying premise that preparing/eating food is a demonstration of love still prevails (how many times have you finished your plate not to offend even though you are already stuffed to the gills).

      The great thing for foodies is that with so many strong restaurants competing against one another prices come down, we're lucky that food quality doesn't suffer (Pity when they can’t survive and close their doors though) - but great value for the consumer.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yow yul

        Funny. I never thought a diet of cigarettes, twinkies and hotdogs with cabbage would add up to that much.

        1. re: pimentdespelette

          Actually, the cigarettes would - very pricy here... I did mention the "old working-class tradition of particularly bad and unhealthy food" , in East-End Montréal for example - but it is Jos Louis and Mae West's, not Twinkies - those are American snack cakes.

          There are a lot fewer people in Québec who still eat like that than even a generation ago.