MDC Partners (MDCA) and The Harris Poll Present The Covid Consumer Confidence Report, A Canadian vs. American Perspective

MDC Partners agencies Veritas, Union, 6Degrees and Meat & Produce, in collaboration with The Stagwell Group’s The Harris Poll, today released the results of its Canadian consumer confidence report following a year of COVID-19.

Following Canada’s loosening of COVID-19 restrictions starting June 11, the new research provides brands and retailers with key consumer insights to drive business strategies serving a changed consumer base.

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“Despite easing COVID-19 restrictions across North America, business leaders should not expect a complete return to pre-pandemic consumer behaviors and preferences.  Companies must be prepared to use data, technology and creativity to reach an eager —but changed — consumer,” said Mark Penn, Chairman of the Harris Poll and Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners. “COVID-19 has transformed the way Canadians consume, influence and transact, and they now have evolved and heightened expectations for brands.”

Among the insights from the study:

  • THE ROARING 21’S: Two-thirds of Canadians (67%) and Americans (66%) whose finances were not adversely impacted by the pandemic say they were able to save more money during the pandemic than they otherwise would have.
  • CV-PTSD: 73% of consumers said “COVID will change the way we shop forever”
  • THE BLENDERS: Post-COVID, consumers want a hybrid of digital + in-person, across every area of life – 66% of Canadians said they want a hybrid shopping experience going forward.
  • TURBO-INJECTED INFLUENCERS: 43% of the general population is using a mix of new brands and brands they are familiar with, a change forced by pandemic shortages, and 66% of Canadians are relying on online reviews or social media for decision-making.
  • REPUTATION REVIVED: Canadians see large companies as even more vital now – 59% say companies were more reliable than the government in keeping the country running during COVID.

“Consumers are recognizing and giving credit to those industries that pivoted quickly to support the public through various phases of lockdowns.  Those brands that are able to pave a way to a post-pandemic era and support consumers in that journey will be successful in the coming year.” said Erica Parker, Managing Director of The Harris Poll.

The findings are based on a survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of MDC Partners between April 12-14, 2021, among 1,080 adults ages 18+ in Canada. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Bora Caglayan (

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