Consumer Trends Report - Preface


A draft version of this report was presented at a national Symposium on Consumer Trends and Research organized by the Office of Consumer Affairs and held in Ottawa on June 3, 2004.

The draft report served as a background and resource document for participants at that event.

The symposium brought together experts on consumer research drawn from the academic community, business organizations, governments and consumer and other public interest groups to discuss current and future consumer trends and research priorities.

This version of the Consumer Trends Report incorporates some of the comments received from symposium participants and from the report's advisory committee.

An Afterword at the end of this report provides some general observations made by symposium participants on research and analytical issues that future consumer trends reports might consider addressing. Please note that this report is largely based on data gathered during the autumn and winter of 2003-04.

As outlined in the Introduction that follows, the main purpose of the report is twofold.

  • First, to provide a general overview of the current economic and marketplace circumstances that consumers face and their changing socio-demographic circumstances.
  • Second, to provide a preliminary outline of the main research gaps that exist in our understanding of a rapidly changing and complex consumer landscape.

We hope this report will provide those researchers interested in consumers and today's marketplace with some useful analytical data and encourage and sustain the enthusiasm of participants at the symposium to carry the research agenda forward.

Office of Consumer Affairs
Ottawa, November 2004

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