Your Target Market

Published: Apr 9, 2012
Last Updated: Jun 27, 2013
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A Word On Primary Research

Sometimes doing your own market research is the only way to learn about your potential customers. If this is the case, you may need to conduct focus groups, interviews, surveys, or some other form of data collection. But before you commit time and energy to this kind of research, be sure to try the sources listed in this section.

British Columbia Survey of Household Spending 2010 (xls)
The data from this release came from the 2009 Survey of Household Spending conducted by Statistics Canada. The Survey of Household Spending is carried out annually across Canada in ten provinces. The purpose of this survey is to obtain information about household spending, dwelling characteristics, as well as household equipment.

What you'll find: The average household expenditure in British Columbia on food purchased from restaurants and stores, at home and on vacation.

Survey of Household Spending - Statistics Canada
Raw data in table form from the Survey of Household Spending (SHS). This general resource provides information on household spending by demographics. Report includes detailed information on Canadian spending patterns, household equipment, and housing conditions. Also includes the ability to view data from British Columbia only; click on "Add/Remove Data".

What you'll find: The average household expenditure on food by province or in Canada as a whole. Compare changes over last few years.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides information and programs for those who raise animals or who grow plants for food, feed or industrial use. This web resource features a comprehensive collection of agricultural information including economic forecasts and statistics, policies and acts, incentive programs and other services.

Start here: Canadian Consumers

Library Resources

Access to the following sources may be available through your local public or academic library. For information on how to obtain a library card, and for additional information on using libraries in BC, please visit our Getting Access to Library Resources page.

Vividata (formerly "Print Measurement Bureau")
Includes information on Canadians' usage of over 3500 products and services. Information includes demographics, attitudes, media consumption, retail outlets, frequency of usage and brands used. UBC affiliates and in-person library patrons can learn more about the resource here.

Start here: Includes [enter industry specific details] by province and major Canadian cities broken down by data such as:  martial status, family size, net income, and language spoken.


Start here: PMB Category Reports - PMB 2011 Spring Study. Information on the personal buying preferences of Canadians with regard to [add industry here]. Check for relevant data under the [add PMB chapters here] headings. Focus

How to access: Check your local public or academic library to see about access. If you are a UBC student, staff, faculty or in-person library visitor you can access this resource.

While you can search this website only some Canadian libraries provide full-text access to the market research reports on industries and demographics for North American industries. They can range from 50 to 400+ pages in length, and contain charts, tables, and graphs, and key facts. has varied industry coverage and includes US and international information.

Start here: Freshness: Culinary Trend Mapping Report (February 2012)
Start here: New Old World Cuisine: Culinary Trend Mapping Report (August 2011)
Start here: Condiments and Sauces: Culinary Trend Mapping Report (June 2011)


To find more information on demographics, try entering the phrase “demographic data” and your city name into the search box of any popular search engine such as Google or Bing.