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Ethnicity Matters New Survey: COVID-19, Economy and Diversity

Recovery depends strongly on reaching multicultural Canada, research shows

New research shows how important it is to understand diverse, multicultural Canadians to strengthen the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

The research — a new survey of nearly 1,000 Canadians during the height of the pandemic — shows significant variations between South Asian Canadians, Chinese Canadians and the general population in what people hope to or intend to purchase now and after the lockdowns end.1

Among the distinctions:

  • Canadians from diverse communities are more concerned than the general population about the quality of Canada’s online services, about crime, about managing online banking — and about racism.

  • In the coming year 14 per cent of South Asians and 12 per cent of Chinese Canadians say they’re likely to buy a house or condo — and significantly more plans to move by downsizing, upsizing or buying a first home

  • South Asian and Chinese Canadians buying patterns are often different from the general population — for example, approximately one in five South Asians plan to buy smartphones, laptops, tablets or TVs in the next 12 months

  • Manufacturers, retailers and the auto industry should take notice — about one in five South Asian and Chinese Canadians say they’re likely to renovate their homes or buy vehicles within the year

  • Grocers and food producers should pay attention too — South Asian and Chinese Canadians are quite specific about what household and grocery items they prefer and plan to buy, in many cases more specific than the general population

  • Saving, investing and insurance-buying patterns are significantly higher for South Asian and Chinese Canadians

“This survey offers important in-depth insight into key consumer patterns among Canadians during an unprecedented time,” says Bobby Sahni, Partner and Co-Founder of Ethnicity Matters, which commissioned the research.

“To us, the research offers three important messages. One, South Asian and Chinese Canadians will be key to our recovery. Two, businesses will benefit if they recognize and celebrate the distinctions among different multicultural communities,” says Howard Lichtman, Partner and Co-Founder of Ethnicity Matters.

“And thirdly, businesses will do well to keep their eyes on what diverse communities say they want — types of groceries and home products, electronics, cars and trucks, homes, renovation materials and financial services including insurance,” Lichtman said. “Those wants and needs are likely going to be at the heart of the post-COVID-19 recovery.”

Socially distant interviews available!


For further information: Howard Lichtman, howard@ethnicitymatters.com, 416.402.4948 ; Bobby Sahni, bobby@ethnicitymatters.com, 416.277.2033


1 Survey was conducted April 13-27, 2020 among 900 respondents within Canada — 300 from South Asian and Chinese communities and general population respectively. The margin of error for the general gopulation, South Asians, Chinese respondents (at a 90 per cent confidence level) is plus or minus 4.75 per cent for each

We need a commitment against racism in Canada

Last Thursday, a letter appeared in AdWeek with a commitment to do better. This letter, in the form of an ad, appeared in USA Today on Friday and in The New York Times on Saturday. The letter and commitment is from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and its multicultural arm, the Alliance for Inclusive Multicultural Marketing (AIMM). Its members include CMOs at leading CPG companies in the U.S. and several American multicultural agencies.

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FCPC Member Exclusive Complimentary Webinar

Thursday, June 11, 2020
11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

There have been lots of Surveys on consumer behaviour and attitudes during COVID-19, but none have taken into account the special voice of the Ethnic consumer. Ethnicity Matters Multicultural Marketing & Advertising recently completed a 900-person Research Survey to tap into the thoughts, feelings and buyer behaviour of this key segment.

They uncovered some amazing nuggets of information, where Ethnic consumers over-index in terms of opportunity. If you are a Consumer-Packaged Goods Company and you are thinking through where the revenue opportunities are post COVID-19 and beyond, join us and learn where these opportunities are by category. Also gain great insights into the Ethnic consumer and online shopping.


Presenting Speaker:

Howard Lichtman
Partner & Co-Founder


A personal note on why black lives matter – Why ethnicity matters

I’m a Canadian-born son of an immigrant and Caucasian.  I’m watching what is going on in the United States, like everyone else, in horror. Several years ago I founded a Multicultural Marketing Agency with a South Asian-Canadian partner, also the son of immigrant parents.

The Agency is called Ethnicity Matters.  In my own Agency, I am the “visible minority”.  We employ mostly ethnically diverse staff, new immigrants and International Students.  We try to walk the talk.

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