Initial overview of 15 food categories 2016-2022

Initial portrait of 15 processed food categories available in Québec grocery stores 2016-2022

5132 food products were listed for this study


66 %

of products
purchased have high
levels of saturated fats,
sugars and/or sodium


food categories should
be improved as a priority: sliced breads, breakfast cereals, cookies, salty snacks and cheese products


This synthesis study provided a portrait of 15 processed foods categories available in food markets in 2016-2022. All of these analyzes made it possible to identify which product categories to monitor in the coming years, but also what are the extent of the improvements to be considered. The results also show that a large proportion of products in several categories exceed the thresholds of 15% of the daily value (DV) for saturated fats, sugars and/or sodium. Moreover, 60% of the purchased products listed in this study would have the symbol on the front of their packaging revealing high levels of saturated fats, sugars and/or sodium. Improvement simulations proposed for each category made it possible to estimate the impact of reductions on the daily intake of Quebecers and to establish the food categories to be improved as a priority. Measuring the evolution of these 15 food categories over the coming years will help inform public policies and industry practices.

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Full report

The mission of the Food Quality Observatory is to monitor the evolution of the food supply in order to generate new knowledge and act collectively to improve its quality and accessibility. The studies carried out by the Observatory aim to analyze food categories and monitor their evolution over time. The process of selecting food categories is a rigorous process. Indeed, after a consultation with the Observatory’s knowledge users, the scientific committee prioritized the categories of foods to be studied according to four main criteria: the impact on health, the variability of nutritional quality, the rate of penetration into households and the potential for product improvement. Following this consultation, 15 food categories were analyzed and this report therefore presents the synthesis of the results obtained between 2016 and 2022.

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The data for this overview of the 15 food categories comes from :

Nutritional composition :

Consumer purchases :


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