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Goldfish Crackers launches imagination study

Image courtesy of Campbell Company Canada

Goldfish® Crackers, bite-size snack in many school vending machines and office pantry services, has commissioned a nationwide study: The Goldfish Imagination Index, which examines Canadian parents’ perceptions of imagination. 

According to the study, virtually all of Canadian parents (99 per cent) see imagination as an important trait for their children to have (possess), yet two in three feel their kids could utilize their imagination more often. In fact, the research revealed just over half of Canadian parents believe their children use their imaginations less than they did when they were young, with parents also reporting that they feel levels of imagination decrease as kids grow older1. Based on the study results, Canadian parents also believe having a strong imagination increases important personality traits later in life such as innovation (96 per cent), problem-solving (94 per cent), independence (80 per cent) and even overall happiness (84 per cent).

“What the findings of our study show is that there is a strong opportunity for us as parents to nurture imagination in our kids, and we want to help parents do that,” says Paloma Bentes, marketing director at Campbell Canada in a press release.

Recognizing the importance that Canadian parents place on this topic, Goldfish has introduced “Feed Imagination”— a new brand platform that encourages and fosters imagination in Canadian children. To complement the launch of this brand platform, The Goldfish Imagination Index will serve as a leading source of research and understanding of imagination in Canada.


“We wanted to provide Canadians with insights around the importance of imagination and its impact, especially now with families spending so much time at home,” Bentes says. According to the study about a third of Canadian parents feel their children’s imagination has suffered during the pandemic.

Though imagination appears to be so important to Canadian parents, many express that they have trouble increasing it in their children on their own as the study found that six in ten parents could use some assistance in encouraging imagination in their children. To help, Goldfish has launched the #FeedImagination contest, calling Canadian parents to share examples of their kids’ imagination for a chance to bring it to life. Until October 13, parents can submit via Instagram or through the Goldfish contest website:

Quebec parents can also participate in a French version of the contest through and Instagram. Winners will have the chance to have their story submissions brought to life nationwide on billboards or through digital storybooks.

Other key findings from The Goldfish Imagination Index:

  • Importance of Imagination for Children’s Development: Virtually all parents (at least 94%) agree that imagination helps their children develop a myriad of positive traits
  • 97% of parents agree that a strong imagination will help their kids be happier and to thrive in life
  • 94% of parents agree that a strong imagination will help their kids succeed academically

Imagination at home: 

With most Canadians spending more time at home this year, parents are split on the impact this time has had on their children’s imagination. Three in ten parents say their children’s imagination has suffered during the pandemic, one third say it stayed the same, and slightly over one third say their children’s imagination has increased during the pandemic

Signs That Children Could Use Their Imagination More:

  • 77 per cent of Canadian parents point to excessive technology use as a key sign that they could use their imagination more. The other top signs are related to theme of kids having trouble creating their own fun/ideas (e.g. difficulty entertaining themselves 49 per cent, getting bored easily 66 per cent, needing help coming up with ideas on their own 46 per cent)

Imagination as a “Constructive” Trait:

When asked which activities encourage imagination, parents are most likely to say building or constructing things encourages imagination (99 per cent), but also point to artistic activities, such as reading, acting or storytelling (97 per cent).

Key Regional Findings:

  • Parents in Quebec are less likely to say a strong imagination will help their children grow into strong leaders (61 per cent vs. 74 per cent nationwide) but more likely to say imagination will help their children become team players (70 per cent vs. 61 per cent nationwide).
  • Parents in Atlantic Canada are more likely to say their children use their imaginations less than when they were growing up (62 per cent vs. 52 per cent nationwide), and are also more likely to say encouraging imagination in their children is difficult (58 per cent vs. 50 per cent nationwide).
  • Parents in British Columbia are more likely to say they could use help encouraging imagination in their children (74 per cent vs. 62 per cent nationwide)