An Overview of Food Price Increases in Canada

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that food prices are once again on the rise in Canada. In fact, according to Canada’s Food Price Report 2022, we can expect to see an overall increase of about 5-7%. Unfortunately, this is the highest estimated increase since this report first came out about 12 years ago.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a few questions in light of this information. Namely, what’s causing these increases? And what foods are affected? In this blog post, we will do our best to provide answers to these questions and more in our overview of food price increases in Canada. 

Why are Food Prices Increasing in Canada?

COVID-19 is Still a Factor

As you’re probably well-aware at this point, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on our supply chains these past few years. Lockdowns were – and in some cases, still are – happening all over the world, forcing all kinds of businesses to close their doors, some even permanently. While most grocery stores and food manufacturing plants have remained open throughout the pandemic, people were and are still getting sick, forcing them to stay home from work and putting an overall hamper on productivity.

And, while things may be slowly getting better, COVID-19 is still very much present in Canada and throughout the world, so we can still expect these kinds of supply chain issues to persist in the near future. However, the pandemic isn’t the only reason for the increases, especially for certain types of foods.

Climate Change

Climate change has become a big issue for the food supply chain, especially for farmers. For example, British Columbia experienced a heat dome in late June of 2021, which really impacted the livestock industry. In fact, one farmer claims to have lost 10% of her flock due to the weather.

Crops are also suffering due to the heat. Again in 2021, the weather in Western Canada really hurt the production of crops like wheat and canola, reducing both the quantity and quality of their harvests.

It looks like farmers are going to need to figure out how to protect both their animals and crops from this scorching hot weather if production is going to ever go back to normal, and that will likely take some time. So, at least for now, you should expect to pay more for these kinds of products.

How Much More Can We Expect to Pay for Food in Canada?

According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 as referenced above, the average family of 4 can expect to pay an extra $966.08 for food this year. They also predict that these prices will be higher than average in Ontario, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Here is a list of expected price increases by type of food:

  • Bakery: 5-7%
  • Dairy: 6-8%
  • Meat: 0-2%
  • Seafood: 0-2%
  • Vegetables: 5-7%
  • Fruits: 3-5%
  • Other: 2-4%
  • Restaurants: 6-8%

So, if you’re worried about food costs this year, you may want to take a look at this list and try to budget accordingly. Unfortunately, this problem may not be going away anytime soon.

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