Grim food price report predicts these items will get even more expensive in 2023

Apr 7 2023, 8:53 pm

Canadians are sick and tired of paying exorbitant prices for everyday food items. But, according to the latest instalment of the Canada Food Price Report, the nightmare is far from over.

This is the thirteenth edition of the report, which is put together by the agri-food analytics lab at Dalhousie University in collaboration with authors and advisors from several reputable Canadian universities and research institutions.

“We were hoping to have better news for Canadians, given the difficulties experienced in 2022, but our models tell us a different story,” the report states.

Last year’s food price report predicted prices would increase by 7%, but total food inflation exceeded a staggering 10.3%.

food price

Dalhousie University

“At 7%, our forecast a year ago was considered by many to be alarmist, yet here we are with a food inflation rate above 10%,” this year’s report admits. “Like 2022, we anticipate 2023 to be challenging for Canadians at the grocery store, especially for households with lower means.”

This year, expect to pay 5-7% more for bakery items, dairy products, and meat, among other things. Seafood and general restaurant prices will also likely be 4-6% higher.

Fruit prices will increase by 3-5%, but things get even grimmer on the other side of the produce section — vegetables.

Vegetables have been hit the hardest, with an anticipated 6-8% price hike.

Dalhousie University

The biggest drivers of food inflation in Canada are climate change, energy costs, geopolitical risks, inflation, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surprisingly, factors like food retail and distribution, food processing figures, likely policies and regulations, and consumer awareness and trends only pose a “moderate” threat.

The food price report also breaks down expectations by province.

This year, prices will likely increase in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.

food price

Dalhousie University

Food bank usage in Canada has reached record highs. As a result of food inflation, the federal government has introduced a one-time grocery rebate to help Canadians brave sky-high grocery bills.

But will it be enough? Probably not by the looks of this year’s Canada Food Price Report.

food price

Dalhousie University

For a family of four —based on a family with a man (age 31–50), a woman (age 31–50), a boy (age 14–18), and a girl (age 9–13) — food expenses are predicted to be up to $16,222.80 per year.

“This is an increase of up to $1065.60 from the observed annual expenditure for a family of the same demographic makeup in 2022,” the report states.

Maybe it’s time to start a vegetable garden in your backyard or balcony.

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