Food prices in Canada are expected to surge in 2022, with an overall increase of 5% to 7%, according to Canada’s Food Price Report 2022.
The report, released on Thursday, predicts that with this price increase, a family of four will pay an extra $966 for food a year, for a total annual grocery bill of $14,767.
The biggest increase in prices are predicted for dairy and restaurants at 6% to 8%, and bakery and vegetables at 5% to 7%.
Canada’s Food Price Report for 2022 predicts a 5% to 7% increase in food costs. Consumers’ food choices continue to be motivated by health, environmental sustainability, and a commitment to supporting local food supply chains: https://t.co/qn1DC6OrTj 🍎 pic.twitter.com/yyP7d5mT2J
— Dalhousie University (@DalhousieU) December 9, 2021
“It’s important for consumers to understand that food prices have been going up for some time, and there’s no turning back,” said Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, in a news release. “Our relationship with food is changing, and so will our food budgets. Showing up at the grocery store knowing what you should be paying will help.”
The provinces predicted to have the highest increase in prices are Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
This predicted price increase comes after a year of COVID-19 related disruptions to the food supply chain, climate change and adverse weather effects, labour shortages, high inflation and food transportation challenges, according to the report.
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“Supply chain disruptions and labour market challenges will persist in 2022,” explained Alyssa Gerhardt, a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie who worked on the project, in the release. “COVID-19 is still here. The food supply chain will continue to grapple with the cost of sanitation and PPE, high transportation costs and reduced maritime transport capacity, as well as decreased efficiency and disruptions due to closures.”
Kelleen Wiseman, UBC campus lead for the annual report, adds that the forecasted increase in prices on vegetables is worrying. “Consumers might be tempted to further reduce their consumption of fresh and mainstream vegetables,” she said in a press release. “However, options are available in selecting alternative vegetables or frozen vegetables — which can provide high nutritional value at a lower price point.”
Food prices are on the rise, but so is food literacy among Canadians. The report says that food literacy levels have increased during the pandemic with Canadians learning new recipes and cooking with new ingredients.
The report is an annual cross-country collaboration between Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia.
This is the highest predicted increase in food prices since the inception of the report 12 years ago.