Competition Bureau to investigate fastest spike in grocery store prices in 40 years

Oct 24 2022, 7:52 pm

Grocery store prices have seen an unprecedented rise across the nation, and now, the feds are launching an investigation to examine why.

On Monday, the Competition Bureau of Canada announced that it will study grocery store prices to help find ways to curb food inflation. Even though inflation, in general, went down this summer, food prices remained on the up and up.

“Grocery prices in Canada are increasing at the fastest rate seen in 40 years,” they noted, adding the factors blamed for it so far: the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, extreme weather, and higher input costs.

The study will go on until June 2023, and officials will seek answers to three primary questions to see whether competition factors are also at work.

Here’s what they hope to answer:

  • To what extent are higher grocery prices a result of changing competitive dynamics?
  • What can we learn from steps that other countries have taken to increase competition in the sector?
  • How can governments lower barriers to entry and expansion to stimulate competition for consumers?

“Competition benefits all Canadians,” the Bureau wrote. “More competition means lower prices, more choices, and better convenience for consumers.”

Anyone interested in providing submissions on these questions and any other matters relevant to retail grocery competition in Canada is invited to do so. The deadline for submissions is December 16.

“This study is not an investigation into specific allegations of wrongdoing,” the Competition Bureau clarified. “If we do find evidence during this study that someone may be doing something against the law, then we will investigate and take appropriate action.”

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