Food prices will be going up even more next year according to Canada’s Food Price Report.
Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 forecasts an overall food price increase of 5% to 7% for the coming year, the highest seen since the report started 12 years ago.
Project lead Sylvain Charlebois said the most significant increases are predicted for dairy and restaurants at 6% to 8% and bakery and vegetables at 5% to 7%.
“It’s important for consumers to understand that food prices have been going up for some time, and there’s no turning back,” said Charlebois. “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.”
This year’s report predicts that a family of four will pay up to $14,767.36 for food, an increase of up to $966.08 from the total annual cost in 2021.
Food price increases in Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan will be higher than the national average in 2022. Price increases in other provinces will be lower.
Project member Alyssa Gerhardt said there will be disruptions to the food supply chain system based on current events.
“COVID-19 is still here,” said Gerhardt. “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.”
Despite these challenges, the report said consumers’ food choices continue to be motivated by health, sustainability, and a commitment to supporting local food supply chains. Overall “food literacy” appears to be improving.
Food insecurity is expected to become a growing issue in 2022 as prices continue to rise. Reliance on food banks is expected to grow if incomes do not increase.
A growing problem related to food insecurity is theft from grocery stores, which is expected to go up in 2022.
Grocers have reported a rise in theft, particularly with meat, cheese, over-the-counter medication and energy drinks.
Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 estimates that unreported loss of theft could be as high as $3,000 to $4,000 per week in some grocery stores.