Canadian consumers will likely find themselves having to pay more at the grocery store checkout next year, according to a new report from the University of Guelph.
Overall, the University of Guelph’s 2016 Food Price Report predicts that price increases will average two to four per cent, which is higher than the general rate of inflation.
The weak Canadian dollar, climate factors and various consumer trends will all play important roles in food pricing for 2016, according to Sylvain Charlebois, the lead author of the report.
“This means the average household will likely spend $345 more than in 2015 for the same exact food,” says Charlebois, a professor with Guelph’s Marketing & Consumer Studies department. “The biggest factor could be the Canadian dollar. For every cent the dollar drops, foods that are imported likely increase one per cent or more. For fruits and vegetables, unlike with meats, it’s more challenging to find substitutes in Canada, so shoppers will have to cope with higher prices.”
The pattern began this year (2015), when the sudden currency drop led to fruits, vegetables and nuts increasing in price by nine to 10 per cent, and the Guelph researchers are predicting that those items could increase in price in 2016 by up to 4.5 per cent.
They also predicted that meat prices, which rose five per cent in 2015, could rise by up to 4.5 per cent in 2016.
In addition to Charlebois, other Guelph professors involved in putting together the 2016 Food Price Report were Michael von Massow and Erna van Duren (Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management); Evan Fraser (Geography); Francis Tapon (Economics & Finance); Paul Uys and Maggie McCormick (The Food Institute), and graduate students Leila Kamal Abyaneh and Amit Summan.