Canadian food prices set to rise in 2016

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Keep an eye on those prices tags, and get out your coupon-cutting scissors – it looks like grocery budgets across the country are going up in 2016.

The University of Guelph Food Price Report 2016 – from the University of Guelph’s Food Institute – reports a 2% to 4% increase on food prices across the board, from restaurant meals to fruits and nuts, in 2016.

Food Price Report predicted increases

  • Meats – 2.5% to 4.5%
  • Fish and seafood – 1% to 3%
  • Dairy and eggs – 0% to 2%
  • Grains – 0% to 2%
  • Fruits and nuts –2.5% to 4.5%
  • Vegetables – 2% to 4%
  • Food from restaurants – 1.5% to 3.5%

A few of the contributing factors are the effects of El Niño on climate and food-growing weather, the weak Canadian dollar, and predicted consumer trends for the new year. Among these trends, the Food Institute predicts an increase in interest for vegetable proteins to contribute to pricing changes, and an increased awareness on gut health to affect what Canadians are buying, and how much retailers will charge. The continuing conversation of ethics in the industrialized farming are also predicted to impact on food prices, affecting even the fast food industry and its race to be more animal friendly.

“For years, many in the food industry believed that the issue of animal welfare would be a short-lived issue, connected primarily to an urban-driven anxiety juxtaposed with the principles of pet ownership,” says the report. “It was assumed that consumers’ desire for convenience and affordability would trump this concern. Consumers continue to express this desire, but the issue is clearly retaining traction in ongoing conversations about agriculture.”

The Food Price Report breaks down, on a basic level, how the state of the world will affect pricing in Canada. Among the “Fundamental drivers of Canadian Retail Food Prices (2015)” are things such as Climate, Geopolitical Risks, Inflation, Consumer Food Awareness and Trends, and Consumer Debt and Deleveraging.

For more information, the full report can be found online.

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Shawn O'Hara Shawn is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. He loves writing about news, arts, movies, comedy, and culture. Some would argue Shawn is too old to still play Dungeons & Dragons. Shawn would disagree.

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