VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Get ready to pay even more to feed you and your family.
A new report estimates Canadian families will spend up to $487 more on groceries and at restaurants next year.
“We’re not expecting 2020 to be a good year for consumers trying to save some money at the grocery story, unfortunately,” says Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.
“We’ve been doing this for a decade and we would probably place 2020 as the second worst year, after 2014.”
The annual food price report, put together by researchers at Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, anticipates the average Canadian family will spend two to four per cent more to feed themselves in 2020. Higher prices in all eight categories it tracks are expected, with the biggest jump anticipated in meat, with an increase of four to six per cent.
“Meat products are going to be problematic,” adds Charlebois. “That is probably going to compel some consumers to look elsewhere for protein: fish and seafood and also most importantly vegetable proteins.”
Seafood, vegetables, and food sold at restaurants is anticipated to go up by two to four per cent next year. Fruits, dairy, and bakery will see the smallest increase, with zero to just over three per cent next year.
Climate change, global trade instability, and China are some of the reasons we're set to see food prices jump up in Canada in 2020. And #BC is unfortunately expected to see cost increases on the higher end, compared to other provinces. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/mF8kTgFxQo
— Monika Gul (@MonikaGul) December 4, 2019
Climate change, global trade instability, and China are cited as some of the things driving food prices up.
“Pressures coming from China and Asia are real and they’re affecting our food bill. The swine fever in China is actually having a huge impact at the meat counter and other places in the store,” says Charlebois.
The report calls climate change the elephant in the room, with unexpected weather events impacting food crops and attempts by governments to tackle climate change also hitting our pocket books.
Unfortunately for British Columbians, the province is expected to see price increases on the higher end, compared to other parts of the country.
“There are fewer stores opening in BC compared to last few years and secondly, the economy is good, the economy is strong and typically when the economy is strong, prices do go up,” adds Charlebois.
The estimated rise in vegetable prices comes after a staggering 12 per cent increase over the last year, which the report tracks as between Oct. 2018 to Sept. 2019.
This is the 10th year of the annual food forecast, which has been pretty spot on over the years. Predictions for this year ended up being 99.8 per cent accurate.
Read the full report:
-With files from The Canadian Press