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Majority of Canadians feel food prices are rising faster than income

A new survey by Dalhousie University suggests that 87 per cent of Canadians feel that food prices are rising at a faster rate than their household income.

The survey homed in on Canadians’ perceptions were on food affordability, as well as on what they were willing to do to offset the costs of food inflation next year.

According to Charlebois, the number of Canadians feeling concerned about food prices relative to their income was way higher than expected.

“But 87 per cent is quite substantial — it means that the vast majority of Canadians actually do feel that food prices are moving much faster than their own income. And so food affordability is clearly an issue in the country.”

According to a previous report released by Dalhousie and the University of Guelph, food prices could increase as much $487 in 2020 for the average Canadian family. It’s an increase that could bring total household food expenditures to $12,667 for families following Canada’s food guide.

That report cited changes in consumer preferences, continuing trade wars, global growth deceleration and failure for wages to adjust for inflation as factors for the increase.

According to Food Banks Canada’s annual HungerCount report, food bank visits across the country reported a total of over one million visits in the month of March alone — a number that’s stayed relatively the same since 2010.

In the last year, about one in eight households across Canada experienced food insecurity, according to Hatch, who attributed the rate to stagnating wage growth, as well as the increase of housing, rent and food prices across the country.

The survey also found that 53 per cent of Canadians were looking to change their food shopping habits come 2020.

In order to save money, Canadians were planning to make several concessions to their shopping and eating habits — with more than half saying they would eat out less at restaurants and almost 50 per cent saying that they would use flyers and coupons more often.

It is not just the cost of vegetables that are expected to increase in 2020 but also the price of meat.

Canadians can expect meat prices to increase between four to six per cent next year, while seafood and vegetables could jump as much as four per cent, according to the Canada Food Price Report 2020. -CINEWS

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