According to the Food Price Report 2015 published by the University of Guelph in early December, food prices in Canada will increase between 0.3% to 2.6% on average in 2015. The price rise could be higher than the rate of inflation. The largest increases will affect meat, fish, seafood and vegetables. In the case of meat and fish, the increase would range from 3% to 5%.
The main reasons for such increases include demand and supply imbalances in the market for beef and pork and the decline of the Canadian dollar for vegetables.
It should be noted that food prices in Canada increased by 28.5% between 2004 and 2014.
|Food Category||Expected Price Increase|
|Meat||3 to 5%|
|Fish and Seafood||3 to 5%|
|Dairy and Eggs||0 to 1%|
|Grains||0 to 2%|
|Fruit and Nuts||1 to 3%|
|Vegetables||3 to 5%|
|Food from Restaurants||1 to 3%|
|Overall Food Expenditure||0.3 to 2.4%|
When this report was published, I was invited once again on several TV programmes to comment on the news and share my tips to help consumers cope with this increase. There is obviously no magic formula, but, as explained repeatedly, we can exercise prudence while doing our grocery shopping.
The easiest and most accessible way for everyone to tackle this issue is to take advantage of the competitive pricing policies. In practice: Put together a menu based on bargains. Start off by preparing your shopping list at home (to avoid impulse purchases at the store) and go through the flyers.
You could also try to cut down your meat consumption and experiment more with vegetarian food, as this is a healthy and affordable option. You’ll find nearly 1,000 vegetarian recipes as well as semi-vegetarian, pescetarian or lacto-ovo-vegetarian meal plans on soscuisine.com.
Prepared food items should be avoided at all costs. The best way to keep your grocery bill in check is to buy fresh and unprocessed products. And if you need a helping hand, simply turn to our SOS Plus service.