Grocery bills set to soar in 2021, Report

Grocery bills set to soar in 2021, Report
Grocery bills set to soar in 2021, Report

It’s going to cost more to feed you and your family next year.

Tuesday—the 2021 Canada Food Price Report was released, the report forecasts that overall food prices will go up 3 to 5 per cent.

Associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of Saskatchewan, Stuart Smyth was one of the authors of the report.

He said baking goods, meats, and vegetables are the areas they estimate will have the highest increase.

“The lower value of the Canadian dollar is going to impact the vegetables that are imported from California, Florida, and others in southern U.S. states into our markets.”

Smyth said meat processing facilities are also incurring higher costs due to enhanced COVID-19 measures.

“(Facilities) will pass as much of that cost on to us as consumers when we buy those products in the grocery stores.”

The report predicts that the average family of four will spend almost $700 more a year on groceries.

Smyth said the increase in food cost will have a greater impact on low-income households.

Food Matters Manitoba works with the community on food system issues.

Development Coordinator, Katie Anderson said when people don’t have enough money to get by, they have to make tough choices.

“The kinds of things that can get cut are the kinds of groceries you can buy,” said Anderson.

“It’s the most flexible part of our monthly budget, and so when people are on the edge and don’t have enough for all those necessities, it’s food that is often the first thing to get cut.”

She said food banks are a short-term solution, and the bigger solution is ensuring all Canadians have a livable income.

Overall, the report said the food inflation index has outpaced general inflation in Canada over the last 20 years.

The typical grocery bill for Canadians has climbed approximately 170 per cent over the last two decades.

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