by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A recent survey published by the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University is suggesting that Canadians will be taking measures to cut their grocery bills this year by changing how they buy food. The survey, which was completed at the end of 2021, asked 9,999 Canadian adults about their food-buying expectations in 2022. An astounding 63% of respondants answered that they intend to make changes in 2022.
Some examples of changes which survey respondants indicated they intended to make this year include using coupons more often, visiting different grocery stores, buying more food in bulk, and buying discounted food that is about to expire. These survey responses highlight the severity of food shortages and food price increases in Canada, which have been a concern for many months.
On December 15, the Times reported on the grim news found in Canada’s Food Price Report, which suggested that groceries would likely cost 5-7% more in 2022. This is particularly concerning because wages and salary increases have not been keeping up with inflation costs for many Canadians, leaving some families wondering where the money for their next grocery bill will come from.
What drives these large food price increases can be quite complicated. On February 2, the Times explored the issue of supply and demand when it comes to food, questioning whether North Grenville residents could expect to be impacted by food shortage concerns being reported all over the country. While B&H grocery store owner, Jim Beveridge, predicted at that time that food shortages would not impact North Grenville as heavily as other areas, due to the availability of many local products, other areas are certainly impacted. Supply issues, arising from a shortage of truck drivers in Canada, cause an increase in demand for products, which can, in turn, increase prices.
Other factors that drive food prices up are relevant, regardless of region. These include the soaring costs of fuel, which causes an increase in delivery costs, as well as minimum wage increases for more than 750,000 workers in Ontario. Whatever the various causes of food price increases, the cycle of increased costs being passed onto consumers year after year is not likely to come to an end any time soon, leaving countless families struggling to find creative ways to make ends meet.