The World Forum - April 24th, 2024

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Food prices are expected to keep going up by five to seven per cent in 2023


Canadians won’t be getting a break from soaring food prices any time soon, according to a December 2022 report which forecasts it will be more than $1,000 more expensive to feed the average family of four in 2023.

After a year of skyrocketing prices and grocers raking in profits while denying price gouging allegations, Canadians are set to see food prices go up by five to seven per cent more this year, the report found.

Canada’s Food Price Report 2023, which was released in December 2022, is estimating price increases will mean an average Canadian family of four will spend around $16,288 per year on food, a jump of $1,065 compared to the yearly cost of food observed in 2022.

The biggest increases in food prices are expected to be seen in vegetables, dairy and meat.

The Dalhousie-led report is a yearly collaboration with three other universities across Canada: the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia.

To create the 2023 report, researchers used a new forecasting model, which includes historical data along with “the additional variables of forecasted inflation and Canadian-U.S. exchange rate,” Kelleen Wiseman, UBC campus lead, said in the release.

Vegetable prices are predicted to increase by six to eight per cent in 2023, the largest price jump for any one category of food. The smallest change is expected to be within fruit, which is anticipated to increase in price by three to five per cent.

Estimations for sample households, with the largest estimate being around $21,200 in yearly food costs for a six person household including parents, a grandparent and three children, may not be fully accurate, researchers said. Instead, the costs could be even higher, as these estimates assume very little food waste and do not account for food service costs and eating out.

On a macro-level, factors such as climate change, geopolitical risks, energy costs and inflation are expected to have a very significant impact in driving up food prices in 2023.