Canada's Food Prices Expected To Rise Next Year

Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 09:38 AM

A new report says it's going to cost us more at the grocery store checkout next year.

The 'Canada Food Price Report 2019' says food prices are projected to rise between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Leading the increase will be vegetables, with prices expected to to climb between four and six per cent.

An expected shift from a La Niña to an El Niño weather pattern will mean drier conditions, particularly in California where much of our produce comes from.

The report's co-author, Dr. Simon Somogyi, with the University of Guelph has some advice if you want to reduce your annual food bill.

"Buy local fruit and vegetables in season. They're less subject to shipping, which increase costs. Thirty-five per cent of Canadians food bill is in restaurants or food outside the home, so avoid restaurants and only buy the food you need."

Somogyi says a rise in vegetables prices is one of the main drivers of the increase.

"About four to six per cent for vegetables, but we're seeing meat prices drop by one to three per cent and seafood probably about up to 2 per cent."

He says cattle stocks have increased after a drought a few years ago reduced herd sizes, and, people are eating less meat.

As for seafood, Somogyi says it's an international commodity so global prices are at play.