Canadians getting desperate about higher food prices

Almost 24 per cent now cutting back on food purchases, almost 70 per cent of whom are women

Canadians getting desperate about higher food pricesWhile inflation is showing signs of dissipating, food inflation appears to be on a totally different path. Food inflation has outpaced our general inflation rate for over 12 months now. Statistics Canada just announced that the food inflation rate for retail was 10.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent in food service. Canada ranks third…

To fight inflation, we have to measure it better

The method StatsCan uses to measure inflation bears no relationship to the reality Canadians face

To fight inflation, we have to measure it betterBy Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy and Valentin Petkantchin For several months now, rising prices have dominated public consciousness and raised anxiety in most households. Not for decades has Statistics Canada’s monthly inflation rate indicator been awaited with such rapt attention. This indicator is much like a thermometer monitoring a patient’s fever while under observation. Related Stories Food…

Ottawa should stop stoking food insecurity

Ottawa's taxes and regulations are driving up costs for farmers and the families that buy the food they produce

Ottawa should stop stoking food insecurityBy Robin Speer and Gunter Jochum Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reassuring a hungry world he personally will “drive action on food security” while Canadian farmers will put food on their tables. But back home, his government makes pronouncements that are the policy equivalent of deflating the tires on tractors across Canada. The federal government’s…

Food inflation eases but some prices keep surging

Some trouble spots include dairy and bakery goods

Food inflation eases but some prices keep surgingStatistics Canada is reminding Canadians every month this year how painful their trips to the grocery store are. The retail inflation rate is at an astonishing 9.9 per cent, its highest point since 1981. And food inflation has exceeded the general rate since last December, which is why food prices are on everyone’s mind. Allegations…

What’s really behind higher milk prices

The Canadian Dairy Commission is morally and ethically compromised. It needs to distance itself from the dairy sector immediately

What’s really behind higher milk pricesEvery year, the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), a branch of the federal government, hires external consultants to assess the cost of producing milk on the farm. The CDC has never released any data about costing and has recommended farm milk price increases most years, eventually impacting retail prices and Canadian families. Since February, dairy product…

Light at the end of the food inflation tunnel?

Food inflation in Canada may have already peaked

Light at the end of the food inflation tunnel?Once again, the numbers coming out of Statistics Canada were discouraging. The food inflation rate in the country was 8.8 per cent in June, which is still higher than the general inflation rate. Everyone is affected by higher food prices. Americans learned last week that food inflation at the grocery store was 12.4 per cent,…

Has ‘greedflation’ driven up Canadian food prices?

Evidence of ‘greedflation’ is weak at best

Has ‘greedflation’ driven up Canadian food prices?By Sylvain Charlebois and Samantha Taylor Accusations of gouging in the food industry have reached an all-time high. According to a recent survey, 68 per cent of Canadians believe food corporations are taking advantage of the inflationary cycle to increase prices, and it’s not just in retail. Class-action lawsuits have been launched against the beef…

Why Sobeys had to dump Air Miles

The food we buy is always changing, so keeping customers engaged with brands is challenging

Why Sobeys had to dump Air MilesSobeys recently decided to dump Air Miles and start its own loyalty program. Empire Co. Ltd., Sobeys’ parent company, is joining the Bank of Nova Scotia and Cineplex as co-owners of the Scene+ program. This move by Sobeys is no coincidence. As we brace for higher food prices and cope with a post-COVID-19 workforce still…

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fall

Supply management pushed up to 190,000 Canadians into poverty

It’s time for Canada’s protectionist barriers to fallBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Gabriel Giguère New Zealand had never launched a dispute under a free trade agreement until two weeks ago, on May 12, when it launched a trade dispute against Canada under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),  accusing our government of breaking its promises on dairy imports. This was also the first dispute launched…

Befriending self-checkouts seems inevitable

Consumers used to love to hate these machines. But things have changed

Befriending self-checkouts seems inevitableSelf-checkouts have long been an unloved tool in the world of retail. In the beginning, nothing worked as it should, especially at the grocery store where an order for 20 items brought a new form of despair. But even if the mere presence of self-checkouts bothered many consumers, Canadians have apparently befriended them in some…

Your standard of living has dropped under Trudeau

Liberal claims of “making life more affordable” since 2015 is hogwash

Your standard of living has dropped under TrudeauBy Franco Terrazzano and Kris Sims There was a clash between reality and the federal Liberal Twitter account last week. The self-congratulatory tweet claimed Liberals have been “making life more affordable” since 2015. When Canadians look at gas prices, grocery store receipts and mortgage payments, that claim might raise eyebrows. Does life feel more affordable…

How we can each deal with inflation

Buying only what we really need eases our budgets, simplifies our lives and cools the economy

How we can each deal with inflationInflation is a relatively new concept to younger people, who have never experienced the onslaught of rising prices. It’s chilling to those who have lived through or learned of times when hard-earned and well-saved money depreciated in value. Monetary policy in Canada aims to keep inflation at or under two per cent. The latest rate…

Meal kit market in Canada may have peaked

Industry facing headwinds as the economy trends back to normal

Meal kit market in Canada may have peakedMeal kits are to food what IKEA is to furniture: all you need to do is put things together. Meal kits empower consumers to feel like chefs, if only for a while. They have been popular, especially throughout the pandemic. Meal kits provide ideas, ways to manage your meals and some greatly needed inspiration for…

The world is running out of oil – vegetable oil

The entire planet will be impacted, one way or another

The world is running out of oil – vegetable oilIt’s funny how sometimes we take the simple things in life for granted. Cooking oil, or vegetable oil, is certainly one of them. Our appreciation for vegetable oil will likely reach new levels in months to come. Oil prices have increased by 25 per cent in just the last six months. While palm oil went…

How to cope when shortages become a problem

Demand is booming. It’s supply that is lacking

How to cope when shortages become a problemThis time it’s different. That statement should usually be taken with a grain of salt. But right now, it’s a very good description of what’s happening in the business environment. Market economies function by balancing supply and demand for goods, services and inputs such as labour. When trouble arises, it’s usually in the form of…

Is greed driving the beef industry to a legal showdown?

When it comes to price-fixing, the U.S. acts. Canada, not so much

Is greed driving the beef industry to a legal showdown?A Quebec-based group is leading a class-action lawsuit aimed at major federally-licensed beef packers. Cargill, JBS Foods, Tyson Foods and National Beef Packing are all accused of colluding and inflating beef prices since 2015. So if you’re a consumer in Quebec who’s been buying beef since 2015, you can be part of the claim. The…

Putin’s War puts global food security in jeopardy

The pandemic was just a dress rehearsal for what’s about to happen

Putin’s War puts global food security in jeopardyUnited States President Joe Biden was the first G7 leader to admit publicly that many parts of the world will soon experience food shortages and even famine. The world will be short of many commodities. Regions like the Middle East and northeastern Africa already have dangerously low food inventories. The world will soon discover that…

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?

Move raises questions about motive and why the announcement was so quiet

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?All eyes are on inflation these days, especially at the grocery store. Food is the one thing we need every day and the food choices we make matter a great deal to our budget. To know what's going on with food prices, we turn to Statistics Canada for details. But without fanfare, we just learned…

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing game

Compared to Americans, Canadians have far fewer options to save on groceries

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing gameThe food inflation rate in Canada in February was 7.4 per cent, the largest yearly increase since May 2009. With much higher food inflation, consumers are desperate to find new ways to save at the grocery store. In the United States and Canada, consumers are increasingly using food rescuing apps, going for the “enjoy tonight” deals, trading…

The potato chips war is just the tip of the iceberg

PepsiCo’s move signals that the sector is tired of - and desperate to stop - supply-chain bullying

The potato chips war is just the tip of the icebergWe recently learned that Frito-Lay, a brand owned by giant PepsiCo Canada, stopped selling to Loblaws after the retailer refused requests by Frito-Lay to increase their prices. Food manufacturers, when selling products to grocers, suggest retail prices. With low profit margins, labour shortages, packaging issues and supply-chain woes, inflation has been violently disruptive to manufacturers.…

Supply chain woes compromise food freshness at stores

Shelflation leaves consumers with a sour taste

Supply chain woes compromise food freshness at storesYou have likely heard of shrinkflation, in which companies reduce the quantity of an item they sell you without changing the price. This packaging strategy has been going on for years and creates the illusion you’re buying the same amount of product. And when supply chains aren’t working optimally, food products reach store shelves either…

Vaccine mandate for truckers puts extra pressure on grocers

Robbing the industry of the oxygen it desperately needs

Vaccine mandate for truckers puts extra pressure on grocersIn many parts of the country, Canadians report a growing number of empty grocery store shelves. It’s also happening in the United States and many other parts of the industrialized world. Before the COVID-19 Omicron variant arrived, empty shelves were visible but few shoppers noticed. They were sporadic in the fall as supply-chain woes continued,…

Government-induced competition rarely works

A U.S. program to increase competition in meat-packing won’t work

Government-induced competition rarely worksUnited States President Joe Biden recently introduced a billion-dollar program to lower food inflation by increasing competition in meat-packing. It’s likely ill-fated. A few weeks ago, a damning report out of Washington suggested the top U.S. meat-packing plants have increased profit margins by 300 per cent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report,…

How to guide to combatting rising food prices

Here are our strategies to help you save

How to guide to combatting rising food pricesSince 2022 is almost here, it’s time to reflect on what has happened the past year and anticipate what lies ahead. Food inflation obviously affected most food categories this year, which is why the last 12 months have been challenging for Canadians, at the grocery store and at restaurants. Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 was…

Top food-related stories of 2021

We should be thankful for what the food industry is doing for all of us, every day, one miracle at a time

Top food-related stories of 2021The year 2021 was certainly another challenging one for most of us. It was also incredibly difficult for people in the food industry, from farmgate to plate. Most headlines related to the food industry had to do with problems and issues related to supply chains, labour, and forced closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks and many…

Food theft is on the rise as prices climb

And the worst is yet to come

Food theft is on the rise as prices climbShoplifting has been on the rise in Canadian supermarkets in recent months. And that ultimately costs us all. Concrete data on theft in grocery stores is difficult to get since incidents are typically underreported. Managers tend to take matters into their own hands. But with the increasing number of reports of theft, and security guards…

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy Commission

The Crown corporation is controlled by three people, all with dairy connections

Milk prices rising: time to reform the Canadian Dairy CommissionThe Canadian Dairy Commission announced recently that farmers will get an unprecedented 8.4 per cent more for their milk and better than 12 per cent more for butter starting in February. For consumers, this certainly isn’t great news. Milk, butter and yogurt prices will likely skyrocket in the new year. It’s the highest increase since…

Climate change creating a new normal for farmers

And consumers are seeing first-hand how climate impacts their pocketbooks

Climate change creating a new normal for farmersCOP26 is just around the corner – the 26th United Nations climate change conference starts in Glasgow on Oct. 31. During the two-week summit, delegates face the colossal task of bridging the gap between the climate commitments made in 2015 with the Paris climate accord and the significant transformations needed to tackle our current climate…

Food rescuing goes mainstream

More than 35.5M tonnes of food is thrown out yearly in Canada and rescuing food is getting more attention

Food rescuing goes mainstreamMany people claim the term’ food waste’ should never be used and there’s some truth to that. Food is precious and is always of value to someone, somewhere. Associating food with the term ‘waste’ can only imply that food can become worthless. We can compost it, use it to produce biofuels and, of course, repurpose…

How serious is food inflation in Canada?

Very. But you wouldn't know it from StatsCan data

How serious is food inflation in Canada?If you think food prices are increasing at a much faster pace than what Statistics Canada suggests, you’re likely not imagining it. For a few years, many Canadians have suspected that the federal agency was either underestimating our food inflation or there was some lag between what was going on at the grocery store and…
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