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Industry NewsIs eating local more expensive? Not necessarily, according to study

Is eating local more expensive? Not necessarily, according to study

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According to a recent Dalhousie University study commissioned by Aliments du Québec, local products are as competitive (neutral price difference) or more competitive than products from elsewhere in 70.83 per cent of the categories studied. In a context of high inflation and rising cost of living, Aliments du Québec wanted to find out if local food could be a viable option for Québec consumers trying to lower their grocery bill by answering the question, “Is eating local more expensive?”

“Aliments du Québec is delighted by the results of this large comparative study, the first of its kind in Québec, confirming that many products grown or made locally are very competitively priced. We now have evidence that Québec products can be wallet-friendly alternatives to their non-local counterparts,” said Isabelle Roy, general manager of Aliments du Québec. “Adding those grocery products to our shopping carts also bolsters Québec’s economy and food autonomy.”

This study was conducted in Québec in January and February 2022 and supervised by Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, scientific director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. Its objective was to determine whether local products were competitively priced compared to non-local products. In over two thirds (2/3) of the categories studied (70.83 per cent), the local products were either as competitive or more competitive than the comparable products from elsewhere.

Those products (sorted by section) include:

  • Grocery: Drinks (juice, coffee, water, kombucha), granola bar, jam, peanut butter, salad dressing, flour, pancake mix, legumes, barbecue sauce, cookie, cake, chips, and candy
  • Dairy and dairy alternatives: Milk, cheese, ice cream and sorbet, margarine and plant-based beverage
  • Meat and fish: Sausage and fish
  • Fruits and vegetables: Apples, prepared salads, vegetables1 and tofu
  • Bakery: Bread, tortilla and pita bread, and bagel
  • Deli: Bruschetta, smoked ham, and fresh pasta
  • Frozen foods: frozen meals2

1 Carrot, cucumber, potato

2 Chicken wings, lasagna and chicken pot pie  

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