Canadians will be paying more for food in 2021 according to annual food price report.
Now in its 11th year, Canada’s Food Price Report says overall food prices will increase from 3 to 5 per cent in 2021, with the most significant increases predicted for meat at 4.5 to 6.5 per cent, bakery at 3.5 to 5.5 per cent and vegetables at 4.5 to 6.5 per cent.
"Families with less means will be significantly challenged in 2021, and many will be left behind," says Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. "Immunity to higher food prices requires more cooking, more discipline and more research. It's as simple as that."
Charlebois says this year’s report is “more robust than ever” because for the first time, it is a cross-country collaboration and jointly released by long-time research partners Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia. The cross-country report reflects regional differences in the Canadian food system.
This year's report also takes into account the diversity of Canadian families by calculating average food expenditure by individual consumer based on age and gender, rather than for an 'average' Canadian family. For example, based on a family including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18) and girl (age 9-13), the annual food expenditure is predicted to be $13,907 in 2021, an increase of up to $695 (5 per cent) compared to 2020.
The report says there are several food price factors to watch for in 2021, including the continued impact of COVID-19, the effects of climate change, the growth in e-commerce and online services, the continued loss of the food manufacturing sector, the national ban on some single use plastics and the impact of the U.S. presidential election on food policy and the Canadian dollar.