Grocery Business magazine has released its annual survey of Canadian grocery shoppers. The results show little change in the popular view – food prices are too high. And that the vast majority feel food prices are only headed higher…
The survey, performed last July by polling firm Caddle, has just now been fully analysed. It was designed to, “explore the dynamics of food inflation and how consumers are adapting to challenging times.”
Little overall change
There was little overall change in Canadians’ perceptions of food prices. A whopping 90 percent of those asked said they thought food was more expensive than it had been three months prior. That figure fell only 2 percent from the previous year’s result.
The breakdown, by grocery categories, was informative:
The numbers show that Canadian grocery shoppers are keeping close track of food prices. But they have not seen the significant price drops they were encouraged to expect a year ago. And they’re still skeptical about the ability of recent Federal Government pressure on the supermarket industry to cut prices.
Canadians told Caddle they increased their use of weekly grocery flyers a little. There was a net increase of just 3 percent.
They also said they’re couponing more than they were a year ago, in the fight to keep food expenses down. The net change there was +4 percent.
The most significant change in consumer behaviour came under the heading of ‘comparison shopping’. Poll respondents were asked, “Do you use your phone while in a store to check prices of similar products at other stores?” A surprisingly large number – answered, “All the time,” a net increase of 9 percent over the year before.
A ‘qualitative’ view
In summation, Caddle offered the following ‘qualitative’ analysis of the survey results, with prognostications on the short- and long-term effects of shoppers’ behaviours:
“The landscape of Canadian grocery shopping is shifting, influenced by persistent food inflation. Despite the challenges, consumers are finding innovative ways to adapt.
“Through strategic couponing, the embrace of ‘enjoy tonight’ meal options, and leveraging technology to make informed choices, Canadians are rewriting the rules of grocery shopping.
“Notably, millennials emerge as a generation at the forefront of this transformation, making substantial adjustments in response to these economic challenges.”
“As we move forward, these modifications have the potential to fundamentally transform the manner in which we engage with the food sector and our expenditure behavior.”
Pretty formidable stuff. But the pressures at play in the food price sphere are pretty formidable, themselves.
~ Maggie J.