High Food Prices - © bbq4dummies.com

Food Price Increases Force Canadians To Buy Less

The latest survey of food price increase consequences shows one in four Canadians have less to spend on food. I find that incredible, based on my time on the planet. I guess I’ve lived through the best of times (the booming 1950s) and the worst…

Buying Less Food - © 2022 VOX

Its overall finding boils down to this: 23.6 percent of Canadians have cut back on the amount of food they’re buying. Why? They simply can’t afford everything they used to take home from the supermarket and other accustomed food sources.

Essential benchmarks

In short, the new survey specifically reveals:

  • 8.2 per cent said they’ve had to change their diets to save money on food
  • 7.1 per cent said they’ve skipped meals because of the cost of groceries
  • Nearly three quarters of consumers were changing their food buying habits in order to make ends meet
  • 33.7 per cent said they had used more loyalty program points to pay for groceries in the last year
  • 32.1 per cent said they were reading flyers more often
  • 23.9 per cent said they were using more coupons at the grocery store.
  • 19.1 per cent said they visited more discount stores (such as No Frills or FreshCo), and
  • 11.5 per cent reported visiting dollar stores more frequently to buy food

In what food retail sector watchers consider a major shift:

  • 8.0 per cent of Canadians said they had changed their primary grocery store in the past year
  • 12.9 per cent said they’ve started to visit more than one store, and
  • 18.0 per cent said they’re buying food in bulk more often.

Complicating factors

And things look even darker in the context of other recent economic news:

  • Statistics Canada earlier this week reported the year-over-year inflation rate was down at 7.0 per cent for the month of August.
  • However, grocery prices have risen 10.8 per cent over the past year – the fastest pace in over 40 years, and
  • The Canadian dollar has fallen to its lowest value, compared to other world currencies, in the last 12 months. And that negatively impacts our ability to buy foreign food imports as our harvest wanes and our off-season comes on apace.

Aside from buying less food…

  • 15.5 per cent have also started to grow more of their own food
  • 21.0 per cent are buying more private-label brands such as No Name and Compliments.
  • 40.6 per cent of Canadians said they’re trying to waste less food now compared to 12 months ago, and
  • 19.7 per cent are buying more discounted food that’s about to expire. (‘Enjoy me tonight!’, the discount labels scream…)

My take

It’s extremely important to realize that the numbers quoted above are for all Canadians, not just for those in the lower- and fixed-income categories. We’re all feeling a real pinch, and overall economic picture is conspiring to make sure the food price situation doesn’t get shockingly better anytime soon.

Not to mention some almost overlooked consequences…

“There is this sense of desperation out there,” Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, told CTV News Channel. “Twenty-four percent of Canadians are actually literally buying less food due to higher prices. And of that number, almost 70 per cent are women. So it is highly likely that children are impacted by what’s going on with food inflation.”


If Canada is so heavily impacted by rising food prices, inflation and inflation, it’s extremely likely that the rest of North America and Europe are similarly whacked. With winter coming on…

~ Maggie J.