Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Food prices predicted to rise by 3.5 per cent

Food prices are projected to increase by 3.5 per cent next year, says a report prepared by researchers at the Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph.

A six per cent increase for vegetables is the main reason for the increase, which will cost an average household another $411 per year for a new total of $12,157.

For this year the researchers predicted an increase of 1.8 per cent.

Meat costs will decline by about three per cent and seafoods by about two per cent, mainly because Canadians are eating less,

"We're seeing a gradual shift to more vegetarian and vegetable-based diets in the markets," said Simon Somogyi, one of the lead authors of the Food Price Report.

The authors call this the "protein wars" with pulses and legumes replacing meat in North American diets, leading to a fall in demand, especially for beef. In the past year, Canadians consumed approximately 94 million kilograms less beef annually, compared to 2010.

Young consumers are leading the way, with 63 per cent of vegans under age 38. That could mean big changes in the tastes of young families down the road.

The study included a survey of more than 1,000 Canadians.

Baked goods will cost three per cent more and dairy products two per cent more.

Restaurant meals will cost four per cent more, continuing big increases this year.