B.C. food costs: Inflation changing eating habits, poll finds

Cutting back on dining out, limiting trips to the coffee shop and choosing cheaper, less healthy options are some of the ways a new survey finds that British Columbians are changing their eating habits amid rising food costs.

The poll, conducted by Research Co., found that the overwhelming majority of those asked reported having adjusted their spending on food over the last two months. The results, released Wednesday, found just 14 per cent of people said they have made no changes.

“We have a lot of people who say, ‘I’m not going to the coffee shop as often as I used to, I’m not buying lunch on a weekday, I’m not going out to dinner on a weekend,’ “Pollster Maria Canseco told CTV News.

Looking at the numbers, 56 per cent said they were foregoing trips to a café, 61 per cent have cut back on lunches out, and 64 per cent have limited weekend visits to restaurants. The majority cited an increase in the cost of eating out as the reason for this change.

But rising bills at the grocery store were also something reported by four out of five respondents, and Canseco said that’s impacting what people throughout the province are choosing to purchase and consume.

“We have a third of BC residents who say, ‘My diet is not healthy.’ And the number one reason for that is, 61 per cent tell us that that they can’t afford to be more careful when it comes to their own nutrition,” he said.

“The prices are just too high for us to be as observant about nutrition as we used to.”

The most recent data available on the consumer price index in BC looked at September of 2022 and found a year-over-year increase in food costs of 9.2 per cent. The price of groceries was up 10.3 per cent, while restaurant prices were up 6.2 per cent.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Spencer Harwood

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