Rising cost of groceries leads to changes in Canadian shopping habits: Survey

Prices at grocery stores have gone up in Canada, and it’s a change that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Skyrocketing prices on everything,” said one women in the Superstore parking lot in Langford, BC

“I’m noticing either a 50 cent increase or a dollar increase,” said another women on Tuesday.

According to a new poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, consumers are adjusting their buying habits to compensate for rising prices.

“Regardless of how much you’re earning, everyone is experiencing a certain amount of sticker shock,” said Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute on Tuesday.

Roughly 62 per cent of Canadians say they are eating out less, and 46 per cent say they are switching to cheaper brands in order to save money.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of respondents say they are cutting back on purchasing meat since prices have climbed, and 21 per cent say they are cutting back on purchasing fresh fruit.

“What we’re really noticing is parents with kids under the age of 13 – if you’ve got small kids at home you’re having to make a lot more difficult decisions,” said Kurl.

“I’m shopping the sales,” said one man in Langford. “I’m looking for sales stickers and the deals pretty much.”

According to Kurl, inflation isn’t the only thing that’s pushing up food prices. Canada’s system of supply management is as well.

That system limits production and sets a “pricing floor” on certain food sectors like dairy and poultry to ensure stable food prices, says Kurl.

Last November the Canadian Dairy Association announced an 8.4 per cent increase in the price of milk products to offset rising production costs like animal feed and energy.

“They’re also expressing a desire right now to see maybe some of this temporarily suspended just to make things a little bit more affordable through this time,” said Kurl.

It’s not just consumers that are looking for different options and shopping around, so are local grocery stores.

“The last thing we want to do is increase our prices,” said Scott Zaichkowski, grocery manager at Pepper’s Foods in Saanich, BC

Pepper’s suppliers have raised prices, which is why you are paying more for what you buy.

“So we’re trying to shop around so that we can find the cheapest prices available to us,” said Zaichkowski. “So we can minimize the impact going to the consumer.”

Zaichkowski says he’s been told by suppliers that packaging materials, gas prices and shipping costs have all increased. That means it’s all trickling down to the store shelves.

He believes prices on many goods will come back down, but he adds that he thinks the prices on dairy and meat are here to stay.

Leave a Comment