Posthaste: Expect your grocery bill to rise by nearly $700 in 2021 - the biggest annual increase in a decade

Financial Post

Food prices will rise 5 per cent next year, and vegetables will be among the most expensive. PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Canadians have likely spent more time in grocery stores than any other place this year (apart from their homes) as they collected ingredients to idle away the lockdown hours making an assortment of breads, octopus and yet another roast.

And now they can expect to spend even more money at the supermarket in 2021 adding to the already massive fortunes of the Walton and Weston families.

Canadians’ average grocery bill is forecast to rise as much as 5 per cent in 2021, as COVID-19 takes a toll on supply chains, according to Canada’s Food Price Report, an annual forecast published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph. This year, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia also participated in the research.

“It’s a mixture of COVID-19-related expenditure, higher futures and climate change,” Sylvain Charlebois, lead author of the report, and director at Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie, told the Financial Post.

The 2021 report expects overall food prices to increase 3 to 5 per cent. Based on a family of four, average food bills for the year are predicted to reach $13,907 in 2021, an increase of $695 (or 5 per cent) compared to 2020, excluding food service.

“In dollars, that is the highest predicted increase by Canada’s Food Price Report,” the forecast noted.

The food inflation index has outpaced general inflation over the past 20 years, with the typical grocery bill having risen around 170 per cent over the past two decades, the report notes.

While vaccines may roll out thick and fast next year, COVID-19’s impact will continue to reverberate across the country’s agri-food chain and global food systems.

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Source: Yadullah Hussain | Financial Post

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