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A Canada 'Food Inflation Storm' Could Make Your Groceries Even More Expensive In 2023

Here's how much you might have to pay.

Senior Editor
The interior of a grocery store in Toronto, Ontario.

The interior of a grocery store in Toronto, Ontario.

Looking at your grocery receipt is going to hurt next year. Dalhousie University's annual Food Price Report shows groceries getting even more expensive in 2023 and by as much as 5% to 7% on average, thanks to inflation in Canada. Some food items could see even greater price hikes.

The report, a collaboration between Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan, also breaks down how much an average person might have to spend.

"To say that it's been a challenging year for Canadians at the grocery store would be an understatement," Dalhousie Agri-Food Analytics Lab Director Dr. Sylvain Charlebois said in a press release.

He warned that "consumers will continue to get smarter about grocery shopping as they navigate through this so-called food inflation storm."

The researchers predict that bakery items, dairy and meat will increase in price within that 5% to 7% range. The price of vegetables could increase by as much as 8%. The report forecasts smaller but still significant price increases for seafood and restaurant food, between 4% and 6%, and fruit, between 3% and 5%.

All that could mean that a person between the ages of 19 and 30 could pay between $3,813.88 and $4,380.18 in total for food in 2023, researchers predict. Someone between 30 and 50 might have to shell out between $3,740.39 and $4,168.80.

For teenagers between 14 and 18, the forecasted annual food expenditure range is $3,867.62 to $4,654.17.

As for the forces driving costs up, researchers say climate change, "geopolitical risks," "input costs" (the money it takes to produce a good), energy costs and inflation are poised to have the most significant impact.

"The uncertainty from the ongoing Ukraine war shows no signs of ceasing and the Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar has recently ranged five to seven cents lower and this has driven up the cost of all imported American products," Dr. Stuart Smyth of the University of Saskatchewan added in the release.

"Labour shortages in key sectors, such as crop harvesting, food processing, and transportation lower supply and drive-up prices" too.

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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