Home Business The grocery price freeze is over — so brace yourself for even bigger food bills soon

The grocery price freeze is over — so brace yourself for even bigger food bills soon

by News Desk
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Holiday price freezes implemented by some of Canada’s biggest grocery chains have now expired, so shoppers should prepare for news that may be hard to swallow: Prepare for rising food costs. Please. A lot. again.

Loblaws made headlines when it was unveiled last fall. freeze price We sell hundreds of our own No Name brands throughout the holiday season. Grocery chains pitched the plan as a salvo to cost-conscious shoppers hard-hit by high inflation, but grocery chains typically implemented similar price freezes during that period and industry people quickly panned it as more than a publicity stunt. Accept price increases from suppliers during important shopping seasons.

Loblaws pledged in October that it wouldn’t raise prices on No Name brand grocery staples until at least the end of January. Now that he is in February, the chain said in his CBC News statement earlier this week that it plans to keep prices “as long as possible,” but it’s possible there will be a lot of price increases in the coming weeks. warned that there is

“When the price freeze ends, customers can expect some price increases, but as I said at the outset, most of the no-name prices will continue to fall,” spokeswoman Katherine Thomas said. “The cost of stocking our shelves is rising every month.”

Montreal-based chain Metro sang a similar song at its annual shareholder meeting last month, and CEO Eric La Flèche told reporters the chain sold more than 27,000 orders last year seeking price increases of 10% or more from suppliers. He said he received a request. 3 times more than normal.

“Cost increases are looming, and we expect some of these cost increases to be reflected in retail,” he told reporters at a news conference on Jan. 24.Gradual and progressive to protect prices as much as possible [but] Unfortunately, inflation continues. ”

Shoppers like Palaash Tiwari know that all too well. Tiwari, who went grocery shopping in Toronto on Wednesday, told CBC News that she’s made a big change in her diet in recent months. He also basically stopped going to restaurants because of the exorbitant costs.

“People have to choose what they want to consume,” he said. “People have to find their replacements.”

WATCH | Shoppers React to End of Grocery Price Freeze.

Impact of Ending Price Freeze on Grocery Bills

Major grocery chains have said shoppers should expect further increases in food prices in the coming weeks. Street shoppers in Toronto told CBC News what it means for their food budgets.

Why fresh food is expensive

Of course, not all food types are rising at the same pace.

Statistics Canada data released this week show prices for many groceries are up by double digits above their winter averages. Tomato retail prices rose from $4.57 per kilogram in October to $6.99 in December. An amazing increase of over 52% in just two months.

Celery and grapes are nearly as bad, with price increases of 49% and 46% respectively in just two months. And foods like apples, broccoli, and iceberg lettuce aren’t far behind.

According to Mike von Massau, a food economist at the University of Guelph, most of the biggest increases today are in fresh fruits and vegetables, and for very good reason.

“Looking out the window, the ground is covered with snow. [so] We… don’t produce much fruit and vegetables. ”

Loblaws’ much-hyped holiday price freeze was dismissed by many as just a publicity stunt. (Ivano Demers/CBC)

Nearly all perishable food Canadians consume in the winter passes directly or indirectly through the United States, leading to high costs throughout the supply chain. Prices for things like tomatoes and lettuce have risen significantly due to what’s happening in the Salinas Valley.

Much of North America’s lettuce crop comes from areas hit by the virus in November, which cut off supplies.set a record Fall drought followed by last month’s floodsIt wreaked havoc on the supply of all manner of water-intensive crops, including celery, broccoli, and grapes.

“What’s happening now is an almost perfect storm of problems that’s creating upward pressure on pretty much everything,” von Massaud said.

Spring relief?

It may be hard to tell while perusing the aisles of your local grocery store, but von Massaud can see some of these relentless price increases coming just over the horizon. increase.

“We will probably see some easing in the spring when the Canadian production season begins,” he said. It becomes harder.”

Until then, shoppers like Etena Denny in Toronto will continue to do what they’ve always done, shopping for bargains and replacing regular necessities with cheaper alternatives when possible.

“One lettuce is very expensive,” she told CBC News outside a local grocery store on Wednesday. I woke up.

“Prices go up [but] My salary won’t go up. It just stays on the same level. ”

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