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Canadians can expect to pay more for food in 2022: Report

Thursday, December 9th 2021, 6:00 am - Significant price hikes at the grocery store are predicted in the 12th edition of Canada's Food Price Report.

The cost of food in Canada is set to rise significantly, according to the 2022 edition of Canada's Food Price Report, released today.

An average family of four can expect an increase of 5 to 7 per cent, representing a $966.00 jump from what was observed as the total annual cost in 2021 — the largest since the report's inception 12 years ago.

"Considerations of rising food prices have become increasingly intertwined with climate change and resulting adverse weather effects," reads an excerpt.

"... In 2021, Canada experienced climate change-related adverse weather effects, such as severe wildfires in British Columbia and drought conditions in the Prairies, that affected the prices of meat and bakery products."


Drought across the Prairies this past summer reduced the yield for the Canadian grain crops used to feed dairy cows — and about 40 per cent of the cost of milk is related to feed, report author Sylvain Charlebois tells The Weather Network.

The drought represents just one of several extreme weather events that upset food production this year.

"The Northern Hemisphere had a bad year overall," Charlebois says, "and of course Germany and different parts of Europe have been impacted by floods. And now we have our own floods in B.C., [and] the B.C. situation impacted logistics."


Food forecast Source: Canada Food Price Report 2022 (Prepared by Dalhousie University, University Of Guelph, University Of Saskatchewan, and University Of British Columbia)

Canada's Food Price Report has accurately predicted food price increases ten times out of the past eleven years, the authors say.


In 2021, consumers made food choices largely based on health and environmental sustainability, with an increased desire "for more transparency and ethical practices around food products."

There was also an uptick in support for local food supply chains and ordering food through online platforms — COVID-19 trends that may persist once the pandemic has passed.

How consumer habits will evolve in 2022 remains uncertain, due to increased vaccination rates and the increasing influence of weather-related events on food costs.

"Every year, we look at one wild card, climate change," the report says.

"Over the past two years, we had to contend with two wild cards, climate change and the pandemic."

Read the full report here, and watch the video above for greater insight from The Weather Network reporter Nathan Coleman.

Thumbnail image credit: Getty Images/Goodboy Picture Company, stock photo.

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