Food prices in Canada are going up next year.

Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 forecasts an overall food price increase of five to seven per cent for the coming year, the highest predicted increase since the inception of the report twelve years ago.

The most significant jump will be for dairy and restaurants at six to eight per cent, and bakery and vegetables at five to seven per cent.

“It’s important for consumers to understand that food prices have been going up for some time, and there’s no turning back,” said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. “Our relationship with food is changing, and so will our food budgets. Showing up at the grocery store knowing what you should be paying will help.”

This year’s report predicts that a family of four, including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18), and girl (age 9-13) will pay up to $14,767 for food, an increase of up to $966 from the annual cost in 2021.

Food price increases in Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan will likely be higher than the national average in 2022, while price increases in the remaining provinces will be lower.

"The forecasted increase in this healthy food category is worrying from a public health perspective because consumers might be tempted to further reduce their consumption of fresh and mainstream vegetables. However, options are available in selecting alternative vegetables or frozen vegetables — which can provide high nutritional value at a lower price point,” added Dr. Kelleen Wiseman, UBC campus lead.

Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 focuses on COVID-19-related disruptions to the food supply chain, climate change and adverse weather effects, labour force challenges, high inflation, and food transportation challenges.

Canada’s Food Price Report is an annual cross-country collaboration, jointly released by long-time research partners Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia. The research team uses historical data sources, machine learning algorithms, and predictive analytics tools developed over many years to make predictions about food prices in Canada.