VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – How much do you normally spend on groceries?
Now matter how you look at it, you’re likely going to need to start saving a few extra dollars with food prices expected to take a bigger bite out of your budget in 2019.
A new report suggests the average family will have to pay around $411 a year more — that means they’ll have to shell out more than $12,000 a year when you add it all up.
Vegetables lead the way with a four-to-six per cent jump, according to Canada’s Food Price Report 2019.
“In fact, in 2018 we were expecting the same thing,” explains lead author Dr. Sylvain Charlebois with Dalhousie University. “It did happen; vegetable prices went up 4.8 per cent so we are expecting the same thing in 2019.”
It’s not all bad news, though — there is something positive to look forward to if you’re a carnivore or practitioner of Pescetarianism.
“We are expecting consumers to save a little bit at the meat counter, one to three per cent. In fact, it’s the first time we are predicting for one particular food category. Same thing for fish and seafood.”
You can blame a lot of the rising prices on the weather; El Niño, specifically.
“El Niño will bring a lot of moisture in different parts of the world except for North America, where we see a lot of production of vegetables, vegetables we buy especially in the winter time,” Charlebois explains. “So that’s the bad news.”
California and Mexico are places that will be hit by the “El Niño effect,” he says, adding it will have an impact on production, especially over the fall and winter seasons of 2019.
With interest rates and the general cost of living expected to rise next year, Charlebois says it’s expected that food inflation rates will be somewhat similar.
In some parts of the country, he says the price of gas is relatively low, so people who are spending less at the pump can maybe put their savings toward the extra cost associated with veggies and fruits.
The Report also expects restaurant prices to rise — between two and four per cent — mainly because of the increases in minimum hourly wages .
The average family in Canada is slated to pay about $150 more for dining out.
The report isn’t just looking at how much Canadians are spending on food, but also how much time they spend doing so.
“British Columbians are the ones that are most, I guess, pressed for time,” Charlebois says, explaining they spend the least amount of time per visit in a grocery store.