GUELPH, Ont. — The declining Canadian dollar is costing restaurant owners and consumers extra this year with no signs of changing, according to the “Food Price Report” by the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.
According to the report, food prices in stores rose by 4.1 per cent in 2015, significantly above inflation. The average Canadian household paid about $325 more for food in 2015. This year, meat prices are anticipated to increase between 2.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent; fish and seafood will grow between one and three per cent; and dairy and eggs will remain unchanged or increase by two per cent. Since 81 per cent of all vegetables and fruits consumed in Canada are imported, it will be vulnerable to the rise and fall of the Canadian dollar.
Within the restaurant landscape, increases should be modest. Due to menu changes, wage increases and procurement strategy shifts due to animal welfare issues, margins will be reduced or prices may increase. Food prices in restaurants are expected to increase between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent in 2016.
Significant factors considered for 2016 food-price increases were based on El Nino’s impact on the climate, the lowering Canadian dollar and important consumer trends, which were supply chain transparency and animal welfare, gut health and vegetable proteins.
Read the full report here: uoguelph.ca/foodinstitute.