Industry Snapshot: Inflation in the retail food sector

Guelph, Ont. – January 30, 2020 – A new analysis from grocery industry expert Kevin Grier finds that retail food prices rose for virtually all categories of food at the end of 2019, compared to the year before.

Using Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for December 2019, and comparing it to CPI data from December 2018, the analysis shows that inflation of “food from stores” increased by 3.2 percent, compared to inflation of all consumer goods and services, which rose by 2.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Among the retail food items that saw the highest price increases, fresh fruit led the way with inflation of nearly 10 percent, while prices for soup, meat, non-alcoholic beverages, and pre-cooked frozen food also rose significantly, by 4 percent or more.

The CPI data is consistent with the estimates put forward in Canada’s Food Price Report 2019, which predicted that food prices would increase by roughly 3.5 percent in 2019. The same report for 2020 projects that food prices will rise by 2 to 4 percent this year.

To read more livestock, meat, and grocery market analyses from Kevin Grier, click here.