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Canada’s Food Price Report predicts annual spending at restaurants could go up 3-5% in 2021


January 5, 2021
By Canadian Pizza

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Halifax – The latest Canada Food Price Report forecasts an overall food price increase of 3 to 5% for 2021. The most significant increases are predicted for meat at 4.5 to 6.5%, bakery at 3.5 to 5.5%, and vegetables at 4.5 to 6.5%.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to border and facility closures, shifting consumer demand and unemployment, as well as modifications in production, manufacturing, distribution and retailing practices to enhance safety — all of which impacted food prices, according to a news release from the Dalhousie Faculty of Management. An oil price war and the devaluation of the Canadian dollar were also significant factors.

According to the report, restaurant prices are forecasted to rise from 3% to 5% in 2021. Restaurant prices were predicted to rise by 2 to 4% between October 2019 and September 2021: they actually rose 2.1%.

The report is a cross-country collaboration, jointly released by longtime research partners Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia.

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According to the report, restaurant prices are forecasted to rise from 3% to 5% in 2021. Restaurant prices were predicted to rise by 2 to 4% between October 2019 and September 2021: they actually rose 2.1%.

This year’s report also takes into account the diversity of Canadian families by calculating average food expenditure by individual consumer based on age and gender, rather than for an ‘average’ Canadian family. For example, based on a family including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18) and girl (age 9-13), the annual food expenditure is predicted to be $13,907 in 2021, an increase of up to $695 (5%) compared to 2020.

Last year’s report predicted the average Canadian family would spend up to $12,667 on food in 2020. Based on the 2020 inflation rate to date, this figure is likely to be closer to $12,508, largely because consumers ate at restaurants less frequently.

Food price factors to watch for in 2021 include the continued impact of COVID-19, the effects of climate change, the growth in e-commerce and online services, the continued loss of the food manufacturing sector, the national ban on some single-use plastics and the impact of the U.S. presidential election on food policy and the Canadian dollar.

For more information, read the full Canada’s Food Price Report 2021.