Average family of four will spend more than $300 a week on food in 2023: report

The average family of four is expected to spend more than $300 a week on food this year, according to Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab and professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University. .

Food cost estimates for 2023 are detailed in our latest issue. Canadian food price reportco-authored by Charlevoix.

Food prices will be even higher than in 2022, projected to rise by 5-7% this year, mainly affecting vegetables, dairy and meat, Charlevoix told The Epoch Times. His average family of four — men and women ages 31 to 50, boys ages 14 to 18, and girls ages 9 to 13 — will spend $16,288.41 on food this year.

This is an increase of up to $1065.60 from what the family spent in 2022, or just over $15,000 in annual food costs. A typical family spends his 16% of total spending on food, he says, Charlebois.

Charlevoix said he doesn’t expect the prices of most groceries to fall in the near future. Over the past 12 months, food inflation has outpaced general inflation.

“It really worries me. There are two basic necessities of life: housing and food. Two things that people need to survive. say.

“This is probably the most expensive food item ever,” he added. “But that’s the effect of inflation.”

He said 2023 will be another challenging year, especially in the first part of the year.

“Most of the increase will occur in the first half of 2023,” he says.

affordable food prices

For 13 years, Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, University of Saskatchewan, and University of British Columbia have produced annual forecasts of food price trends. Canadian food price reportLast year, the program projected a 5-7% increase in food.

Food spending ultimately exceeded expectations, increasing by more than 10%. Charlebois said Canada hasn’t seen food prices rise this much in more than 40 years, and 2022 was the worst year of price increases ever.

This report focuses on nine major categories rather than individual foods. For example, we predict prices for bakery, dairy, fruit, meat, restaurants, seafood, and vegetables. The 2023 report forecasts overall food prices to rise by 5-7%. Vegetables are projected to grow by 6-8%, while bakery, dairy and meat are projected to grow by 5-7%.

This increase is due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, and inflation during COVID-19.

Charlebois said he serves on the board of Toronto’s Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food bank. “There’s more traffic, and it’s getting harder to get food,” he says.

As prices rise, grocers who typically donate surpluses to food banks will pay less attention to how they manage inventory and orders, so they donate less, Charlebois said.

Charlevoix also said grocery stores this year “have to be careful because their relationship with the public has changed.”

He says Canadian consumers are skeptical of grocery stores and “believe they are gouged out.” Although he didn’t check the evidence, he suggests that grocers need to work on “optics,” especially since grocery executives received record bonuses this year.

The report also notes that the 2022 HungerCount, published by Canada’s food banks, states that food bank usage in Canada increased by 15% in 2022.

By 2021, an estimated 5.8 million Canadians, including 1.4 million children in 10 provinces, were believed to be living in food-insecure households. according to To Statistics Canada. This figure does not include residents of indigenous reserves, homeless people, or those living in remote areas of the north. According to the University of Toronto’s Food Insecurity Policy Research Program (PROOF), by 2021 an estimated 30.7% of Indigenous peoples not living in protected areas were considered food insecure.

Marnie Cathcart

Marnie Cathcart is a reporter based in Edmonton.