Grocery prices: Up to $700 more on groceries in 2024

If the typical Quebec family has already considered spending a fortune at the grocery store, think again. The bill will be even higher next year, by $700.

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The 2024 food budget will rise to $16,300 for a home occupied by a couple and their two children, we calculate in the 14th report on food prices in Canada.

Grocery prices Up to 700 more on groceries in 2024

“The year 2023 has been truly violent for the wallets of Quebecers. “In 2024 it will be easier, inflation will be much lower,” reassures Sylvain Charlebois.

He is one of 30 authors of the report published on Thursday. The document is expected every year and is the result of collaboration between four Canadian universities: Dalhousie, Guelph, Saskatchewan and UBC.

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The researchers expect the increase in meat, vegetables and baked goods to continue to be 5 to 7 percent.

For example, a 55-year-old woman living alone will spend $3,664 on groceries in 2024, compared to $3,506 this year.

For a single boy ages 14 to 18, the bill is $4,656, the highest price of any demographic studied. In 2023 it was $4,456.

1701972648 160 Grocery prices Up to 700 more on groceries in 2024

Too expensive

The researchers predicted that the typical family would already spend $16,300 in 2023. They were wrong: the grocery budget was $15,595 instead.

“They bought less food because it cost more,” notes the report’s project manager.

Quebecers ditched more expensive brands for store brands, bought frozen instead of fresh and went to Giant Tiger or Dollarama, he says.

In short, they made concessions. The proof of these changes, argues Sylvain Charlebois, is the conversion in 2023 of about fifty Provigo and Metro stores into Maxi and Super C bargain stores.

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Retail food and beverage sales also fell by 3.26% from 2022 to 2023. “The world is fighting. The population is growing, but sales are declining,” he says.

Price war in sight

Faced with this bleak portrait, Sylvain Charlebois remains optimistic. The increase in food prices in 2024 is expected to be 2-2.5%, while the report forecasts an increase of 2.5-4.5%.

His crystal ball shows that “the price of the shopping basket will increase, but there will be more opportunities to save.”

He believes grocers will compete against Walmart and Costco thanks to their investments in their distribution centers like Metro in Terrebonne.

This price war will take place in the middle of the grocery store, in the aisles where pasta, sauces, flour and coffee are available.

“Loblaw, Sobeys and Metro will have more room to maneuver. They will struggle to attract people to the store,” summarizes the Dalhousie University researcher.

However, the coming year will not be easy. Quebecers, already impoverished by steep interest rate hikes, will continue to suffer from rising housing and energy costs, among other things.

Methodology: The 14th edition of the Canadian Food Prices Report uses predictive analytics models, including machine learning, to improve the analytical process of forecasting future food prices. The methodology used for this year’s report combines techniques from the previous edition with the introduction of the vector autoregressive gap model and the application of Monte Carlo simulations.

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