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Food price increases for 2024 will be lower than in previous years

Canada’s Food Price Report 2024 is forecasting another increase but it's not expected to be as bad as in other years.

According to the report the average family of four is expected to spend $16,297.20 on food in 2024, an increase of up to $701.79 from last year. 

The report is a collaboration between researchers at Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of British Columbia. 

Dr Sylvain Charlebois is the project lead, a professor, and Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. 

"We are expecting food prices to rise by anywhere between 2.5 to 4.5 per cent in 2024. The good news for 2024 is that we are expecting the food inflation rate to get closer to the sweet spot we want, which is 1.5 to 2.5 percent. So that's actually going to help consumers overall."

There are three categories - bakery, meat, and vegetables that are expected to drive prices up.

He points out that the increases over the next six months are mainly weather-related.

"Beef with the drought that really impacted inventories in the last eight, nine months of course. You have chocolate with cocoa production that has been impacted by unfavorable weather in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. And thirdly, sugar, sugar prices are actually going up as well, again, due to weather affecting sugarcane production. So climate is a big deal and  we don't necessarily need all that much. We often talk about the weather right here in our own backyards, but we actually are part of a global food economy.  Climate is affecting crops everywhere. It's not something that's new, but we do trade more with the rest of the world that we're exposed to more climactic risk."

In 2023, despite inflation, Canadians are spending less on food this year.

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