Food inflation is changing the way Canadians shop and eat, survey finds – Montreal

As Quebecers continue to face the high cost of food, many say they have changed their eating habits to cope.

“I think it’s getting harder and harder to afford food,” Oliver Watts said. “Everything I want, I have to look at the specials and the cheaper foods.”

A recent consumer survey by Nielsen IQ shows that rising food prices remain the top concern for Canadians.

Many are spending more on items such as fresh produce, meat and dairy, but the survey also reveals that people are buying less food overall.

“I don’t buy a lot of meat anymore because it’s more expensive,” Georgia Krallis said. “And so I eat a lot of legumes and cheaper things. I try to spend the same as before, which means I get less.

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The survey also reveals that 43 percent of Canadians stick to their budget when it comes to spending.

This means that when people buy food, they now do it differently.

“People will stay away from the periphery of stores a lot more, so they will buy less fresh produce and also buy different brands, they will probably opt for private brands, house brands and of course, they will go and visit stores. stores they’ve never visited before, like dollar stores or discount stores,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that food prices fell 0.4 percent in August.

“At 6.9 percent (annual food inflation), this is the lowest level since February 2022,” Charlebois said. “And now the gap between the general inflation rate and food inflation is now 2.8 percent, almost half of what it was just two months ago.”

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It’s a rea*suring sign, Charlebois said, that food prices will continue to fall in the coming months.

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