Food prices projected to rise in 2024, but less than previous years

Overall food prices will increase between 2.5 to 4.5 per cent in 2024, according to the 14th edition of Canada’s Food Price Report released today. This is compared to an average of 5.9 per cent in 2023 and 10.3 per cent in 2022.

The report, which examines the impact of food inflation on Canadians and possible reasons for food price inflation trends, is an annual collaboration between researchers at the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan.

Key findings:

  • The report projects that the average Canadian family of four will spend $16,297.20 on food in 2024, an increase of $701.79 from last year.
  • The most significant increases range from five to seven per cent for bakery items, meat and vegetables.
  • 2024 may see a mild deflationary period, resulting in lower prices for some essential food items.
  • Climate change, energy costs and inflation will be key drivers of increased food prices in 2024.
  • Proposed and existing policies and regulations such as the grocery competition in Canada bill C-56 and plans for plastic packaging reductions in the food sector, geopolitical tensions and household budget constraints are other factors that could impact inflation, food prices and purchasing power.
  • Despite inflation, Canadians spent less on food in 2023 with food retail sales data indicating a decline in monthly spending per capita between August 2022 and August 2023 from $261.24 to $252.89. This suggests that Canadians spent less on groceries by reducing the quantity or quality of food they purchased, or by substituting cheaper alternatives.

The full report can be found here.

Contributing researchers from UBC are available to comment on the report’s findings:

Dr. Richard Barichello
Professor, Food and Resource Economics
Tel: 604-822-3473
Interview language: English

  • Food security; drivers and non-drivers of food price inflation; the recent gap between food price and overall consumer price index inflation, market competition in the grocery sector; commodity prices; supply chain difficulties; energy prices; difficulties in dealing with food price inflation, here and in developing countries, international dimensions; Bill C-56

Dr. Matias Margulis
Associate professor, Food and Resource Economics, and School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
Tel: 604-822-5783
Interview language: English 

  • Food insecurity; drivers of food price inflation; market competition in the grocery sector; climate disruptions; food geopolitics; grocery competition in Canada Bill C-56; Canada and international perspective

Dr. Kelleen Wiseman
Academic director, Food and Resource Economics
Tel: 604-789-2427
Interview language: English

  • Supply chains, market power and structure, market strategy in the grocery sector; climate impact on food prices; grocery competition; federal carbon tax; household budget and consumer behaviour changes

*Unavailable for interviews until 1 p.m. PST on Dec. 7