Prices are up and Canadians are nervous
Canadians are tightening their belts and looking for deals as grocery prices rise. Nearly 80 per cent of Canadians are moderately or extremely concerned about the increases, according to a new survey by Field Agent, a mystery shopping app.
"For families that are on a tight budget, it's going to be harder and harder to put that nutritious meal on the table," said Jeff Doucette, general manager of Field Agent Canada.
Field Agent surveyed 1,042 Canadians at the end of August and discovered that 85 per cent of Canadians had noticed grocery price increases in the past month.
The majority fear that suppliers will continue to raise prices, adjust the packaging size (smaller for the same price) and offer fewer sales and promotions.
"I've reduced meat down from twice a week to every two weeks," said Stella, a grocery shopper who did not want her last name used.
The price increases have been steady during the pandemic as supply issues have not kept pace with demand. You may have noticed it more on meat, dairy and eggs, as well as produce.
Consumers are now price checking at other stores looking for better deals. The survey indicated 83 per cent plan to stock up on items when they are on sale. Sixty per cent plan to use more coupons and 55 per cent plan to purchase some grocery items less often - things like candy, snacks, prepared foods, fresh seafood, organic and natural products, and frozen meals and desserts.
"So I would expect to see full buggies of promotional items over the next few months in grocery stores," added Doucette. "I think now where we have prices starting to rise again we'll see consumers switch to other types of grocery stores, in particular what we would call the discounters."
The survey indicated that the stores that Canadians trusted the most to offer the lowest price for groceries included in the following order: No Frills/Maxi, Superstore, Walmart and Costco.