Canadians will change their food buying habits in 2022: survey
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A majority of Canadians say they will change their food buying habits as prices are expected to rise in 2022 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s according to a new report released by the Dalhousie University Agri-Food Analysis Laboratory, in partnership with Caddy.
The survey examined the concerns of Canadians about rising food prices and how they plan to change their food buying and using habits in 2022 as a result.
A total of 9,999 Canadian adults took the survey and were asked what they expect to see in 2022 when it comes to prices in grocery stores and restaurants.
The survey follows a report released earlier this month, which said overall, food prices are expected to rise five to seven percent in 2022.
However, in that report, 60.2 percent of those polled said they expected food prices to rise even more than the projected seven percent.
Sylvain Charlebois, professor at Dalhousie University and scientific director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, told Your Morning on CTV on Tuesday that Canadians “show up to the grocery store with a strategy.”
“They get smarter when they shop for food,” he said.
FOOD PURCHASING HABITS
The survey found that 63% of those polled said they intended to change their food buying habits in 2022.
The majority – 52.8% – said they intended to use coupons more often.
The second most popular habit change, according to the report, was to eat less in restaurants, with 51.7% of Canadians saying they intend to avoid restaurants in 2022.
A significant percentage of respondents (45.5%) said they plan to check flyers more often before buying food.
Additionally, 31.9% of Canadians said they plan to visit different grocery stores in 2022.
Some Canadians (30.3%) said they would buy more wholesale in 2022, while 26.8% said they would buy discounted food that is about to expire.
Charlebois said grocers are also noticing their customers’ food buying habits and “trying to empower consumers to become food rescuers.”
“Products that are about to expire, for example, instead of just stocking them, are actually lowering prices in order to entice consumers to buy some of those products,” he said. “And you can save a lot.”
Overall, Charlebois said that even though prices go up at the grocery store, “it doesn’t mean you have to spend more. “
“And I think a lot of consumers [are] start to understand that, ”he said.
FOOD PRICE CONCERNS
The 12th edition of the Canadian Food Prices Report released earlier this month predicted that by 2022, the average family of four will spend up to $ 14,767 on food.
He said dairy products are expected to cost between six and eight percent more in 2022, with the price of baked goods expected to rise five to seven percent.
Vegetables should cost five to seven percent more, and fruits three to five percent more.
The report predicts that meat and seafood will cost up to 2% more.
It will also cost more to eat out, according to the report, with restaurant prices set to rise six to eight percent in 2022.
The new poll found that 49.3 percent of Canadians are concerned about the price of meat, while only 22.8 percent say they are concerned about the price of vegetables.
Only 12.8 percent said they were concerned about fruit prices, and 6.4 percent of respondents said they were concerned about dairy prices.
Canadians were the least concerned about the prices of fish, seafood and baked goods.
The overwhelming majority (89.8 percent) of survey respondents said they believe food prices are increasing faster than their incomes.
In total, 65.4% said food prices were increasing “much faster”, while 24.4% said prices were increasing “a little faster” than their incomes.
DO MORE WITH FOOD
Survey respondents were also asked what more they plan to do in 2022.
The main response was to focus on reducing food waste, with 53.3 percent of those surveyed.
Charlebois said reducing food waste is “the first thing people have on their minds right now”.
“If they can cut down on the food they waste at home, they can save money,” he said. “They know it, they just need to figure out what’s in their fridge [and] what’s in their cupboards before they show up to the grocery store and don’t buy too much.
More than 30 percent of survey respondents also said they would eat more fruits and vegetables, while 28.5 said they plan to cook more.
Just over a fifth (20.2%) of those surveyed said they intended to eat healthier in 2022.
METHODOLOGY: A total of 9,999 Canadians participated in the survey. The representative survey of Canadians was conducted in November 2021, in partnership with Caddle. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 1.3 percent, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
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