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How the rising cost of food is piling up in your grocery cart


It’s been going on for months. You get to the bottom of your grocery cart at checkout, go pay, and then feel the sting of another higher-than-usual total.

Food prices increased by 9.7% in May compared to the previous year, corresponding to the increase in April. Just about everything is up, from meat to fruits and vegetables to staples like flour and cooking oil, which are up 30%.

Earlier this month, Food Banks Canada released data that suggests almost one in five Canadians (23%) are “eating less than they think they should” due to inflation.

So what’s driving up your food bill? CBC News has put together a sample basket of 16 common items to illustrate – and the price for it has risen by $16.25 over the past year.

Here’s how it adds up:


If you’re considering using dairy products to supplement your protein intake, there’s some bad news about it. The Canadian Dairy Commission this week approved another 2.5% price increasewhich will drive up the price of milk and dairy-based products, such as cheese and yogurt.

The average price of four liters of milk had already increased over the past year, from $5.50 in April 2021 to $6.04 in April 2022.

How the rising cost of food is piling up in your grocery cart

On average, fresh fruit costs 10% more in April than a year ago, while fresh vegetables were up 8.2% for the same period.

The price of frozen vegetables remained relatively stable and even fell slightly in some cases.

How the rising cost of food is piling up in your grocery cart

Not only did the Food Bank Canada poll, conducted by Mainstreet Research, find that 23% of respondents said they were eating less because of soaring food prices, but almost as many (19%) also said they were hungry but unable to eat. because there was not enough money for food.

“Food is often the first thing people will cut back on,” Rachael Wilson, CEO of the Ottawa Food Bank, told CBC’s Heather Hiscox. “We constantly hear about parents going without to make sure their families and children have enough to eat.”

In March 2021 alone, there were over 1.3 million food bank visits across Canada, an increase of about 20% from 2019. And that was long before inflation hit. .

“We’re seeing more repeat visitors,” Wilson said. “It’s not once a month. These are people who need food regularly throughout the month because they just can’t afford to feed their families. We’ve never seen anything such in the history of the Ottawa Food Bank.”

How the rising cost of food is piling up in your grocery cart

Cooking oil is one of the main drivers for increasing your commodities. Edible fats and oils recorded this category biggest increase ever at 30 percent.

Note, there is a few items whose average price has not increased over the past year. These include potatoes and sweet potatoes, the price of which has actually fallen.

Bananas remained virtually unchanged. Lemons are unchanged, although limes are up. And broccoli is a vegetable whose price has remained relatively unchanged.

WATCH | Making ends meet as prices skyrocket:

How the rising cost of food is piling up in your grocery cart

Canadians forced to make tough choices as inflation soars

Many Canadians are feeling the pressure of the high cost of living and this is forcing some to make tough choices about where to spend their money.


Mainstreet Research surveyed 4,009 adults using automated telephone interviews from February 25 to March 2. For comparison purposes only, a random sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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