MRO Magazine

OPINION: It’s not you, food is getting more expensive

November 9, 2022 | By Mario Cywinski

Photo: hd3dsh / adobe stock

Photo: hd3dsh / adobe stock

In our June 2022 issue, we compared food prices (Spring 2022 to Fall 2021), we saw that prices in many cases
were plateauing.

For the last comparison, we used Statistics Canada “Canada’s Monthly average retail prices for food and other selected products” for March 2022. However, this time we are using Statscan’s Monthly average retail prices for selected products, which gives the same information just in a different chart. The latest version available is for July 2022.

Looking at the items we used in our June issue (with some minor changes), staple items that are bought often look like this:
• Milk (four litres) was $5.99 in July 2022 and was $5.98 in February 2022. Milk did go up to $6.04 in April 2022 but has gone back down a little bit.

• Butter, 454 grams ($5.72 vs. $5.36), peak of $6.11 in June 2022.
• Eggs, dozen ($4.29 vs. $4.07), price is on the way up.
• White bread, 675 grams ($3.50 vs. $3.19), price is on the way up.
• Flour, 2.5 kg ($5.51 vs. $4.94), price is on the way up.
• Vegetable oil, three litres ($12.29 vs. $10.62), price is on the way up.
• Ground beef, per kg ($10.64 vs. $10.29), peak of $10.82 in April 2022.
• Whole chicken, per kg ($5.85 vs. $5.65), peak of $5.93 in June 2022.


What we see in the comparison is that while prices looked to be plateauing for the March 2022 numbers, prices have not gone down, and in most cases have gone up or stayed about the same.

However, the news is not all negative, while some fruits and vegetable are up (apples, oranges, pears, potatoes, and onions), many are down in price (grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, romaine and iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and peppers).

Why do food prices continue to increase? The biggest change since we did this exercise in June is that the war in Ukraine has intensified and a quick resolution does not look likely. This has increased oil prices through the summer months. While oil prices are on their way down (as of Labour Day) but as is often the case, prices could increase at any time. Further, supply chain issues continue to plague just about every industry in Canada, including the food and beverage industry.


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