Canadians won't escape food inflation anytime soon

grocery store

A new report says food prices will continue to rise in the new year.
    
The 13th edition of Canada's Food Price Report released today predicts grocery costs could increase as much as seven per cent in 2023.
    
For the average family of four, that means groceries will cost more than 16-thousand-dollars for the year _ a thousand dollars more than this year.
    
Sylvain Charlebois, the report's lead author and a professor at Dalhousie University, says food inflation will remain high in the first half of 2023 before it begins to ease.
    
Within the grocery store, vegetables are expected to see the biggest price increase.
    
Charlebois called produce the ``wild card,'' noting that a weaker Canadian dollar could make importing goods like lettuce more expensive.
    
The U.S. has also been struggling with extremely dry conditions and bacterial contaminations, which have reduced the supply of some vegetables in the market.
    
The University of Guelph's Simon Somogyi, who contributed to the report, says higher food costs are prompting Canadians to use coupons and buy more in bulk.
    
He says food bank use in Canada also reached a record high this year and is expected to continue to grow in 2023.