How the rising cost of food adds up to your grocery cart

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

food prices rose 9.7% in May year over year, matching the increase in April. Virtually everything from meat to fruits and vegetables and pantry staples like flour and cooking oil – which are up 30%.

Earlier this month, Food Banks Canada released data suggesting that nearly one in four Canadians (23%) are “eating less than they believe they should” because of inflation.

So what exactly is increasing your food bill? CBC News has put together a sample cart of 16 common items to illustrate it — and the price for that has gone up $16.25 last year.

See how it’s adding up:

A graphic of a shopping cart highlighting meat and fish.

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

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

A graphic of a shopping cart highlighting fruits and vegetables.

In average, fresh fruit cost 10% more in April than a year ago, while fresh vegetables were up 8.2% over the same period.

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

A graphic of a shopping cart highlighting cereals and grains.

Not only did the Food Bank Canada survey conducted by Mainstreet Research find that 23% of respondents say they were eating less due to rising food costs, but nearly that (19%) also said they were hungry but unable to eat. eat. because there was not enough money for food.

“Food is often the first thing people go to cut,” Rachael Wilson, CEO of the Ottawa Food Bank, told CBC’s Heather Hiscox. “We constantly hear from parents who are without to make sure their families and children have food to eat.”

In March 2021 alone, there were over 1.3 million visits to food banks across Canada – an increase of approximately 20% from 2019. And that was well before inflation.

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

A graphic of a shopping cart highlighting pantry items.

One of the main drivers of your basic staples rising is cooking oil. Edible fats and oils recorded biggest increase ever recorded by 30 percent.

Of note, there are some items that have not had an average price increase during the past year. This includes potatoes and sweet potatoes, which have really dropped in price.

Bananas remained virtually unchanged. Lemons remain unchanged, although lemons are on the rise. And broccoli is a vegetable that has remained relatively unchanged in price.

WATCH | Making ends meet as prices rise:

Canadians are forced to make tough choices as inflation soars

Many Canadians are feeling the pinch of the high cost of living and this is forcing some to make difficult 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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