From the price of prepackaged food to a $9 head of cauliflower, Canadians are feeling the pinch when it comes to grocery costs and have taken to social media to express just how they feel.
Earlier this week, one Reddit user posted on a Toronto page about the price difference between Canadian grocery stores and what they’re used to back home in the UK.
“Man, been here a year, originally from the UK. Still can’t get used to these supermarket prices,” wrote Redditor NoOutlandishness6976, adding that they made their way to their local Metro in Toronto for a few grocery items.
They grabbed two limes priced at 99 cents each and one “pretty limp” head of broccoli at $3.99. The total for all three items added up to $5.97.
They also checked the prices of the same items on Walmart Canada’s website to cover more bases for comparison.
The limes were 77 cents each, and the broccoli was $2.87. The total came out to $4.59.
However, the poster highlighted how unreasonable Canada’s grocery prices are compared to those of the UK supermarket chain Tesco.
When converted to Canadian dollars, the Tesco limes were 39 cents each, and the broccoli was $1.33, totalling $2.11.
“Half the price of Walmart — 2.82x cheaper than Metro,” wrote the Redditor.
The poster acknowledged (with some added snark) that they were aware of some of the reasons fuelling these high prices, including issues with competition amongst large grocery companies, monopolies in the industry, and the “Canadian tolerance for being sh*t on at every opportunity.”
Still, the price difference left them stunned.
“WTAF seriously,” they wrote. “Why is this place so soddin’ expensive for literally everything?”
A stark price difference
In the comments, fellow Redditors understood where the poster was coming from, expressing their feelings of anger and hopelessness regarding the country’s costly grocery prices.
“There’s a clear grift happening with food in Canada, and we aren’t mad enough yet about it,” said one commenter.
“I’m sorry that you’re now experiencing what us Canadians deal with on the reg. I don’t know how to help practically, but at least 1700578217 I understand and empathize,” wrote another.
“Because the grocery oligarchs in Canada can do whatever they want. Decrease quality and size? Sure! Simultaneously increase prices monthly by 15 per cent? Absolutely. Who’s gonna stop them? The government? Hahahaha,” said Redditor Ginerbreadman.
One commenter chalked it up to the lack of competition in Canada.
“The UK is uniquely cheap when it comes to food. Lots of competition as well. Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK fares very well.”
Another noted that Canada doesn’t have “deep discount” supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, which can be found in the UK and the US.
“If they come to Canada, Loblaws/Metro/Sobeys will be soiling their pantaloons, I assure you!”
Feds working to increase grocery competition
This year, high grocery prices have been a dominant talking point for Canada’s federal government.
The federal government introduced its grocery rebate program and created an action plan to stabilize high food costs. The plan includes establishing a Grocery Task Force and a Grocery Code of Conduct and introducing targeted legislative amendments to the Competition Act with Bill C-56.
The feds have also threatened to “take more action” against CEOs of grocery chains who do not agree to lower their prices.
Have you noticed significantly lower grocery prices while visiting places outside of Canada? Let us know in the comments.