If you’ve noticed that package sizes at the grocery store seem to be shrinking, you’re not alone. A new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are worried about shrinkflation.
The poll, done for Motorcycle accident toronto today by Ipsos between April 19-20, surveyed 1,000 Canadians. It found that 84 per cent of respondents are concerned about shrinkflation: that grocery items are smaller but the same price as before or more.
“They pick up a box at the grocery store and they go, ‘Didn’t this used to be bigger?’” Ipsos VP Sean Simpson told Motorcycle accident toronto today. “They’re noticing that those portion sizes are declining and they’re concerned that that trend could continue.”
One in five Canadians also say they are paying over $100 more for groceries, per week, in the last six months than they did before inflation boosted food prices across the country.
It found that 21 per cent say they are paying $100 or more for groceries, broken down to six per cent paying $101-$150 more, seven per cent reporting $151-$200 more, and eight per cent over $200 more.
Twenty-three per cent say that they are paying $51-$100 more for groceries, while 38 per cent say they are paying up to $50 more for groceries.
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About 18 per cent said their grocery bill hasn’t changed in the last six months, which leaves 82 per cent total that said their grocery bill has increased.
The figures come as Canada has been facing historic inflation, with grocery prices rising around 10 per cent in March and February, according to Statistics Canada.
Ipsos says that 55 per cent of those polled say they are concerned they may not have enough money to feed their family, which goes up to 68 per cent for those with children.
“Many are still concerned prices will rise faster than they can adjust,” said Simpson.
“There’s still a very strong and in some cases growing proportion of Canadians who are worried about the basic necessities of life, putting food on the table.”
Simpson pointed to a finding from MNP Debt Index in 2021. It said that 53 per cent of Canadians reported that they are $200 away from not being able to cover their bills or debt payments. If Canadians are spending at least $50 more a week on groceries, that $200 savings a month suddenly is gone, he said.
Shrinkflation explained and how it impacts spending power
Simpson said there’s been a shift in the financial health of Canadians over the recent years, with younger people ending up worse off than those older.
But while inflation has lowered recently, he said it doesn’t mean food prices are cheaper. They’re just going up more slowly.
The price increases are impacting what people are buying, with more Canadians saying they are buying fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, at 29 per cent, up three per cent from November 2022, Roughly three in 10 respondents said they are eating less meat, up slightly from November.
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However, fewer Canadians say they are cutting back on some luxuries, such as dining out (at 48 per cent, down four per cent from November) or entertainment, also down four per cent, to 42 per cent.
Simpson said that younger people are driving those statistics down as they are least likely to be making sacrifices on luxuries.
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“Now that the summer is coming and maybe they’ve hunkered down over the winter and hibernated in order to save some money to make ends meet, they’re hoping that throughout the spring, in the summer, they may be able to re-engage in some of those activities,” he said.
Ipsos found that Canadians between 18-34 years old are more likely to say their grocery bill increased more than $100, at 30 per cent, compared to those 35-54 years old, at 18 per cent.
Simpson pointed out that the younger demographic is less likely to do cost-saving measures, such as cutting coupons, according to Ipsos data, so it makes sense their grocery bills may be going up.
“Part of it is lifestyle-based,” he said. “They’re just not willing to sacrifice some of those creature comforts.”
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 19th and 20th, 2023, on behalf of Motorcycle accident toronto today. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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