Bad weather, inflation, blockades being felt at grocery cash registers
Published Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:29PM EST
MONTREAL -- A rise in inflation, bad weather and a possible backlog of goods due to train blockades could have shoppers’ wallets getting lighter when they go for groceries.
One example: on average the cost of meat is a dollar more per pound than last year.
“For a person who’s alone it’s not that bad but for a family it’s very expensive,” said Jacques Lecavalier, store manager of Esposito in NDG.
Inflation has leapt up at its highest rate in two years. Among the items that shoppers can expect to pay more for is tomatoes, which are relatively scarce due to inclement weather in Mexico and the United States. In just a few months the cost of tomatoes jumped from a dollar a pound to three dollars.
Lecavalier said he foresees even more increases because of recent Canada-wide train blockades erected by protesters and land defenders demonstrating against a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia.
“Train can’t go in, train can’t go out so we’re waiting for the end of the blockades,” he said. “As the weeks go on we’re going to run out of stock. Not all of the stock but a few things are going to go missing soon.”
Dalhousie University business professor Sylvain Charlebois said he isn’t convinced the blockades will lead to great inflation. He said a bigger cause could be demand for more natural ingredients in processed foods.
“When you actually look at what went up over the last little while, wieners is actually the one item that has gone up the most, followed by corn flakes,” he said.