MONTREAL -- If you've noticed your grocery bill has been higher than usual as of late, you're not alone. The cost of groceries in Quebec has gone up since January and analysts say it might not come down for some time.

Since the start of the year, researchers found that corn prices are up 84 per cent, sugar up 59 per cent, wheat up 19 per cent and coffee up 13 per cent. Staple items that have increased in price are used in other items, driving up the cost of those as well.

The survey found that the grocery bill for the average Canadian has gone up about 5 per cent, or $700 over the course of the year.

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at Dalhouse University, said reasons for the increased prices include the pandemic affecting the cost of harvesting food and a greater demand in China.

“Their economy is growing 18 per cent per quarter right now,” he said. “Compare that to North America, where the economy is recovering.”

At downtown's P.A. Grocery, store manager Nader Malek said there's an effort to strike a balance between good prices and keeping up with the market.

“In general, most of the prices took a hike,” he said. “Some weeks, the fruits and vegetables just go higher than usual. That's mostly where you can see the difference.”

There is one food item that has seen prices drop.

“If I were to host a barbecue, I would try to balance things between vegetable proteins and animal proteins,”said Charlebois. “Vegetable proteins are actually getting cheaper.”