As food prices continue to rise at an accelerated rate, new research from Mintel reveals that consumers firmly place the blame in the hands of food retailers and producers. A staggering 83% of Canadian grocery shoppers say grocers and food producers are using inflation as an excuse to price gouge. This comes as Canadians are feeling the pinch with nearly three in five (59%) shoppers more likely to watch how much they spend on groceries during this period of inflation.
Rampant food inflation gives rise to a profound sense of unfairness
Food inflation is not only impacting consumers’ financial well-being but their mental well-being too. Three-quarters of shoppers (73%) say food inflation is causing them additional stress, highlighting the need for grocery stores and food manufacturers to address this concern.
Furthermore, the emotional hardship Canadians feel relates not only to themselves but also others. Almost all Canadian consumers (94%) agree the steep rise in food costs is particularly unfair to those with lower incomes. The extent of distress that rising costs are causing consumers is illustrated by the fact that most Canadians (76%) feel ‘trapped’ by the fact that no matter how much food prices rise, they have no choice but to absorb them.
Joel Gregoire, Director of Food and Drink, Mintel Reports Canada, said:
“In shoppers’ minds, retailers and food producers are leveraging the challenges they are facing to their benefit, giving rise to the term ‘greedflation’. Addressing food inflation extends beyond just rising prices but also connecting compassionately with consumers and understanding that many are facing financial hardships. While food inflation is unlikely to persist at these levels, grocers and food producers must recognize the damage it is doing to the industry’s standing. Brands that can convey how they are taking steps to be transparent and ‘be on the side of consumers’ when it comes to saving money can bolster the brand’s perception both in the short term and beyond.”