2023, like many other years that have come before it, is over. And, as many clock enthusiasts or fans of the Steve Miller Band would remind you, time keeps on slipping into the future.
From a food perspective, this was a year to remember for all the wrong reasons. Sixteen per cent of households in Ontario faced food insecurity, food banks recorded all-time high usage, and grocery prices continued to climb.
However, one positive trend in 2023 we can all appreciate is the increased attention news outlets have been placing on food and food suppliers. The price of food is something that affects us all, and it has been nice to see the work journalists have been doing delving into the opaque world of food and food prices.
The Halifax Examiner published an investigation by Suzanne Rent on September 5 showing Dollarama not selling its discounted bread near Sobeys locations because “they don’t let us.”
In November The Toronto Star’s Jake Edmiston wrote about grocery exec’s plans to stabilize food prices through the holidays.
And of course, you have the work done by the Grocery Tracker team, by us, at the Hoser. Here are some of the highlights from our past year:
Turkey prices were high at Thanksgiving in October, but the tracker caught the sales prices dropping to last year’s a week before the holiday.
During Halloween, we took a look at the price discrepancies for boxes of candy across Loblaw-affiliated stores, and noted the mark-up on “two-bite” cupcakes at Loblaws vs Real Canadian Superstore.
And in our November update “The Seasons of our Chives,” the team utilized the new Price History Tool to track price fluctuations of specific items through time on the tracker.
Looking ahead to next year, there is much to be excited about with the Grocery Tracker. We have implemented some design changes and have developed some geolocation based searching functionality. Our goal is to soon have the ability to show you the cheapest food items in our database within a specific distance to you.