By Chris Elliott, Senior Economist (Oct. 14/14) We all expect food prices to steadily rise over time. However, when key menu ingredients like beef and pork climb at double-digit growth rates, there is some sticker shock.
In August, beef and pork prices were a hefty 13.6% higher than a year ago, according to Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index. In particular, ham and bacon prices have soared 18.7% on a year-over-year basis, while fish prices have increased 6.3%. Chicken prices have been the least offensive, rising 1.6%.
According to Restaurants Canada’s soon-to-be-released Restaurant Outlook Survey, six in 10 operators reported higher food costs, making it the number one challenge in Q3 of 2014. Some specifically identified rising beef and pork prices as the culprits. Prices have hit a plateau on a month-over-month basis, but it remains to be seen whether they hold on to this peak or fall back to normal levels soon.
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