Shoppers shun meat at counters across Canada: survey

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Meat trays in some local grocery stores are nearly always empty.

There is no shortage of meat product but consumers are shorting the meat counter.

Two surveys of 3,000 shoppers in Canada by Caddle indicate the newest trends

Four of five survey respondents (80 per cent) think meat is too expensive.

Sixty-one per cent have reduced the amount of meat they buy.

Ironically, meat price inflation last year was less than three other main categories of food.

Meat prices last year increased six per cent while bakery products were up 14 per cent, fresh vegetables up 13.7 per cent and dairy products were up 12 per cent.

Many of the respondents are substituting dairy products for meat.

And 53 per cent have turned to buying more private label brands.

Grocers have private label foods made to their standards and bypass wholesaler costs, leading to lower prices.

Meanwhile the consumer price index (CPI) jumped 5.9 per cent from January last year to this January.

Year over year, meat prices are up 7.3 per cent with chicken up nine per cent.

Baked goods prices are up 15.5 per cent with dairy products up 12.4 per cent and fresh vegetables up 14.7 per cent.

Average CPI inflation in Canada is 5.9 per cent year over year with Saskatchewan at six per cent.

Lowest CPI rate is Alberta at five per cent. Highest is a tie between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland/Labrador at 6.9 per cent.

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