Shopping Discussion

You're paying more for canned food and TP

  • Last Updated:
  • May 21st, 2020 11:06 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2013
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Toronto

You're paying more for canned food and TP

May 20, 2020
Statistics Canada says the annual inflation rate fell in April as the economy came to a standstill because of COVID-19.

The consumer price index for April fell 0.2 per cent compared with a year ago, the first year-over-year drop since September 2009.

Gas prices were down 39.3 percent but the prices of some other products were up.

Stats Can says you paid more for cleaning products, toilet paper and food.

According to analysis from the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, prices for canned goods have risen as much as 19% since December.

Senior Director, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, says the increase can be explained by a drop in the Canadian dollar.

In March, the dollar lost about 7 cents of its value.

However, he says, that does not explain a 12 percent jump in the price of toilet paper.

"This is a bit of an enigma because...a lot of these products are not imported. So, something else was going on there," Charlebois says.

He can't say for sure whether there may be some price gouging going on because it's difficult to prove.

Still, he says, "I would say that given that these products are not imported, that rate is unusually high."

Here are some of the price increases from December to April, according to Charlebois:

Baked beans: +19%
Canned tomatoes: +19%
Canned carrots: +14%
Canned soup: +12%
Bathroom tissue: +12%

https://www.iheartradio.ca/newstalk-101 ... 1.12460105
15 replies
Sr. Member
Jun 5, 2016
589 posts
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It's interesting to read about this but yeah its definitely caused by supply issues.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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The issue is demand went up 250% for bathroom tissue, 150% for soup, 200% for canned tomatoes https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/62f ... 04-eng.htm

Bathroom tissue: +12%

There is no burst output capacity in a bathroom tissue factory. Sales don't fluctuate and only grow with the population. The plant is not designed to dynamically produce more or less because that just doesn't happen. However corona did, manufacturers were unable to meet demand up 2.5X, and retailers were able to sell more product at regular rather than sale price. Feminine hygiene is the same.

Canned soup: +12%

Soup sells in winter and they spend all summer cranking out cans to sell once the cold hits in the fall. That is, they don't make enough soup to meet demand in the winter; they need the off season to build inventory. All of a sudden everybody needs soup in spring when sales and inventory are at a cyclic low. No soup for you. Maybe if you can pay for it.

Canned tomatoes: +19%

Tomatoes are generally processed in summer and fall so 2019 was already in a can. You cannot come up with extra tomatoes in February-March-April. You can however get more for what you've got.

Higher prices, but not exactly price-gouging. Everything in a grocery store has a regular price and then there is a set of sales in the flyer and a second set of sale items that are in-store (offers managed by each location). The first thing that happened is that in-store offers got zapped. This is a bigger group of SKUs than what is in the flyer but generally shallower discounts, so this was massive. Then stores slimmed their flyers or stopped offering them. This reset all the prices to maximum. All of a sudden instead of paying something between $2-$4 for an item week over week you are always paying $4.

Grocery stores are also keeping a much tighter inventory. You'll have products displayed one deep, as soon as someone takes one there's a hole, and people are willing to pay more for fear of missing out.

I don't know if this is about supply or psychology but there are people out there sitting on a gross of canned tomatoes and that's not really necessary.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15460 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Good post by @lecale

The price increase is more of a “perceived” thing ... than a reality at this point in time

It’s a case of Consumers during Covid clearing off the shelves of particular items ... so those items stopped being sold at their lowest price point in the sales cycle (on sale) ... and were only available to buy at their Mid to High Regular price points.

Of course, there were some “nasty” opportunistic Retailers who took advantage ... and pushed up prices even higher than normal ... citing demand ... on the Covid Essentials (TP, PT, Kleenex, Bleach, Lysol & Clorox Wipes, Masks, Gloves, Soap, Hand Sanitizer, and on the Grocery List ... Soups, Canned Beans, Pasta & Sauce, Canned Tomatoes )

This of course ran up the price of the “Cdn Food Basket” ... for the month of March

* Cdn Food Basket is how the various Governments of Canada looks at the price of food in relation to the economy, income levels, and poverty ... be it nationally, Provincially, Regionally, or locally = https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/ ... asket.html ... it’s the AVERAGE COST of a set group of food items at any given time ... in a particular place (so as an average ... it takes into account items that are both regular priced, as well as just happen to be at the lowest point in their sales cycle )

Prices were artificially being pushed up ... driven by demand / empty shelves ... not shortages of food

Some of that changed slightly in April ... as Baking Supplies (like Flour) moved from just being not in stock ... to the fact that it was a packaging issue back at the plants.

Milk was similar in April ... as it was a case of a supply chain issue for a short while ... that seems to have now been rectified for the most part

In May we moved into the first phase of true shortages ... most notably ... chicken parts ... as some meat processing facilities have encountered Covid Outbreaks. But so far ... there have not been massive shortages ... just slowdowns in production (also can be attributed to physical distancing measures in many of these facilities ... where people usually work in tight quarters).

The Cdn Food Basket therefore also saw price increases to some extent in April & May. And although it was a VERY REAL thing for those out of work (on EI / CERB) ... again was it a real increase, or just a perceived one ... where the costs increased from the Low Sale point up to the Regular FULL Price of items (High Point)

What June & beyond brings is anyone’s guess ... but it does look like things have stabilized for now (as has Covid ... now on the decrease here in Canada).

BUT ... it could very well be on a sharp increase in the USA over the next few weeks ... as they have opened up far more quickly than we did ... before a plateau in cases was ever reached.

This is precisely WHY Canada & Canadians have to give more thought to our Modern food supply ... we should not be relying solely on the USA ... or anyone else for many of our Food Guide Basics (Water - Dairy - Grains - Protein / Meats & Fish / Beans - Veggies & Fruits ). We need to find ways to be more self sufficient incase of a global issue ... just like we had to be back in WW I.

In truth... we can do pretty well on our own in most of the categories if push came to shove ... Water, Dairy, Grains, Protein ... our biggest shortfall would be Fruits & Veggies ... cuz of our climate. Natural / Seasonal would have to see us grow more during the summer & then stockpile / preserve it thru the winter ... like our ancestors did. Of course, this means like most northern hemisphere nations we’d be looking a lot of Winter Root Veggies as our annual supplies diminished.

Thank goodness that THIS ISNT the first half of the 20th Century ... but about 100 years on ... and we have more science & technology on hand ... so we can do better than our ancestors .., now that we have the easily accessible things like modern refrigeration & freezing, preserving & canning, as well as the ability to grow those fruits & veggies year round due to greenhouses & hydroponics. Albeit more expensive than the food source coming from warmer climates the world over ... at least we have alternatives ... that our forefathers did not

Immediate Lesson learned ... everyone should be THANKFUL for the food we do have. And do more to support the food chain ... maybe becoming more knowledgeable about growing food, preserving food, (and wasting less / throwing out food). As well as preparing food / cooking. Also, Depending less on convenience foods .. fast food, or take out food is not a sustainable long term solution in a time of crisis.

Anyone ... anywhere ... this Summer can try their hand at Gardening. Even container gardening on a high rise balcony can be quite successful.

Not gonna feed you for the whole year ... but is gonna help you realize what it takes to put food on the table ... and will make you appreciate the farmer / grower more and the supply chain.

Home Gardening was one of the first & best defences against REAL food shortages ... not just perceived ones ... during WW II. And it has stood the test of time ... cuz it’s a decent money saver for anyone willing to put the time in.

As they say ...
Food for thought
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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PointsHubby wrote: In truth... we can do pretty well on our own in most of the categories if push came to shove ... Water, Dairy, Grains, Protein ... our biggest shortfall would be Fruits & Veggies ... cuz of our climate. Natural / Seasonal would have to see us grow more during the summer & then stockpile / preserve it thru the winter ... like our ancestors did. Of course, this means like most northern hemisphere nations we’d be looking a lot of Winter Root Veggies as our annual supplies diminished.
Next revolution in agriculture will be indoor systems like they are exploring way up north or developing for the cannabis industry - climate controlled, no weeds, no pests, hydroponic so no soil science issues

No way we are going to be stuck with rutabagas in the 21st century, for long, anyway.
Jr. Member
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Apr 21, 2016
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Why would demand for TP be more? I don't understand this.

All the sudden we are wiping our bums more?????? :rolleyes:

I understand there were surges of people buying TP because of panic buying, but that should have died off now right?
Just an average netizen here because of the quarantine. :razz:
Web Developer for 5+ years. 😎
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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tp is a comfort item. People just decided the sky could fall and they would be ok with it as long as they didn't run out of tp.

Canadian supply is up (Royale, Cashmere, Purex, etc.) but US imports (Charmin, Cottonelle) are still in shorter supply. They were cranking out tp so hard at a Charmin plant in California that the line caught fire. Still not enough.
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2007
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Toronto
lecale wrote: Tomatoes are generally processed in summer and fall so 2019 was already in a can. You cannot come up with extra tomatoes in February-March-April. You can however get more for what you've got.
I bet they can the tomatoes during the season, but then label them throughout the rest of the year as they're ordered by distributors.

Oh, a sudden spike in demand? Stop using the generic labels and start applying the high-end $$$ brand labels. Makes it harder for consumers to claim retailers are price-gouging when SKU prices are unchanged. Also lets manufacturers fulfill orders for different export markets as their demands ebb and flow, so maybe there was a shortage in Canada as stock got shipped to USA instead.
Last edited by HammerRFDer on May 21st, 2020 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
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Mar 30, 2004
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WebDesignerGirl wrote: Why would demand for TP be more? I don't understand this.

All the sudden we are wiping our bums more?????? :rolleyes:

I understand there were surges of people buying TP because of panic buying, but that should have died off now right?
Commercial toilet paper demand tanked and residential demand spiked. Different products, different factories, different supply chain, so not as easy as just packaging the commercial stuff for residential use.

Nobody is using TP at the office, at the mall, at the restaurant, etc.
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
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GTA, ON
I buy my TP from Costco. Always the same price.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15460 posts
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Eastern Ontario
CorSter wrote: Commercial toilet paper demand tanked and residential demand spiked. Different products, different factories, different supply chain, so not as easy as just packaging the commercial stuff for residential use.

Nobody is using TP at the office, at the mall, at the restaurant, etc.
This

Plus a study (Lol ... yes really) that stated that a great many people take their daily dump when they are out of their houses at work etc

Guess it makes sense ...the fewer hours you spend at home and all

With STAY HOME ORDERS ... folks were gonna “be going” (intentional pun ) ... no where’s else

That and the run on TP here in NA kind of copied the same one in China etc ... where TP is still more of a luxury than it is here

So it’s a case of “monkey see / monkey do”... someone starts the panic (even if only perceived) and others blindly follow
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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CorSter wrote: Commercial toilet paper demand tanked and residential demand spiked. Different products, different factories, different supply chain, so not as easy as just packaging the commercial stuff for residential use.

Nobody is using TP at the office, at the mall, at the restaurant, etc.
Pleased it never came down to buying an 18 inch spool of 1-ply out of the back of a van, or nothing.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 2, 2013
1566 posts
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Toronto
i know eggs have increased in price. in april, eggs were on sale price at sdm for $2.28.
now i look at the flyer and the sale price is $2.69. and that's the sale price
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
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oicthat2013 wrote: i know eggs have increased in price. in april, eggs were on sale price at sdm for $2.28.
now i look at the flyer and the sale price is $2.69. and that's the sale price
3 weeks now. I noticed too.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15460 posts
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Eastern Ontario
oicthat2013 wrote: i know eggs have increased in price. in april, eggs were on sale price at sdm for $2.28.
now i look at the flyer and the sale price is $2.69. and that's the sale price
Again, this relates to understanding the Low - Medium - High range on any one item / product
Low, being the LOWEST ON SALE PRICE
Then anything above that is the Medium to High ... Regular Price Range
Eggs at SDM in the days BC (Before Covid)
Could be found ON SALE as < $ 2.00 a dozen (ie Large No Name Eggs)
So the $ 2.28 you encountered ... or even the $ 2.69 price today ON SALE
Represents the Middle in the Regular Price Range
The High Regular Price ... is definitely > $ 3.00

The price you’ll find those eggs for when they are not on sale
Prob the same price as they were in February too

So technically, one cannot say the price of eggs has increased
Just that the Sales Cycle has changed

It’s most noticeable to RFDers
Cuz we tend to be the group of Consumers who shop the sales
Vs buying anything at Regular Price

Statistically, they’ll say the price went up
IF ...
The Low - Medium - High Price Range on this item PERMANENTLY SHIFTS upwards
So the high mark goes higher ...
And the old low is truly NEVER SEEN AGAIN
We aren’t there quite yet
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
9239 posts
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Regular white eggs at SDM right? Prices are high. After limit and rest of week $2.99.

Eggs used to be $1.88-$1.99 on weekends. At $2.69 the sale price is up as much as +$.81 an almost 45% increase. By weight (to compare with other proteins) a jump from $1.40/lb to $2.00/lb. This is the third week in a row with no weekend sale on eggs.

Even those annoying flats of 30 are selling for at least $2.40/dz at grocery stores. There's no compensation for the inconvenience of commercial pack.

I always have a few dozen in the fridge and I have definitely noticed the hike.

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