Nearly 60% of Canadians prioritize discounts on expiring food, survey says

Click to play video: 'Canadians changing grocery shopping habits to save money'
Canadians changing grocery shopping habits to save money
WATCH: In a quest to save money, Canadian families have made major changes to their grocery shopping habits. Alissa Thibault has more from a recent survey. – Feb 21, 2024

Food costs across Canada are turning shoppers into store hoppers and deal finders, according to a recent survey.

The survey, which was conducted by Dalhousie University in Halifax, found that consumers are making around seven trips to grocery stores a month, which is up two trips from a 2018 study.

It also found that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians are seeking discounted food products, which include food near expiration dates.

A 50 per cent discount is enough for them to buy expiring food.

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How British Columbians are cutting costs at the grocery store

“A lot more people are absolutely looking for deals,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

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“And it’s a decision driver at the grocery store.… Basically, if it’s not on sale, they won’t buy it. ‘

The most purchased discounted food products include:

  • fresh produce (59.9 per cent)
  • meats (59.7 per cent)
  • packaged and canned goods (57.7 per cent)
  • baked goods (48.6 per cent)
  • dairy products (48.3 percent)

Charlebois told Global News the survey found consumers are actively switching which grocery stores they visit as well.

“It’s basically three Canadians out of five have switched grocery stores. And so it means that the market is looking for good deals and more deals,” she said.

According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2024, prices are expected to increase by 2.5 to 4.5 per cent in B.C., which is on par with the national average.

Shoppers said the best-discounted products can be found at Loblaws, Superstore and No Frills, followed by Walmart and Costco.

The use of food-rescuing apps is gaining popularity as well. They offer consumers the opportunity to save money while combating food waste.

Among those surveyed, around 40 per cent said they use these types of apps. Ninety-five per cent oft hose who have used the apps said they would recommend them to others.

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