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Canadians eating less, stockpiling food amid highest inflation in 41 years: Survey

The file photo shows a Canadian grocery store in Ontario.

A new survey has revealed that Canadians are buying cheaper food items, stockpiling food and even eating less to cope with rising food prices as inflation in the country has soared to its highest in almost half a century.

The results of the study by Nanos Research for Canada’s CTV News were released on Thursday, with more than 1,000 Canadians admitting to having used a “cost-saving option” to lower food expenses in the past month as inflation stands at 6.9 percent, the highest in 41 years.

The most common practice among the respondents, as the study noted, was buying less expensive food, with six out of ten Canadians reporting they had done so in the past 30 days.

“A little more than a quarter of Canadians said they hadn’t changed their food habits at all. But another quarter said they had stockpiled food that month, and 17 percent of Canadians surveyed said they were eating less food due to food prices,” it stated.

The survey found that men’s and women's habits were affected differently by rising food costs as about 34% of males said they were eating as usual with no change in habits, while only 23 percent of females said the same.

“Around 34 percent of men said they had changed nothing of their food habits, compared to 23 percent of women. Similarly, 64 percent of women said they were buying less expensive food compared to around 57 percent of men who said the same,” the study elaborated.

In terms of age, younger Canadians were more likely than older Canadians to have changed their behavior in the last 30 days due to food prices.

“More than 70 percent of those aged 18-34 said they were buying less expensive food, compared to 65 percent of 35-54-year-olds and approximately 51 percent of those aged 55 plus,” the research showed.

Geography and location also played a role in the study by Nanos Research, with those surveyed in Canada’s Ontario and Atlantic provinces more likely to eat less and residents in Quebec the most prone to stockpiling food.

The survey was carried out by various telephone methods and an online random survey of 1,084 Canadians with 18 years of age and older from October 30 to November 4. The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.

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