Inflation heats up BBQ lovers

The Canada Day long weekend is the perfect time for grilled burgers, cold beverages and quality time with family and friends.

Posted at 4:42pm

Brett Bundale
The Canadian Press

However, these backyard gatherings will cost more this year.

Food prices rose 9.7% year-on-year in May as inflation hit the highest level in almost 40 years.

The prices of many grilled dishes such as steaks and vegetables have risen again, making dining with family and friends more expensive.

Using prices collected by Statistics Canada, the cost to host a Canada Day BBQ with eight adults and eight children would be $302.04 today, more than 17% more than in 2021 when the bill was $257.27.

Price increases could lead to a change in buying and consuming habits as people try to save money when buying groceries.

“Prices are rising much faster than we’ve seen in four decades,” observed Sal Guatieri, senior economist at the Bank of Montreal.

“People might start moving to cheaper items, especially when it comes to groceries. For example, you could substitute chicken for the steak to save money. »

In addition, travel during the long weekend will put even more strain on budgets. The cost of gas and staying in a hotel room has increased from about $220 a year ago to about $317, an increase of almost 44%.

But rising costs shouldn’t stop Canadians from getting together and celebrating Canada Day.

“The pent-up demand for socializing, going out, and grilling this summer will outweigh price increases,” Guatieri said.

“But once households have used up some of their savings and pent-up demand has eased, we could see a major change in behavior. »

Despite skyrocketing costs, Canadians are doing better this year than last year, said Angelo Melino, an economics professor at the University of Toronto.

“More Canadians are working and they’re working longer,” he said. The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the amount of goods and services we produce, has grown, and consumption has increased quite dramatically. »

While some higher costs might persuade Canadians to turn to cheaper alternatives to grocery shopping, the prices of some grilling staples have remained stable.

“Alcohol and recreational cannabis aren’t on the rise as much as other things, so maybe beer is a cheap first-line drinkah July […], but maybe (people buy) hot dogs instead of steaks. »

Here is a breakdown of the cost of the items in a typical Canada Day BBQ menu.

Percent price increases for food groups correspond to the average increase in May from the same month last year, according to Statistics Canada’s inflation data. Additional pricing information for a specific item are average estimates from April 2021 and April 2022, the latest month for which price breakdown is available, and are not statistically comparable. Cost is estimated based on food prices for a 16 person BBQ.

Beef: 11.2%

The cost of a kilogram of strip loin steak was $22.87 in April 2021. For a barbecue with eight adults, each consuming a half-pound steak, the cost would be $91.48. This year the cost would be $28.80 per kilogram for a total bill of $115.20.

Chicken: 7.9%

In April 2021, chicken breasts cost $12.58 per kilogram. Two kilograms to share on the grill would cost $25.16. Today, at $15.32 per kilogram, the cost would be $30.64.

Hot dogs, sausages: 9.9%

As of April 2021, about 400 grams of sausage cost $3.76, or about $7.52 for 800 grams (about two packs). In April 2022, the cost increased to $4.09 for 400 grams or $8.18 for 800 grams.

Bread, rolls and buns: 11.1%

White bread went to $3.37 for 675 grams in April 2022, while the same amount sold for $3.03 in April 2021.

Vegetables: 10.2%

Fresh fruit: 11.3%

A kilogram of tomatoes rose from $3.70 to $4.21, a kilogram of potatoes from $4.22 to $4.18, a kilogram of onions from $4.14 to $5.28 and romaine lettuce from $2.63 to $3.58 . The price of a cantaloupe rose to $3.28 in April from $2.82 a year earlier. The cost of an attorney increased to $2.35 in April from $1.76 a year earlier.

Ice cream: 4.1%

A liter of ice cream that cost about $4.50, or $9 for two liters, in 2021 would now cost about $4.70, or $9.40 for two liters.

Fats, cooking oils: 30%

Spices, seasonings and vinegars: 20.6%

A liter of ketchup rose from $3.32 to $4.07, mayonnaise from $4.55 to $5.93, and three liters of vegetable oil rose to $10.83, up from $6.48 last year.

Beer: 4.8%

A case of 24 beers that cost $47.50 a year ago would cost about $49.50 today.

Wine: 4.7%

A $20 bottle of wine a year ago was just under $21 today, or $40 for two bottles compared to $42 today.

The total cost to host a Canada Day BBQ in 2021 would have been around $257.31. Today the same grill would cost $302.00 or more than 17% more.

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