Canadians are braced for food inflation

The latest from IMI reveals consumers are prepared for a double whammy of high costs and rebounding pandemic fatigue.

Dairy-cowCanadians are preparing to deal with the added stress of inflation for beef, chicken and cheese products while COVID fatigue continues to take a toll, thanks to emerging variants.

Independent marketing insights consultancy IMI’s research reveals that in Canada, more people are expecting to pay more for items like dairy, milk, cheese, chicken beef compared with six months ago (see graph below).


Don Mayo, global managing partner at IMI, says that during the holiday period, there has been a lot of conversation about food supply.

“Inflation is gonna happen,” he notes. “We are going to have to pay our dues at some time.”

Mental health continues to be top of mind across the board, the findings reveal, with concern over friends and family trumping personal ones.

People are getting worn down, Mayo says, and while there was and continues to be excitement around attending live events, there’s also “fatigue and frustration” around it too.

Interest in vacationing inside one’s country is up. And Mayo maintains that people are not just saying they want to get out of the house, they are planning and dreaming about it. From a brand perspective, Mayo recommends giving people the dream to travel abroad in Fall 2022, rather than the upcoming spring, to avoid the let-downs that may come with the return of travel restrictions.

IMI also looked at brands consumers are now more interested in than they were 12 months ago.


“If you’re not as good as Amazon, you’re gonna get killed,” Mayo says, adding that the distinction between online and retail brands is blurring. He recommends to “focus on doing great things,” irrespective of the platform you’re activating on.

Respondents were pressed about the brands they thought would best succeed five years from now, and the usual suspects were present: Nike, Tesla, Amazon, Apple and Samsung.

Meanwhile, what motivates people to buy or act remains the same as it has throughout the last two years: Amazon availability, product research and brand trust continue to be dominant purchase drivers.