Grocery inflation on the rise, but few Canadians participating in Loblaw boycott: poll

Urban residents were most likely to believe the boycott would lower prices, with nearly three-quarters of rural Canadians polled saying they didn't believe prices would be impacted.

Grocery inflation on the rise, but few Canadians participating in Loblaw boycott: poll
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Most Canadians feel that inflation on food items in grocery stores is getting worse, a new poll suggests. The survey, conducted by Leger, found that 30% of Canadians believe food inflation is caused by grocers trying to increase profit margins.

Over a quarter (26%) said that it's mostly due to economic factors. One in five blamed the federal government.

Grocery inflation was 1.4% in April, contributing to a decrease in overall inflation to 2.7%, according to Statistics Canada.

However, even low inflation indicates that prices are still rising. Over the past three years, grocery prices have increased by 21.4%, according to the agency.

Amid political and public pressure over the rising cost of food and other necessities, major grocers have stated that they did not unduly profit from inflation.

Organizer Emily Johnson began the call to boycott Loblaw-owned stores earlier this month, which has caught the public's attention. Seven out of 10 said they were aware of the boycott, and 58% said they supported it. However, a lowly 18% said they or someone in their household has joined in boycotting the large chain.

Urban residents polled by Leger were most likely to support the boycott and participate in it.

Half of Canadians said that targeting Loblaws specifically was unfair, and two-thirds said they didn't believe the boycott would have any meaningful effect on prices.

Urban residents were most likely to believe the boycott would lower prices, with nearly three-quarters of rural Canadians polled saying that they didn't believe the prices would be impacted.

Among those participating in the boycott, 40% reported switching to "big box grocery stores" like Costco or Walmart, 31% opted for other national grocery chains such as Sobeys or Save On Foods, and 23% chose to shop at independent local grocery stores.

Of those participating in the boycott, rural shoppers were more likely to visit independent stores compared to urban and suburban customers.

The Leger poll surveyed 1,519 Canadians from May 17 to May 19, inquiring about grocery inflation, the Loblaw boycott, and grocers' profits. Because it was an online poll not randomly sampling the population, no margin of error could be assigned.

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