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Faced with inflation, Canadians reduce their meat consumption

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Canadians plan to eat less meat, reveals a recent Ipsos survey.

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Canadians, great meat eaters before the Lord, are turning to other options to get their portion of protein, due to the x27;inflation.

According to a recent Ipsos survey, about half (47%) of meat-eating participants said they intended to reduce their consumption of this food this year, mainly to reduce their grocery bill.

As mentioned by Kathy Perrotta, vice-president of strategy and market insight at Ipsos, since the company began asking Canadians about their habits of meat consumption, in 2018, the proportion of those intending to reduce their purchases of beef, chicken and the like increased by 25%.

And the reasons given for doing this have varied over time. In 2021 and 2022, says Ms. Perrotta, health and environmental concerns were the main reasons put forward to explain this decrease.

But over the past year, the cost of meat has become the main reason. Which is not very surprising, given the pressure on budgets these days, linked to rising interest rates and food prices.

A quote from Kathy Perrotta, vice-president of strategy and market understanding at Ipsos

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Still according to Ms. Perrotta, these factors could mean that we has arrived at an inflection point where the vegetarian and vegan movement will see a resurgence, as has happened during the pandemic, where replacements for meat patties, like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger, have sparked a broad interest.

For food economist Mike von Massow, it's no surprise that consumers are changing their eating habits due to high prices.

I think people do their grocery shopping differently, says the man who is attached to the University of Guelph. I also think that people eat out less often than before.

For Kathy Perrotta, this change in habit does not mean that people have stopped eating meat. But they simply consume less, she says.

Even so, Professor von Massow argues that while other factors come into play, Regardless, over the past year there has been a slight increase in the number of people identifying themselves as vegetarian or vegan.

How Canadians adapt to the higher cost of protein foods will depend on individual circumstances, including their confidence in their culinary skills, he said.

Some people can adapt by cooking more, or trying new ingredients, while others will find it more difficult.

A quote from food economist Mike von Massow

Zach Vanthournout, who runs a small livestock farm in Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick, said it found that sales were down, although consumers could save money by buying directly from the breeder.

I would like to know why people don't buy local, he said. If you come to us directly, ribs sell for about $16 per kilo. In the grocery store, it's $40 a kilo, and I don't understand what's going on.

A quote from Zach Vanthournout, owner of a small livestock farm in Fredericton Junction< /blockquote>

Mr. Vanthournout suggests that consumers search online to find a breeder near them, and that they team up with another household to buy larger cuts of meat.

As noted by Brenna Grant, general manager of Canfax and Canfax Research Services, the market research arm of the Canadian Cattlemen Association, beef prices have been pushed higher by a drought in Canada in 2021, and another in the United States in 2022, which reduced supplies.

These events, she said, pushed breeders to sell animals, and to make ends meet with smaller herds.

Still according to Ms. Grant, the general trend in the food and beverage sector is to buy fewer products than before.

With information from CBC News

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