Some Canadians are stealing expensive food from grocery stores as the cost of living continues to rise, with some even taking to social media to brag about it.
Last week, Dalhousie University professor Sylvain Charlebois wrote about the impact of grocery shoplifting.
“Grocery theft has always been a big problem, but with food inflation, shopkeepers now fear criminals more than ever,” wrote the director of the Halifax-based Agri-Food Analytics Lab in a Jan. 10 article.
“According to some industry data, an average grocery store in Canada can steal between $2,000 and $5,000 worth of groceries per week. Within the relatively tight profit margin of grocery products, this amount is huge. Grocers have to raise prices to cover the losses, so in the end we all pay for grocery theft.”
Twitter users didn’t like Charlebois’ words, with some proudly admitting to stealing, while others echoed the phrase “If you see someone stealing, no, you didn’t!”
Charlebois eventually responded to some of the online backlash by standing firm on her stance on the grocery theft.
“You think it’s okay to shoplift when you go shopping just because you think food prices are too high. Crazy,” he said. wroteWhen retweeting another Twitter user.
Since the tweet was posted on January 10, Charlebois’ tweet has garnered more than seven million views and hundreds of comments, with the majority disagreeing with his stance.
Some people on the Internet also called out Charlebois personally, revealing his income and saying he was “shilling” Loblaw Companies Ltd. and the family of Galen Weston.
Outrage over rising grocery prices has become a hot topic as inflation continues to affect Canadians.
In early January, a picture of a box of chicken breasts at Toronto’s Loblaw went viral as people expressed outrage over its price tag.
A photo taken by CTV News’ Siobhan Morris shows a five-piece box of chicken selling for almost $27/kg.
In November, both Loblaw and Metro reported sales and profit growth, but shared that they were pushing back against continued price increases from suppliers.
The Dalhousie University study also found that Canada’s top three grocery companies — Loblaw, Metro and Empire — will post higher profits in 2022 compared to their five-year averages.
Notably, Loblaw beat its five-year average, but also did better than any of those years individually.
According to a food report released in December, a Canadian family of four will spend about $1,066 more on groceries in 2023, with food prices expected to rise by up to 7 percent from last year.
“In 2023, Canadians are expected to continue to feel the effects of high food inflation, and food insecurity and affordability will also be a major issue as food prices rise,” Canada’s food price report notes.
“Canadians should still be willing to spend more in the coming year.”