Jun 27, 2023

By Bob Komsic

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Better competition is needed in the grocery sector to help lower Canadian food prices. 
That’s a key finding in the just released report from the Competition Bureau, the result of an investigation launched last year, when there were loud public outcries over food prices.
The industry is dominated by the Big Three — Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys owner Empire — along with Walmart and Costco.
The competition watchdog says the industry is not as competitive as it could be, and consumers are paying the price.
”Canada needs solutions to help bring grocery prices in check,” says the bureau.
”More competition is a key part of the answer.”
The Competition Bureau makes four recommendations to improve competition and lower prices.
—–Establish a Grocery Innovation Strategy aimed at supporting the creation of new types of grocery businesses; specifically ones that sell just online.
—–Policies from all levels of government to encourage new independent and international players to set up in Canada.
—–Introducing legislation to mandate harmonized unit pricing requirements, that will  make it simpler for consumers to comparison shop.
—–Limit property controls, which currently restrict how real estate can be used by competing grocers, making it hard, or even impossible, for new stores to open.
”Change will take time.  These solutions will not bring Canadians’ grocery bills down immediately.  But by acting now, governments at all levels can take steps toward creating a  more competitive grocery industry.”
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