As the cost of living continues to climb, some Canadians are stealing high-priced groceries from grocery stores, and some are even bragging about them on social media.
Last week, Dalhousie University professor Sylvain Charlebois wrote about the impact of grocery store theft.
“Grocery store theft has always been a major problem, but with rising food prices, shopkeepers are now more fearful of lawlessness than ever before,” the director of the Agri-Food Analysis Laboratory in Halifax wrote in a Jan. molecular.”
“According to some industry figures, a mid-size food retail store in Canada may have between $2,000 and $5,000 worth of groceries stolen each week. This amount is significant due to the relatively low profit margins in the grocery industry. To cover the loss, Grocers need to raise prices, so at the end of the day, we’re all going to pay for grocery store theft.”
Twitter users weren’t happy with Charlebois’ words, with some proudly admitting to shoplifting while others repeated, “If you see someone shoplifting, no you haven’t.”
Charlebois finally responded to some backlash online by standing by his position on grocery store theft.
“You think it’s okay to steal when you’re grocery shopping just because you think food prices are too high? Crazy,” he said wrotewhile retweeting another Twitter user.
Since tweeting on Jan. 10, Charlebois’ tweet has garnered more than 7 million views and hundreds of replies, most of whom said they disagreed with his position.
Charlebois was also personally named online, revealing his income and calling him a “babysitter” for Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Galen Weston’s family.
Anger over soaring food prices has been a hot topic as inflation continues to affect Canadians.
In early January, photos of a package of chicken breasts at Loblaw in Toronto went viral, sparking outrage at its high price tag.
The photo, taken by CTV News reporter Siobhan Morris, shows a five-piece pack of chicken selling for nearly $27/kg.
In November, Loblaw and Metro both reported an increase in sales and profits, but both said they were resisting continued price hikes by their suppliers.
The Dalhousie University study also shows that Canada’s big three grocery companies — Loblaw, Metro and Empire — will be more profitable in 2022 compared to their average performance over the past five years.
Notably, Loblaw outperformed its five-year average, but also better than any of those years alone.
A Canadian family of four will spend about $1,066 more on groceries by 2023, with food prices rising 7 per cent from last year, according to a food report released in December.
“Through 2023, Canadians are expected to continue to feel the effects of high food inflation, with food insecurity and affordability also becoming a big concern for rising food prices,” states the Canadian Food Prices report.
“Canadians still need to be prepared to spend more in the coming year.”