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Price increases, price increases, price increases.

Those have been the words that have defined not just foodservice but life in general for Canadians over the last few months as the effects of decades-high inflation continue to be felt in every corner.

On restaurant menus, everything from appetizers to entrees to sides to drinks has been affected. But where have the menu price increases been the largest?

Here are the latest insights from Technomic assessing trends between Q1 2021 and Q2 2022……

Most of the categories that saw price increases year-over-year were protein-centered dishes, including beef (up 19.9 per cent), shellfish (+14.2 per cent), pork (+13.1 per cent), and fish (12.4 per cent). 

There is better news on the horizon for later in Q3 and Q4 according to market forecasters. 

Beef

August 10, 2022

Demand is slowly weakening while production is anticipated to stay large which should lead to lower prices the next few months.

“Canada Prime” grade of beef is currently only 2% of total production indicating that prime beef will command higher premium pricing than normal over AAA grade.

Foodservice beef sales continue to increase but are still not at the level where they were pre-pandemic.

Margin opportunities on beef menu items may now be the best of the three main proteins [Pork, Poultry, Seafood].

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY TO LOWER.” 

  • Ribs – Prices are moving higher. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Striploins – Prices are steady. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Top Sirloins – Prices are steady to lower. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Tenderloins – Prices are steady to lower. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Briskets – Prices are steady. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Chucks – Prices are steady to higher. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Rounds – Prices are steady to higher. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Ground Beef – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]

Check out Canada Beef Foodservice Resources Canada Beef Foodservice – Canadian Beef | Canada Beef.


Pork

August 10, 2022

We continue to see prices softening later this month, although we could be well into September, as demand falls and stocks begin to accumulate in cold storage.

There are macroeconomic factors that should help to temper consumer demand this fall, not the least of which is high inflation and a rising interest rate environment. Consumers continue to face record high pork pricing in grocery stores. This should work to curtail demand and lower prices.

If it is any consolation buyers, it is often the case that periods of exceptionally high pricing are often offset later in the year by a period of exceptionally weak pricing.

Pork futures indicate steady prices through Q3 and a reduction in prices for Q4. The Q4 forecast is for Loins [-6%], Butts [-17%], Picnic [-17%], Ribs [-10%], Hams [-14%], Bellies [-17%].

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY TO LOWER.” 

  • Side Ribs – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Back Ribs – Prices are steady. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Tenderloins – Prices are steady to higher. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Loins – Prices are steady to higher. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Hams – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Butts – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Picnics – Prices are steady to lower. [Lower than same time L/Y]
  • Bellies (Bacon) – Prices are moving higher. [Lower than same time L/Y]

Check out Delicious Pork Recipes | Ontario Pork.


Poultry

August 10, 2022

While we often mention what is happening in the US market due to the impact of [quota controlled] imports on the Canadian market, we need to be mindful that the Canadian market operates under a ‘supply management’ system that attempts to match Canadian production to Canadian demand which results in much higher pricing than in the US.

While supply management ensures that Canadian farmers can receive a fair return from the market that covers their costs of production, it is important to understand that it does not set prices. Those are set by retailers and distributors based on a number of factors such as location, competition, and more. Farmers negotiate what is called the “farm gate price” – the amount the farmer receives per live chicken as they leave the farm. 

The predictability of imports plays a crucial role in determining how much chicken must be produced domestically. Canada has a tariff rate quota [TRQ] system that controls the import of chicken products. 

In foodservice, prices on such products as wings and breasts are influenced by those that own quota, consequently we consider the impact of US price movement on the Canadian market. Additionally, there are trade discussions underway to increase US accessibility to the Canadian market.

The Canadian market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY.”

  • Whole Birds – CDN prices are moving higher. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Wings – CDN prices are moving higher. [Lower than same time L/Y] 
  • Breasts – CDN prices are moving lower. [Higher than same time L/Y] 
  • Legs – CDN prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Thighs – CDN prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]

Check out Chicken.ca | Raised by a Canadian Farmer.


Seafood

August 10, 2022

The seafood items we monitor showed that frozen tilapia and cod filets along with fresh yellowfin tuna prices were the only three higher items, with yellowfin in seeing a 10% increase in price. That tick up in price is a little abnormal considering this is usually the time of year when yellowfin is at its cheapest. 

Cod prices usually start to fall from August into the new year and tilapia prices normally bottom out in the coming months. 

Gulf Shrimp catches have been exceptionally good, and supplies have significantly improved compared to last year. 

Imported groundfish items from Asia are being impacted by supply chain issues which could cause lack of availability and increases in prices.

Most seafood items are adhering to their seasonal price trends, meaning most are expected to continue downwards over the next few months although still at very elevated price levels.

Remember to apply flexibility to your seafood menu to allow a quick switch to more profitable menu opportunities.

The market call for the next few weeks is “STEADY TO LOWER.”

  • Shrimp (16/20) – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Shrimp (26/30) – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Tilapia Filet – Prices are moving higher. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Cod Filet – Prices are steady to higher. [Higher than same time L/Y] 
  • Tuna Yellowfin – Prices are moving higher. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Salmon Atlantic – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Alaskan Pollock – Prices are steady to lower. [Higher than same time L/Y]
  • Snow Crab – Prices are steady to lower. [Lower than same time L/Y]

Check out Urner Barry’s On-Line Catalog or Seafood Handbook (seafoodsource.com).


We have highlighted [*] items that are experiencing significant upward pricing pressure.

Vegetables

August 10, 2022
  • Corn – Prices are decreasing as demand has slowed and supplies are increasing. Markets are still strong in the west.
  • Tomatoes – Markets are steady on Round, Roma, Grape, and Cherry tomatoes.
  • Celery – Prices are steady on good supplies.
  • Bell Peppers – Green bell supplies are better with good quality product and lower market pricing. Red and yellow bells are short with higher prices.
  • Carrots – Markets are steady on good supplies.
  • Broccoli – Prices are moving lower on increased local and regional production.
  • Cauliflower – Prices are lower on increased supplies.
  • Squash & Zucchini – Prices are steady to higher on lighter supplies.
  • *Cabbage – Low supplies are pushing prices higher.
  • Green Beans – Prices have steadied of improving supplies.
  • Brussel Sprouts – Prices are steady on good supplies.
  • *Asparagus – Pricing is moving higher on increased demand and import delays.
  • Cucumber – Prices are lower as many regions are in summer production.
  • Lettuce – Prices are steady to higher on all varieties on good supplies. Quality is being affected by weather related issues.
  • Melons – Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon prices are steady.
  • Potatoes – Markets are steady on better supplies now that season is underway.
  • *Onions – Expect elevated markets as we transition growing regions. Shallots are in short supply as well.
  • Garlic – Markets are steady on good supplies.

Mushrooms

August 10, 2022
  • Mushrooms – The market remains unstable due to rising production costs.

Mixed Berries

August 10, 2022
  • Strawberries – Prices are steady to higher on poor growing conditions.
  • Raspberries – Supplies and pricing are steady. 
  • Blackberries – Supplies and pricing are steady. 
  • Blueberries – Prices are moving lower as supplies are increasing.
  • Grapes – Markets are steady to lower on good supplies of all varieties.
  • Avocado – Prices have steadied on better supplies. 

Citrus

August 10, 2022
  • Oranges – Prices are steady to higher due to lighter supplies. Imported navel oranges have begun to arrive however prices are higher than those for North American stock.
  • Lemons – Supplies and prices are steady.
  • Limes – Prices expected to rise on tightening supplies due to weather related issues.
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