Weak Canadian dollar causes food prices to rise in Winnipeg

The lower loonie is contributing to rising food costs, according to one Winnipeg independent grocer.
Grocery prices are up but consumers are still buying - they are just being more selective, says Munther Zeid, who owns Food Fare grocery stores in Winnipeg. (CBC)

The lower loonie is contributing to rising food costs, according to one Winnipeg independent grocer.

Munther Zeid, who owns Food Fare grocery stores in Winnipeg, said prices are up, consumers are still buying, but they are being more selective.

"The dollar has a big impact on it. An example is like a simple thing like a bag of coleslaw or a garden salad that we normally have at a price of 99 cents day in day out. We can't even advertise it at a sale price of $1.39 now," Zeid said on CBC's Information Radio on Monday.

Zeid said the price of cabbage doubled over the weekend. 

"Things like this, it is unbelievable. The dollar is 20 per cent difference. When you have the dollar the way it is, it doesn't help at all."

While he is prepared to absorb some of the losses, a 20 per cent difference in the dollar, he said, means some of that loss will be passed on to the customer.

"We are actually very concerned. We are watching our prices daily. We are not stocking up on anything. We are buying day by day, checking our prices. Last week, we were basically … changing our prices almost every other day on certain products."

Zeid says it doesn't make sense. He said gas is cheaper and transportation costs are lower, so he wonders why food prices are still going up. He suspects bad weather in the United States may be a contributing factor.

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