The price of a two-litre carton of milk in Newfoundland and Labrador has jumped from an average price of $3.69 per carton to an average price of $4.17 per carton since Feb. 1, due to increased production costs.

nl-barry-bernadette-2013020

Bernadette Barry is a floor clerk at Bidgood's supermarket. (CBC )

Bernadette Barry, floor clerk at Bidgood's supermarket, said since milk prices increased at her supermarket, she has noticed that shoppers' buying patterns have changed.

"We sell a lot more pop because of the price," said Barry. "99 cents for a two-litre." 

"Milk is something that you need," agreed Barry. "Something you need in your diet, so I will still buy it. Doesn't matter what the price."

Bidgood's has been trying to absorb the price hike, by selling two-litre cartons of milk at $3.99. Store officials have said if the price of milk goes up any higher, they will have to raise the price for their shoppers.  

Harry Burden, the executive director of the Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador, said 10 cents of that increase comes from the increased cost of grain to feed dairy cattle and the increased cost to get that grain to Newfoundland. Burden said the remainder of the price hike comes from either dairy processors or retailers.

Milk extremely important, says nutritionist

St. John's nutritionist Nicole Penton said the 48-cent increase was a big price jump for a food that should be consumed every day as part of a well-rounded diet.

"It is extremely important for bone health, but it play numerous roles in the body," said Penton. "It is extremely important in the body."

Penton said milk is still the way to get a daily dose of calcium.

"There are obviously other milk alternatives," noted Penton. "Cheese, yogurt, soy-fortified products. Unfortunately, are they the cheaper alternative? Probably not."