“Milk is a household staple and a bellwether product in terms of overall inflation in the food industry,” says Jeff Doucette, general manager, Field Agent Canada. “Our latest Canadian Fluid Milk Report provides the most comprehensive look at retail milk prices in the Canadian market and at Field Agent Canada we have been tracking fluid milk prices in Canada since 2015.”
-Canadian milk prices increased in all 20 markets measured
-4L Milk prices increased an average of 8.8 per cent over the past year
-Comparative Prices at Walmart U.S. stores decreased 12 per cent over the same period
-The gap between cow’s milk and milk alternatives (soy, almond, etc.) appears to be narrowing and in some markets, almond milk was cheaper than cow’s milk.
-The most expensive market for 4L milk was Charlottetown, P.E.I.
-The least expensive market for 4L milk was Sudbury, Ont.
The survey discovered record-high milk prices, with average prices of 4L milk increasing 8.8 per cent since the last study in February 2022. On-shelf prices have recently increased based on the adjusted farm gate pricing that was approved to be implemented on February 1st. All 20 markets measured saw the price of 4L milk increasing from February 2022 to February 2023 with increases ranging from 3.7 per cent in Quebec City, Que. to 15.3 per cent in Mississauga, Ont.
Field Agent also looked at Walmart U.S. stores and found prices for a gallon of milk in the four stores measured had decreased by 12 per cent vs. a year ago. “It is very difficult to not recognize that Canada’s milk production is very inefficient when farm prices have increased twice in a little over a year all the while U.S. prices are falling by double digits at the same time. It appears that it is time that we stop protecting small, inefficient Canadian supply chains and start consolidation within the Canadian milk industry so Canadian families can continue to afford to put milk on the table,” says Doucette.
The report also looks into the comparative price of 2 per cent cow’s milk in 2L cartons to the 1.89L carton of Silk-brand Unsweetened Almond beverage (the top-selling plant-based beverage). “Our survey shows that Silk products were just 10 per cent higher than cow’s milk on average and in some markets, the price of a carton of Silk was actually cheaper than a carton of cow’s milk,” noted Doucette. “Are Canadians going to make the switch to plant-based alternatives to save money on their grocery bill?”
The full report including data for 20 markets across Canada is available at the link below: