Canadians are worried about shrinkflation — and if it’s here to stay: poll
If you’ve noticed that package sizes at the grocery store seem to be shrinking, you’re not alone. A new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are worried about shrinkflation.
The poll, done for Global News by Ipsos between April 19-20, surveyed 1,000 Canadians. It found that 84 per cent of respondents are concerned about shrinkflation: that grocery items are smaller but the same price as before or more.
“They pick up a box at the grocery store and they go, ‘Didn’t this used to be bigger?’” Ipsos VP Sean Simpson told Global News. “They’re noticing that those portion sizes are declining and they’re concerned that that trend could continue.”
One in five Canadians also say they are paying over $100 more for groceries, per week, in the last six months than they did before inflation boosted food prices across the country.
It found that 21 per cent say they are paying $100 or more for groceries, broken down to six per cent paying $101-$150 more, seven per cent reporting $151-$200 more, and eight per cent over $200 more.
Twenty-three per cent say that they are paying $51-$100 more for groceries, while 38 per cent say they are paying up to $50 more for groceries.
About 18 per cent said their grocery bill hasn’t changed in the last six months, which leaves 82 per cent total that said their grocery bill has increased.
The figures come as Canada has been facing historic inflation, with grocery prices rising around 10 per cent in March and February, according to Statistics Canada.
Ipsos says that 55 per cent of those polled say they are concerned they may not have enough money to feed their family, which goes up to 68 per cent for those with children.
“Many are still concerned prices will rise faster than they can adjust,” said Simpson.
“There’s still a very strong and in some cases growing proportion of Canadians who are worried about the basic necessities of life, putting food on the table.”
Simpson pointed to a finding from MNP Debt Index in 2021. It said that 53 per cent of Canadians reported that they are $200 away from not being able to cover their bills or debt payments. If Canadians are spending at least $50 more a week on groceries, that $200 savings a month suddenly is gone, he said.
Simpson said there’s been a shift in the financial health of Canadians over the recent years, with younger people ending up worse off than those older.
But while inflation has lowered recently, he said it doesn’t mean food prices are cheaper. They’re just going up more slowly.
The price increases are impacting what people are buying, with more Canadians saying they are buying fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, at 29 per cent, up three per cent from November 2022, Roughly three in 10 respondents said they are eating less meat, up slightly from November.
However, fewer Canadians say they are cutting back on some luxuries, such as dining out (at 48 per cent, down four per cent from November) or entertainment, also down four per cent, to 42 per cent.
Simpson said that younger people are driving those statistics down as they are least likely to be making sacrifices on luxuries.
“Now that the summer is coming and maybe they’ve hunkered down over the winter and hibernated in order to save some money to make ends meet, they’re hoping that throughout the spring, in the summer, they may be able to re-engage in some of those activities,” he said.
Ipsos found that Canadians between 18-34 years old are more likely to say their grocery bill increased more than $100, at 30 per cent, compared to those 35-54 years old, at 18 per cent.
Simpson pointed out that the younger demographic is less likely to do cost-saving measures, such as cutting coupons, according to Ipsos data, so it makes sense their grocery bills may be going up.
“Part of it is lifestyle-based,” he said. “They’re just not willing to sacrifice some of those creature comforts.”
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 19th and 20th, 2023, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
Air Canada flights delayed due to IT issue – CTV News
Air Canada reported a technical issue with its flight communications system on Thursday, causing delays across the country for the second time in a week.
In a statement to CTVNews.ca, the Montreal-based company said it was experiencing a “temporary technical issue” with the system it uses to communicate with aircraft and monitor the performance of its operations.
By Thursday afternoon, the airline said the system had “begun to stabilize,” though flights were expected to be impacted for the remainder of the day.
“The communicator system has begun to stabilize, and aircraft continue to move although still at a lower than normal rate. As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” Air Canada said.
“Customers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport as we anticipate the impact will persist through the balance of the day.”
As a result of the system failure, the airline said it implemented a “flexible policy,” allowing customers who wished to change their travel plans to do so at no cost.
Speaking to reporters before question period, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government has been in touch with Air Canada and is encouraging the airline to get its communications system back up and running “as quickly as possible.”
“They understand the consequences of these delays and we’ll keep following up on the situation,” said Alghabra.
The system failure caused delays for the majority of flights scheduled to depart from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday morning, said Michel Rosset, communications manager for the Winnipeg Airports Authority.
Some Air Canada flights in the afternoon and evening were scheduled to run on time at the Winnipeg airport, but Rosset advised passengers to look online for updated flight information as that could change.
“With flights, even on a good day, things could change pretty quickly. So I’d recommend, if you’re looking for updated (flight information) throughout the day, the best bet is just to head to our website,” he told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
Leah Batstone, communications and marketing advisor for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said the Halifax airport was aware of the “IT issue” that Air Canada was experiencing and recommended passengers to keep tabs on their flight status.
“As always, travellers are advised to check their flight status directly with their airline before coming to the airport,” Batstone said in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca.
Air Canada was forced to ground its planes last week due to a similar problem with its communications system, which delayed nearly half its flights.
The airline said the issue it experienced this Thursday was in the “same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”
“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future,” it said.
“We apologize for the impact on our customers and appreciate their patience. We are working hard to get people on their way as soon as possible.”
Air Canada flight delays at Toronto Pearson | CTV News – CTV News Toronto
Several Air Canada flights are delayed at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to a temporary technical issue.
The Canadian airline said its system used to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance is impacted. Flights were delayed all across the airline’s system as a result, a spokesperson for Air Canada confirmed to CTV News Toronto.
At around 1:30 p.m., the airline said the communicator system has “begun to stabilize,” with flights continuing to move “although still at a lower than normal rate.”
“As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” the statement reads.
Greater Toronto Airports Authority media manager Rachel Bertone told CTV News Toronto that Toronto Pearson passengers are encouraged to check their flight status before making their way to the airport.
“We have also put in place a flexible policy for those who wish to change their travel plans at no cost,” Air Canada said.
As of Thursday afternoon, numerous Air Canada flights initially scheduled to leave Toronto Pearson this morning have been delayed to the afternoon.
Plus, many of Air Canada’s flights headed to the Toronto airport from places like Orlando, Fla., Vancouver, B.C., and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, have been delayed.
In terms of cancellations, however, just over two per cent of departures and roughly 3.5 per cent of arrivals have been cancelled – though it should be noted these percentages include all airlines.
“We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience,” the statement reads.
This is the second time in a week that Air Canada has suffered a technical issue with its computer system, which delayed nearly half of all its flights.
The airline confirmed in its statement, “The issue today was in the same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”
Air Canada has not said how long the technical issue is expected to last, but said they are “working hard” to get fliers on their way as quickly as they can.
Air Canada flight communicator system breaks down, causing widespread delays – CBC.ca
Air Canada is experiencing an issue with one of its internal systems, leading to flight delays across its network.
The airline said Thursday it is “experiencing a temporary technical issue with its communicator system, one of the systems that we use to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance.”
The issue is causing delays across the system, with 234 flights delayed so far on Thursday and 34 cancellations, according to FlightAware.com. That’s about 44 per cent of the airline’s daily load.
Air Canada’s flanker brand Rouge is also impacted, with 78 delays, or 52 per cent of its flights, as well as 11 cancellations.
It’s the second time in less than a week that the airline has been hit by a problem with its communicator system that caused delays or cancellations. On May 25, U.S. aviation regulator the FAA ordered a ground stop of all Air Canada flights due to unspecified internal computer issues. The outage lasted a little over an hour.
Air Canada says the impacted system is the same as the one from last week, but says the two outages are “unrelated.”
“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future.”
Duncan Dee, a former executive at the airline, described the affected system as an “electronic tracking system to allow them to identify the location of their aircraft at any given time within their network.”
“It’s the system which allows them to track their aircraft and to communicate with flights in a more automated way,” he told CBC News.
He was scheduled to fly on an Air Canada flight himself on Thursday and said it was disheartening to see the system fail twice “in such a short period of time. This isn’t something that happens very regularly … because obviously systems aren’t supposed to go down and certainly not to go down so soon, one after the other.”
Government monitoring situation
Early in the afternoon, the airline said the system has begun to “stabilize” but is not yet back to normal and delays continue.
The airline is advising anyone who is supposed to fly today to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport.
“We are working hard to rectify this situation,” the airline told CBC News in an emailed statement. “We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience.”
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he has been in constant contact with the airline and has been assured that the company is doing everything it can.
“I encourage them to get it up as quickly as possible,” Alghabra said. “They understand the consequences of these delays … they are working on restoring it as quickly as possible.”
Last month, the government tabled new rules designed to make it harder for airlines to wriggle out of compensating passengers for costly delays and cancellations. Those rules have yet to be tabled, but Alghabra said what’s happening on Thursday would be covered by existing rules since it’s being caused by something the airline can control.
“Based on current rules, passengers are protected,” he said. “Air Canada has obligations to passengers.”
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