Competition Bureau to study competition in Canada’s grocery sector
Study to examine how governments may combat grocery price increases through greater competition
October 24, 2022 - GATINEAU, QC - Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau is launching a study of grocery store competition in Canada. The study will examine various issues with the goal of recommending measures that governments can take to help improve competition in the sector.
With inflation on the rise, Canadian consumers have seen their purchasing power decline. This is especially true when buying groceries. In fact, grocery prices in Canada are increasing at the fastest rate seen in 40 years.
Many factors are thought to have impacted the price of food including extreme weather, higher input costs, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and supply chain disruptions. Are competition factors also at work? To find out, the Bureau will study this issue from now until June 2023.
The study will examine three main questions:
- To what extent are higher grocery prices a result of changing competitive dynamics?
- What can we learn from steps that other countries have taken to increase competition in the sector?
- How can governments lower barriers to entry and expansion to stimulate competition for consumers?
Interested parties are invited to provide submissions to the Bureau on these questions and any other matters relevant to retail grocery competition in Canada. The deadline for submissions is December 16, 2022.
We want to better understand these issues. The study provides an opportunity for the Bureau to highlight opportunities for change that can make it easier for new businesses to compete and innovate.
Competition benefits all Canadians. More competition means lower prices, more choices, and better convenience for consumers.
Market studies allow the Bureau to examine an industry or business sector from a competition perspective to identify factors that may impede competition.
In conducting market studies, the Bureau is informed by publicly available information, its past work, and information provided by stakeholders on a voluntary basis.
This study is not an investigation into specific allegations of wrongdoing. If we do find evidence during this study that someone may be doing something against the law, then we will investigate and take appropriate action.
The Bureau does not have formal investigative powers to compel information for the purpose of market studies.
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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