Competition Bureau makes recommendations to promote competition in Canada’s grocery industry
Actions to increase competition would encourage lower prices and more choice for Canadians.
June 27, 2023 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
Grocery prices have increased at their fastest rate in more than 40 years, and Canadians are feeling the pinch.
Today, the Competition Bureau has published its market study report ꟷ Canada Needs More Grocery Competition ꟷ which recommends that all levels of Canadian government act to increase competition in the grocery industry.
The report highlights the findings of the Retail Grocery Market Study that the Bureau launched on October 24, 2022. It examines the state of competition in the grocery industry and identifies barriers to increasing competition. It also explores the potential for independent grocers, international grocers, and emerging business models to deliver more competition, innovation, and choice to Canadians.
The report makes four recommendations to governments to meaningfully improve competition in the grocery industry:
- Create a whole-of-government strategy to support the emergence of new types of grocery businesses;
- Encourage the growth of independent grocers and the entry of international grocers;
- Introduce accessible and harmonized unit pricing requirements to empower consumer choice; and
- Limit the use of property controls that make it difficult for new grocery stores to open.
“As we have witnessed the highest cost-of-living increases seen in a generation, Canadians are recognizing the relationship between a lack of competition and rising prices. By acting now, governments at all levels can take steps towards creating a more competitive grocery industry. Competition can help lower prices and make life more affordable for Canadians.”
Commissioner of Competition
During the study, the Competition Bureau engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including domestic and international grocery retailers of all sizes, industry experts, international competition authorities, and Canadian consumers.
Over the course of the study, the level of cooperation from stakeholders with Bureau requests for information varied. The Bureau is not able to compel information when it conducts market studies.
In its advocacy role, the Bureau identifies barriers to competition in different sectors of the economy, and makes recommendations to policymakers on how to reduce these barriers.
- Canada Needs More Grocery Competition
- Retail Grocery Market Study
- News Release: Competition Bureau to study competition in Canada’s grocery sector
- Backgrounder: Market study of retail grocery competition in Canada
- Market Study Notice: Competition in Canada’s Grocery Sector
- Written responses from organizations to the consultation on the Market study of retail grocery
For media enquiries, please contact:
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.
- Date modified: