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Some Canadians brag about stealing from grocery stores

Some Canadians are stealing expensive food items from grocery stores as the cost of living continues to rise, and a few are even taking to social media to brag.

Last week Dalhousie University Professor Sylvain Charlebois wrote about the impact of grocery shoplifting.

“Grocery theft has always been a major problem, but with food inflation the way it is, store owners now fear the criminals more than before,” the Halifax-based Agri-Food Analytics Lab director wrote in an article published Jan. 10.

“According to some industry data, an average-sized grocery store in Canada can have between $2,000 and $5,000 worth of groceries stolen per week. With the relatively narrow profit margins in grocery, this amount is enormous. To cover losses, grocery stores have to raise prices, so eventually we all pay for grocery theft.”[ads1];

Twitter users were not happy with Charlebois’ words, with some proudly admitting they stole and others repeating the phrase: “If you see someone shoplifting, no you didn’t.”

Charlebois eventually responded to some of the online backlash, standing firm on his stance on grocery theft.

“You think it’s appropriate to steal while shopping just because you think food prices are too high? Wrong,” he wrotewhile retweeting another Twitter user.

Since Charlebois’ tweet was tweeted on January 10, he has received more than seven million views and hundreds of replies, the majority of which expressed disagreement with his stance.

Some people online have also called out Charlebois personally, revealing his income and saying he “shills” for Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Galen Weston’s family.

Resentment over high grocery prices has been a hot topic as inflation continues to affect Canadians.

Earlier in January, a photo of a package of chicken breasts at a Loblaw in Toronto went viral, as people expressed outrage at the expensive label.

The photo, taken by CTV News reporter Siobhan Morris, showed a five-piece package of chicken selling for nearly $27/kg.

In November, both Loblaw and Metro reported growth in sales and earnings, but shared that they were pushing back against suppliers’ continued price increases.

Research from Dalhousie University also showed that Canada’s top three grocery companies – Loblaw, Metro and Empire – had higher profits in 2022 compared to their average performance over the past five years.

Notably, Loblaw outperformed its five-year average performance, but also did better than any of those years individually.

Some Canadians brag about stealing from grocery stores

Food is becoming a concern for many Canadians, as a family of four is expected to spend about $1,066 more on groceries in 2023. (Photo: Chris Stoodley/Yahoo News Canada)

According to a food report released in December, a Canadian family of four will spend about $1,066 more on groceries in 2023, with food prices set to increase by up to 7 percent from last year.

“In 2023, Canadians are expected to continue to feel the effects of high food inflation, and food insecurity and affordability will also be a major issue with rising food prices,” the Canada Food Price report indicated.

“Canadians must still be prepared to spend more in the coming year.”

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