The Consumer Price Index Increased at an annual pace of 4.8 per cent in December.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada reported that grocery prices increased by 5.7 per cent, the largest annual gain since 2011.

Sylvain Charlebois is a food professor at Dalhousie University.

"In December we released Canada's Food Price Report and it's on par with what we were expecting about a month ago," he said. "Because of supply chain challenges, because of higher input costs, and labour also being an issue, we weren't surprised to see prices rise as much as they have. In fact, we were expecting a number well over five per cent and that's kind of what we got. I actually think that right now, Statistics Canada is presenting a picture that is much more consistent with what we think is actually going on at the grocery store right now."

He commented on the rising price of fresh produce.

"Produce was a non-story in 2021 really. We're expecting produce to be much more of an issue in 2022. Again, it was in our report in December. Of course, with Omicron and vaccine mandates at the border, we are expecting 7 per cent to be actually modest. We're expecting price fluctuations to be quite significant in that area of the grocery store...2022 is actually going to be a good year for meat lovers, generally speaking."

Charlebois says food access is starting to be a real issue across the country due to Omicron, food recalls, the weather, and vaccine mandates.

He notes the lack of access to food could end up making our food inflation rate even higher.