Local food experts are calling it unprecedented times as food prices are expected rise by up to seven per cent in 2023.

According to the newest Canada Food Price Report, groceries are expected to cost the average family of four $1,000 more next year – a five to seven per cent increase. This comes after food prices jumped nearly ten per cent in 2022.

“We havent seen food prices increase this much in almost 40 years so it's not really great news,” said Simon Somogyi, Arrell Chair in the Business of Food at the University of Guelph.

The good news, according to Somogyi, is the second part of 2023 could be calmer.

“We are expecting an economic downturn and typically what happens, we see food prices start to fall off a little bit and we are also expecting grocers to offer more deals in 2023 compared to this year,” he said.

But that doesn’t bring comfort to some shoppers CTV spoke to who said staying within budget is already a challenge.

“We do budget. We don’t always stick to it. We’d like to. But we don’t always,” said one shopper.

Experts suggest comparing flyers, price checking with cashiers to lower costs, or shopping online and picking-up curbside to avoid impulse buys. Another tip: don’t shop hungry.

“I just really monitor, like if things are on sale, I'll buy it in bulk and freeze it, instead of just buying whatever like I used to, so I am much more picky and choosey,” suggested one shopper.

Multiple factors could influence food prices next year, including climate change, geopolitical conflicts, rising energy costs and the lingering effects of COVID-19, the report said.

 With files from The Canada Press.