Price increases, price increases, price increases.
Those have been the words that have defined not just foodservice but life in general for Canadians over the last few months as the effects of decades-high inflation continue to be felt in every corner.
On restaurant menus, everything from appetizers to entrees to sides to drinks has been affected. But where have the menu price increases been the largest?
The latest insights from Technomic’s Ignite Menu, assessing trends noticed between Q1 2021 and Q2 2022, have revealed all.
The food items with greatest year-over-year average price growth, where only dishes with 10+ menu items were considered, span a range of mealparts.
The biggest price growth was seen in grain salad entrees, which spiked 102.2 per cent over the time period assessed, perhaps hinting at a desire to return to healthier options.
Kids’ choice of sides and urchin/uni rolls weren’t far behind, experiencing nearly triple-digit year-over-year growth. The former rose 95.9 per cent and the latter was just a percentage point behind at 94.9 per cent.
Making up the rest of the top five were doughnut options at 73.3 per cent and seafood soup appetizers at 64.3 per cent.
When it comes to mealparts themselves, adult beverages have shown the highest menu price increases in the past year at 24.8 per cent. That was more than twice the jump of any other mealpart, with appetizers in second at 15.1 per cent, add-ons up 11.2 per cent, and entrees up 5.6 per cent.
Interestingly, amid all these price increases, side dishes actually experienced a significant drop in price, down a full 12 per cent year-over-year.
Diving into entrees specifically, most of the categories that saw price increases year-over-year were protein-centered dishes, including beef (up 19.9 per cent), shellfish (+14.2 per cent), pork (+13.1 per cent), and fish (12.4 per cent). Combo plates that are traditionally more value-friendly are also showing a price increase, up 13.3 per cent.
Read the full insights via Technomic here.
Meanwhile, Technomic’s Ignite Menu also recently shed some light on which dishes are trending most on Canadian menus in the same period.