NEWS: Around the Arctic June 11, 2012 - 1:06 pm

Nutrition North lowered healthy food prices in Nunavut, NWC says

“More nutritious food is being consumed”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

In the wake of food price protests held June 9 in seven Nunavut communities and in Ottawa, the North West Co. issued a statement June 11 asserting that over the past year, the Nutrition North Canada program has reduced the prices the company charges on healthy food products.

In the statement, Michael McMullen, NWC’s executive vice president for northern Canada retail, said that since NNC started, Nunavut customers are saving an average of 15 per cent on a basket of healthy products.

He also said consumption of dairy products has increased 14 per cent, consumption of meat by 18 per cent and consumption of produce by 19 per cent across the 67 stores that lie within the NNC market area.

“For example, consumption of produce has increased by 102 per cent in Repulse Bay, meat by 53 per cent in Pangnirtung and dairy (milk) by 34 per cent in Igloolik,” McMullen said.

A spreadsheet attached to the statement (see document embedded below) lists the current price of a selected basket of healthy foods and compares it with the price on March 30, 2011, prior to the start-up of the Nutrition North program.

In Arctic Bay, for example, the price of the basket as March 30, 2011 stood at $253.85. On May 28, 2012, the same basket cost $224.59, a reduction of 11.5 per cent.

And in Igloolik, the basket cost $246.11 on March 30, 2011 and $191.27 on May 28, 2012, a saving of 22.3 per cent.

“This supports the fact that NNC is working – more nutritious food is being consumed and more customers are opting for healthier product,” McMullen said.

This summer, the company plans in-store programs to encourage the consumption of healthy foods.

They also plan “two or three major initiatives,” including discount coupons, the company said.

The company didn’t state what items comprise the food basket.

NU NNC Basket Summary by Store