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Loblaw Freezes Prices On ‘No Name’ Products

By Scott Pettigrew Oct 18, 2022 | 5:35 AM

Canada’s grocery giants have taken a lot of heat for the profits they’ve reaped while food inflation has hit historic highs in Canada. There is a narrative out there that these companies have benefited greatly from inflation while doing nothing to stop it.

Now, grocery giant Loblaw says it wants to help customers deal with inflation problems while claiming much of the problem is out of the company’s control. From now until January 31, 2023 (three and a half months) Loblaw will freeze prices on its No Name brand products.

No Name carries 1,500 grocery and household products in places like Superstore in Atlantic Canada. Loblaw boasts that No Name is the second-largest food brand in the country and is as much as 25 percent cheaper than name-brand products.

Loblaw notes that fuel costs, labour, weather events, and global conflict, have all led to higher shelf prices.

“Anyone who regularly visits the grocery store knows that over the past year the cost of food has increased rapidly. Maddeningly, much of this is out of our control,” Loblaw’s president and chairman, Galen Weston, says in a news release.

“In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to lower prices [through PC Optimum], in our flyer, and across our stores, all designed to provide immediate relief from escalating food costs.”

Huddle requested an interview with Loblaw to discuss their decision to freeze No Name prices. When an interview was denied, a list of questions was sent. One question asked how much No Name products went up over the past year prior to the price freeze.

No reply was received by publication.

The company also says it has contributed more money to food charities this year. Loblaw “raises and donates” more than $50 million each year.

Back in May, Loblaw made headlines and drew criticism when it announced profits for the first quarter of 2022 were up 40 per cent, despite inflation forcing Canadians to make tough choices on their grocery-buying habits.

Heavy criticism has also been placed on Loblaw’s biggest Maritime competitor, Empire, for also seeing profits go up while the average shopper struggles.

Empire’s president and CEO, Michael Medline, fought back against those critics during the company’s AGM in September, saying he has nothing to be sorry for when it comes to profits.

“Quite frankly I am tired of these armchair quarterbacks who make little effort to understand even the basics of our business but are comfortable sitting on the sidelines pontificating about how Canadian companies are reaping unreasonable profits off the backs of inflation,” he said.

Less than a month ago, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called for a parliamentary investigation into grocery profits.

Derek Montague is a reporter for Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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