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Industry Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne Image: CPAC

Industry Minister not surprised by Loblaw boycott

By Tara Clow May 1, 2024 | 1:08 PM

A movement against high grocery prices has begun, as many Canadians plan to boycott Loblaw this month.

Thousands will take their spending elsewhere in May, due to mounting frustrations and increased profits at the grocery chain.

Industry Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne says Canadians are hurting and he isn’t surprised to see consumers organizing boycotts.

“I’ve always said the large chains in Canada should be listening, not only to me but to Canadians first and foremost, because obviously people have a choice. People want more choices which leads to better prices. I always said to the grocery chains in the country, listen to customers.”

He adds he has spoken to foreign deep discounters to find out if others would be interested in the Canadian market.

Champagne says when you increase competition, you change the dynamic in the market. “It’s pretty unusual for a G7 country to control 50 per cent of the market. So once you bring competition, there’s a lot of data that suggests when you do that, and when you have a new entrant, that puts pressure on price because you give more choice and they bring new supply chains.”

He’s unsure at this point whether or not they will succeed in bringing in more companies, but he says it is worth trying.

“People want to see action and they want to see help, “Champagne adds.