Prices of more than 1,500 own-label food and beverage products will be frozen until the end of January at Canadian retail giant Loblaw, it announced today (17 October).
Amid food inflation in Canada of more than 10%, prices of all items sold under Loblaw’s No Name private label will be frozen until 31 January.
No Name is a budget Canadian brand launched in 1978 that sells household basics, such as bread and eggs, with distinctive yellow branding. The products are sold in Loblaw’s 2,400 stores including at the Loblaws, Zehrs and Real Canadian Superstore banners.
Loblaw’s move comes amid double-digit food inflation as store-bought food prices in Canada rose 10.8% in August. It was the fastest rate since 1981 when inflation was at 11.9%. The August figure compared to 9.9% in July – data for September is not yet available.
Canada’s consumer price index rose 7% in August, slowing from its 7.6% rise in July. Statistics Canada said this was “largely driven by lower gasoline prices in August compared with July”.
Condiments, spices, and vinegars were up 17.2% in August compared to the same period last year, bakery products by 15.4%, fresh fruit by 13.2% and dairy products by 7.0%.
Loblaw president and chairman Galen Weston said: “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.
“That’s why, to help Canadians hit the brakes on food inflation, we are focusing on what is in our control.”
Loblaw is Canada’s largest food retailer. It recorded a CAD12.85m (US$9.37m) profit in its second-quarter results in June.
A spokesperson at rival grocer Metro said: “It is an industry practice to have a price freeze from November 1 to February 5 for all private-label and national-brand grocery products and this will be the case again this year in all of Metro banners (in Ontario, Metro, Food Basics, Adonis). There may be a few price increases received prior to October 31 that will appear on the shelf, but no price increases thereafter.
“In addition, we have our promotional and merchandising programs to provide value to our customers. We offer many ways to save with our private-label products, but also with our promotional programs that offer multiple discounts on many products each week in both our conventional and discount banners and will continue during this period.”