Loblaw Is Canning Its Price Freeze On No Name Brand Products In Canada

Low blow, Loblaw.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A bag of yellow No Name brand ketchup potato chips. Right: The outside of a Loblaws grocery store.

A bag of yellow No Name brand ketchup potato chips. Right: The outside of a Loblaws grocery store.

@nonamebrands | Instagram, Colin Temple | Dreamstime

The Loblaw price freeze on No Name products is finally thawing — and in the middle of an ultra-cold week to boot. The grocery chain that encompasses Provigo and Pharmaprix is ending its initiative to help shoppers face inflation and rising food costs as of February 1.

Consumers took to social media to question the timing of the decision and the company's 30% profit margins reported in November 2022.

Loblaw Companies tweeted a flurry of defensive messages in response, asserting that "This year, the average family will save thousands of dollars this year if they pick No Name over the national brands," and "Our increased profits have been led by sales of pharmacy items (cough/cold, beauty). Not food."

Amid the pandemic, grocery stores have blamed rising food prices on supply chain disruptions, further impacted by global instability from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We may be the face of food inflation but we are not the cause. The staggering increase of costs throughout the food supply chain end up on our shelves, leading to higher food prices," tweeted the retailer.

Food-related inflation in Canada hit a 40-year high last September, more than double the 5.4% inflation rate for non-food-related goods, causing many consumers to turn to heartrending methods to save on food.

"The lack of affordability Canadians are facing as a result of rising food prices has resulted in an estimated 23% reporting that they eat less than they should," according to the latest Canada's Food Price Report by the Dalhousie University Agri-food Analytics Lab.

Meanwhile, the federal government announced last October that it was launching an investigation into the possibility of "greedflation," or the artificial raising of prices by major supermarkets to maintain a profit margin.

The findings of that study are expected in June 2023.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.