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Several residents and ministers are calling out Canada's largest grocery retailer, Loblaws—yet again—for "profiteering" amid rising food prices after they announced an end to its price freeze on its popular generic house brand products.
On Tuesday, Loblaw Companies Ltd. confirmed an end to their price freeze on 'No Name' products and that they will no longer extend it any further.
Previously, as Canadians were faced with high prices at the supermarket due to inflation, Loblaws announced on Oct. 17, 2022 that it was freezing the prices of its in-house brand until Jan. 31, 2023.
In a statement, a Loblaw spokesperson said that although the prize freeze ends on Jan. 31, "we're not done".
"Looking ahead, we’ll continue to hold those prices flat wherever possible, and switching to No Name will still save the average family thousands this year," they said.
In early January, Statistics Canada reported that grocery prices were up 11 per cent in December compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, grocery prices in the country were up 9.8 per cent overall last year. Even though Canada is showing signs of overall inflation slowing down, consumers are still being hit hard by climbing grocery store prices.
Shortly after the announcement, many disgruntled residents took to Twitter to express their disappointment and anger at Loblaws' latest controversial actions.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also called out Loblaws on Twitter for controlling grocery store prices.
"The Loblaws price freeze shows that the grocery stores control the price you pay. Left on their own, CEOs won't help you out with the cost of living. Neither will their friends in Liberal/Conservative govts. Let's make wealthy CEOs pay what they owe. So Cdns stop paying the price," he wrote on Twitter.
The Loblaws price freeze shows that grocery stores control the price you pay.
Left on their own, CEOs won't help you out with the cost of living.
Neither will their friends in Liberal/Conservative govts.
Let's make wealthy CEOs pay what they owe. So Cdns stop paying the price.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) February 1, 2023
Loblaw goes on spree to defend itself against the end of its No Name price freeze
In a strange turn of events, since many consumers took to Twitter to express their frustration, the supermarket chain's social media team decided to defend its controversial business decisions.
Their social media account has been directly responding to the criticism, and are attempting to explain its position.
In one such response, the grocery chain wrote, "we froze prices when costs continued to climb. We took a stand on the price freeze because we knew that the price of food was a huge concern for many Canadians."
We froze prices when costs continued to climb. We took a stand on the price freeze because we knew that the price of food was a huge concern for many Canadians.
— Loblaw Companies (@loblawco) January 31, 2023
In another response, the company wrote that while they may be the "face of food inflation", they are not the "cause".
"While we may be the face of food inflation but we are certainly not the cause. Food prices are higher in our stores simply because the manufacturers who make the products are charging more for them," the tweet read.
While we may be the face of food inflation but we are certainly not the cause. Food prices are higher in our stores simply because the manufacturers who make the products are charging more for them.
— Loblaw Companies (@loblawco) January 31, 2023
We froze prices to help customers at a time they needed it most. Food inflation continues and we’re seeing a lot of big cost increases from vendors, but hundreds of no name products will not go up.
— Loblaw Companies (@loblawco) February 1, 2023
Although the organization is claiming that they're facing higher vendor costs and dealing with supply chain issues, Loblaw Companies Ltd. actually made a 30.8 per cent profit in the third quarter of 2022, compared to Q3 in 2021.
"Spare us the bullsh**ry": Residents enraged at Loblaws
Loblaws wants you to believe they made an additional $125 million last year on a 4% profit margin
Loblaws is gaslighting the entire country pic.twitter.com/Pjq6pIHc7u
— callum 🌎☄️💕®️ (@callumxoxox) February 1, 2023
Enough of this charade.
Time for a windfall tax. Time to increase corporate taxes. Time to tax the mega rich like those who own Loblaws. https://t.co/nWbpk9npLT
— Niki Ashton (@nikiashton) January 31, 2023
Loblaws’ no name price freeze ends today and despite soaring profits have the gall to state they can’t help but raise prices cuz inflation. Listen, you’re a for profit company so do what you want but spare us the bullshittery. https://t.co/tjLY1S5f6b
— Yoni Freedhoff, MD (@YoniFreedhoff) January 31, 2023
Hey Loblaws? If you hadn't insisted on telling every media outlet with two pencils to rub together that you were freezing prices on No Name products, maybe the internet wouldn't be full of people criticizing you for ending it. Fuck aboot and find oot, eh?
— Aaron Hoyland (@aaronhoyland) January 31, 2023
I'm actually advocating to shop at Walmart or Amazon before Loblaws for household essentials. I never thought that I would see the day. Galen Weston is ripping us off.
— Rauol Duke's Salt Shaker (@RodKahx) January 31, 2023
I work in the grocery industry and companies like Loblaws often own the companies that make up their supply chain. They’re also very good at making it look like they’re losing money at store level while making it up in the back end.
Boo hoo, the profits weren’t profity enough!🎻 https://t.co/GOLmECVVYC pic.twitter.com/rqfehAIJvX
— The Caffeinated Communist ☕️ ☭ (@CaffeinatdCmnst) February 1, 2023
Honestly, what is Loblaws doing? They are obviously arguing with their customers on Twitter while providing bullshit.
— Rauol Duke's Salt Shaker (@RodKahx) February 1, 2023
Well. Nice to see @LoblawsON admit they are the face of food price inflation. They are also the face of record year over year profits.
— Thomas Watson Jr. (@ThomasWatsonCD) February 1, 2023
Wow food prices rose 28.7% and Loblaws Profits increased 30%.
ABSOLUTE MYSTERY WHAT'S CAUSING THIS... pic.twitter.com/uUJKgwkLQz
— Brent & Fred's Excellent Adventure (@BrentColman) January 31, 2023
Galen Weston & Loblaws profited greatly during the pandemic while we faced intense hardship. Corporate greed is responsible for food costs.
It's time for fair prices for consumers and an end to rampant corporate greed.
No name? Let's just call it what it is: profiteering.
— CUPE National (@cupenat) January 31, 2023
Hands up if Loblaws not jacking up the prices on their lowest-quality goods for twelve weeks meant something to you. After their price fixing scandals, a tear of gratitude has been brought to my eye. What generous overlords we have! https://t.co/MZ03rncClM
— scott dagostino (@scottdagostino) February 1, 2023