North American grocery chains lower prices to beat inflation

Published on
October 18, 2022

As consumers become increasingly concerned about grocery inflation, select Canadian and United States grocery chains are lowering prices on hundreds of products.

In the most notable example, Brampton, Ontario, Canada-based Loblaw Companies announced a price freeze on more than 1,500 No Name brand items “in an effort provide grocery-bill predictability to Canadians facing the highest food inflation in decades,” the retailer said in a press release. The price freeze will last until the end of January 2023.

No Name is Canada’s second-largest food brand and boasts average savings of 25 percent against comparable name brands, Loblaws said. It is sold in more than 2,400 stores, including Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, T&T, Atlantic Superstore, Maxi, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

"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 President and Chairman Galen Weston said in an email to the retailer’s PC Optimum members. “That’s why, to help Canadians hit the brakes on food inflation, we are focusing on what is in our control.”

Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.-based Lidl U.S. recently said it is cutting prices on more than 100 items in all of its 170-plus stores. The fall campaign includes a USD 0.50 (EUR ) discount on its Shrimp Risotto, now being sold for USD 4.49 (EUR 4.56), and Dockside Classics Lobster Cakes, a decline of USD 0.73 to USD 6.75 (EUR 6.85). 

“We recognize that inflation and rising food prices are impacting many families and we hope to give more relief through this fall price-cutting campaign,” Lidl U.S. Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Purchasing Stefan Schwarz said. 

Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told The Wall Street Journal that prices at the retailer’s 839 global stores have not yet declined. The company locked in prices it pays to suppliers months ago and rising labor costs are impacting inflation, despite lower prices for on shipping and fuel, according to Galanti.

“It takes time for changes to come through,” Galanti said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index found the cost of food at home surged 13 percent in September 2022 versus last September, and that fish and seafood prices jumped 8 percent month-over-month. Similarly, IRI found that per-unit prices across all foods and beverages rose 14.3 percent in September.

As a result of rising prices, 21 percent of shoppers have reduced the amount of fresh meat and seafood they are buying, while 15 percent said they are buying more frozen meat and seafood and 12 percent are buying more canned meat and seafood, according to the most-recent FMI report.

Photo courtesy of PeopleImages.com - Yuri A/Shutterstock 

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