Higher grocery prices are expected to hit stores across Canada soon as a blackout on price increases over the holiday season comes to an end.
Last fall, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. said it would freeze prices on all its in-house No Name products until Jan. 31, while Metro Inc. said it would hold prices of most private-label and national brand products steady until Feb. 5.
The lifting of the price freezes comes amid growing consumer outrage over soaring grocery prices in Canada and increasing scrutiny of grocers' strong profits.
But grocery chains have argued their food margins have remained flat and they are simply passing along higher supplier prices.
Loblaw spokeswoman Catherine Thomas says food inflation has continued and the cost of stocking store shelves keeps going up month after month.
She says the company, which operates multiple banners including Zehrs, Provigo and No Frills, will continue to hold many prices flat and switching to No Name will still save the average family thousands this year.