Price Hikes & Broken Promises: The Ongoing Saga of Loblaws

Loblaws can’t seem to stay out of news headlines. For Canadians, it’s hardly ever for good reasons.

Earlier this month, Loblaws’ parent company, Loblaw Companies, announced they would no longer offer a 50% discount on food nearing the best-before date. The move was highly criticized, and Loblaw reversed its decision one week later.

Many Canadians are struggling with increased food costs as grocery price inflation continues to top overall inflation. Grocery CEOs have even been hauled before a parliamentary committee more than once and urged to present their plans to stabilize food prices. While prices keep soaring for consumers and there are no cost reduction plans from grocers, Loblaw’s profits continue to increase, quarter after quarter.

Loblaw is not only failing to offer food at an affordable price—they also continue to provide conflicting information on animal welfare issues, too.

In 2016, the grocer announced they would no longer sell eggs from hens confined in cages, and widely promoted this new policy. But now, Loblaw says they can’t meet their 2025 deadline, and have shared minimal information about what steps they have taken to switch their egg supply to cage-free over the past eight years. As the largest grocer in the country, Loblaw should take the lead on ending the confinement of hens in cages—one of the most cruel practices in the egg industry. Instead of helping birds, Loblaw is ignoring and deleting questions from concerned customers on social media, and is even blocking people from commenting.

With this lack of transparency and customer care, Loblaw will no doubt continue to make it into the news.

On the bright side, change can happen when consumers come together to push back against harmful policies. This occurred when Loblaws reversed its decision to reduce its best-before-date discounts, and when they finally shared their percentage cage-free sales, which they kept secret until 2023. Despite cage-free eggs only accounting for 17% of Loblaws’ egg sales, the disappointing figure at least brings some transparency—it’s now clear that the promise to become 100% cage-free has not been a priority for the company.

We can’t let Loblaws silence us by blocking people from their social media and hiding comments. Let’s continue to show Loblaws that they need to make meaningful changes for caged hens!

Banner: Lukas Vincour | Zvířata Nejíme | We Animals Media