More ugly fruit and vegetables coming to Loblaw stores across Canada

TORONTO -- Ugly food can mean a pretty profit.

At least, that's the bet Loblaw (TSX:L) is making with its ugly duckling line of produce aimed at shoppers looking to save money on the sky-rocketing cost of fresh food.

See Full Article

The company launched its Naturally Imperfect line last March, offering ugly apples and potatoes to Ontario and Quebec shoppers as part of a trial run that later expanded to select stores in other provinces.

More types of cheaper, bruised and misshapen produce will soon be available across the country, the company announced Wednesday.

"It really went well above and beyond what our expectation was," said Dan Branson, the company's senior director of produce.

"I think it really spoke to the fact that Canadians are out there really looking for some options around driving value into their weekly shop and having greater accessibility to that healthy eating product of value."

Based on the program's success, Naturally Imperfect will now include unsightly peppers, onions and mushrooms for consumers in Quebec and Ontario.

Meanwhile, Loblaw's Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer and most No Frills stores in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba started stocking less-than-perfect apples and peppers Wednesday, and Atlantic Superstore and Your Independent Grocer locations in the Atlantic provinces started stocking Naturally Imperfect apples.

The line's produce is now also available at Your Independent Grocer and Real Canadian Superstore in Whitehorse, Yukon.

The uglier version of a fruit or vegetable costs up to 30 per cent less than its good looking counterpart.

That can be appealing to consumers who have been smacked with sticker shock on the produce aisle over the past year due to the low Canadian dollar and other factors, including shortages caused by a drought in California.

Between January 2015 and 2016, Canadian food prices rose four per cent, according to Statistics Canada's consumer price index. But fresh fruit and vegetables showed some of the biggest increases, shooting up 12.9 and 18.2 per cent respectively.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Loblaw's internal food inflation outpaced the CPI's 4.1 per cent jump, according to the company's financial reports.

And while it has managed to pass most of this cost on to the consumer, shoppers started choosing cheaper products when some foods surpassed a certain price point, president and executive chairman Greg Weston said during a conference call with investors last week.

Consumers, especially those in Alberta where the economy is struggling, have flocked to Loblaw's discount offerings, he said.

Branson said Loblaw looks to deliver great value regardless of the economy, but thinks that with the way things are now the offerings may be benefiting Canadians more than when Naturally Imperfect was first launched.

It plans to expand the program even more over the coming months.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Manufacturing sales fall in June after 3 straight monthly gains

    Economic CBC News
    An assembly worker Chrysler's Windsor assembly plant is shown. Statistics Canada reported Thursday that manufacturing sales fell in June, after three months in a row of gains. (Reuters) Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell in June, following three consecutive months of gains. Source
  • Train or fire? Bosses grapple with how to handle off-hours transgressions

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- It didn't take long for social media to reveal the identities of some of the participants of a racially charged protest in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. But it wasn't just individuals who were outed by outraged critics -- it was companies, brands and even suspected employers of individual protesters who were suddenly put on notice that the world was watching. Source
  • Why autos are such an important part of NAFTA

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The future of Canada's more than one million automotive jobs has emerged as a critical part of what's at stake at the NAFTA renegotiation table in Washington after the U.S. chief negotiator targeted the sector on the first day of talks Wednesday. Source
  • Where does the CIBC-PC Financial breakup leave consumers?

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC and President's Choice Financial are amicably breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers. In a nutshell, President's Choice Financial will keep the PC Financial MasterCard credit card service and the PC Plus loyalty program, while the two million PC Financial banking customers will move to CIBC's new service called Simplii Financial. Source
  • Good chance of Pacific trade deal being reached: New Zealand lawmaker

    Economic CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand’s trade minister said Thursday he believes there’s an odds-on chance that a group of 11 Pacific nations including Japan and Australia will sign a free-trade deal, despite the U.S. Source
  • Sears Canada executive chairman steps away to make bid for retailer

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl is stepping away from his role to launch a bid for the beleaguered retailer, which is restructuring under court protection from creditors. A memo to staff Wednesday about his departure from the top job said the company’s goal is to create a path to emerge from creditor protection. Source
  • CIBC takes over PC Financial bank accounts, launches Simplii banking brand

    Economic Toronto Sun
    The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is taking over President’s Choice Financial bank accounts with a new online brand as it responds to the continuing trend towards digital banking. The Toronto-based bank said Wednesday it will cut its nearly 20-year relationship with PC Financial-owner Loblaw Companies Ltd. Source
  • Asian shares rise higher after gains on Wall Street

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares were mostly higher Thursday in narrow trading, tracking gains overnight on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 per cent lower to 19,718.09. Source
  • Global stocks slip as investors digest central bank reports

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Stock markets mostly fell on Thursday as investors digested the minutes to the last policy meetings of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX edged 0.1 per cent lower to 12,253 and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.2 per cent to 5,166. Source
  • Belgium joins legal action against tainted egg 'cheats'

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Belgium's Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme says the government will join in legal action against those responsible for the egg contamination scandal, which has hit at least 17 countries. Ducarme told The Associated Press Wednesday that "the Belgian government wants to take part in civil proceedings. Source