April 11 update: Frito-Lay and Loblaw Companies have settled their pricing dispute after an eight-week impasse, which means Frito-Lay chips will be trickling back into Loblaw-owned grocery stores as early as the Easter long weekend. Both companies have declined to comment on how the dispute was resolved, only confirming a mutual resolution between the two was reached on Monday.
This is a welcome sign for both chip fans and Loblaw stores, as the chip aisle was often barren over the past two months and the grocer was forced to fill the empty space with inferior store-brand chips from No Name and PC.
Published February 18: Loblaws Stops Carrying Frito-Lay Chips Due to Pricing Dispute
The chips are down if you visit any Loblaw-banner store this week, as the grocery chain has stopped carrying Frito-Lay chips due to a pricing dispute between the two companies.
News of the retail squabble first surfaced last week, after Loblaw Companies refused to accept price increases on products supplied by Frito-Lay, which include an enormous catalogue of popular snack brands like Cheetos, Doritos, Lay's, Miss Vickie's, Ruffles and Tostitos. As a result, Frito-Lay has halted all orders to over 2400 Loblaw-owned grocery stores across Canada, including subsidiaries like Atlantic Superstore, Maxi, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, Zehrs and others.
According to Frito-Lay Canada, the company was forced to adjust product pricing due to rising manufacturing costs and ongoing supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. After Loblaw Companies refused to accept the higher prices, Frito-Lay made the decision to stop supplying Loblaw stores.
In a statement to the Toronto Star, Loblaw spokesperson Catherine Thomas says the company is focused on minimizing prices for customers and noted "When suppliers request higher costs, we do a detailed review to ensure they are appropriate. This can lead to difficult conversations and, in extreme cases, suppliers don't ship us products."
Frito-Lay Canada has not commented directly on the dispute, but a spokesperson has confirmed that there is a "temporary disruption with one customer."
Loblaw-banner stores will not be re-stocking any Frito-Lay products until the dispute is settled, but Frito-Lay products are still available at competitors including Metro, Sobeys and Walmart for any Canadians who have a potato chip craving.