rocery prices have surged in the past year, but this week we’re focusing on some curious price drops that our tracker picked up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you didn’t already know that Loblaws, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore are all controlled by the same holding company, you could probably figure it out just by clicking through each store’s stock photos of meat, which are often – unlike their prices – identical. 

Loblaws’ prime rib roast cost $45/kg in mid-September, but dropped in 25 stores, to $15.17/kg ahead of Thanksgiving (it dropped to $19.82/kg at the Toronto Lakeshore location). Post-holiday, it’s now back up to $45/kg at Loblaws, and a breezy $41.86/kg at Real Canadian Superstore, which we added to our list of stores to track this week.

Turkey prices also went down at the same time, from $8.80/kg in mid-September to $5.49/kg at 12 of the Loblaws stores we track. 

In five Real Canadian Superstores the price of turkey went from $7.69/kg to $5.49/kg, and in No Frills locations from $6.15/kg to $5.49.

Those numbers, seeming peculiar, inspired the Hoser Grocery Tracker team to find old Loblaws flyers, where we found that the flyer special price of turkey ahead of last year’s Thanksgiving was also $5.49/kg. Spooky. 

Rising feed prices, labour shortages, and conditions pushing farmers to quickly sell their herds can, of course, account for fluctuations in meat prices over time. So can the whims of billionaires. But what accounts for the fluctuations in prices across stores? Or suddenly seeing the same price over and over like a Thanksgiving ghost? It’s probably not the difference in the stores’ art department budgets.

Oct 14, 2023
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