Food Basics

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For information about the formerly affiliated Food Basics in the United States, see Food Basics USA.
Food Basics
Industry Retail
Founded 1995
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Products Dairy, frozen foods, grocery, general merchandise (non-food), meat/deli, pharmacy, produce, snacks
Parent Metro Inc.
Slogan Always More for Less

Food Basics is a discount Canadian supermarket chain owned by Metro Inc. with all stores located within Ontario. It was created by A&P Canada to compete with the successful No Frills warehouse-style supermarket operated by Loblaw Companies. It became part of the Metro group when A&P Canada was sold to Metro.

Food Basics prices are generally lower due to low maintenance (no free plastic bags, just free cardboard boxes), store decor is kept to a minimum and fewer staff are employed, mostly in part-time positions. The chain operates by pushing higher volumes on a limited selection of products than Metro stores allowing it to compete price-wise with other grocery stores. There are 117 locations in Ontario. 36 were franchise stores until Metro Inc. purchased all stores back by the end of 2008.

Some Food Basics feature a pharmacy, and are known as Food & Drug Basics.

Some locations are former Super Fresh or A&P supermarkets, dating from when both chains were operated by A&P,[1] or formerly bore banners such as A&P-owned Dominion (supermarket) or Métro-owned Super C.

In the past, the owners' names appeared on the banner (e.g., 'John/Jane's Food Basics'); however, all stores are now simply called 'Food Basics'. Concurrent with this change is a different slogan, which was changed from "Best Prices Everyday!!!" to "Always more for less!"

In Fall 2006, Metro Inc. began to renovate Food Basics stores. The design and format of these new stores closely resemble Metro's Super C banner in Quebec. New store signs feature broken lettering and a larger emphasis on yellow, green and beige colours. In Spring 2007, Metro Inc. initiated their new BDMS inventory system into all of its warehouses. As early as 2009, Food Basics has discontinued various products such as single yogurt cups, burritos, and other items. These items have been reduced for quick sale. The store inventory has shrunken by almost 10%. In late 2015, Food Basics stores have discontinued it's pharmacy and have stopped carrying a wide variety of medicines, hygienic products, and other health products. The stores now have a limited inventory of health products. Food Basics store managers prohibit wholesaling[clarification needed], especially goods that are on sale due to customer demand.

Labour relations[edit]

Food Basics is represented by the United Foods & Commercial Workers union. Food Basics mostly offers part-time positions, and each store has few full-time positions. In 2015, Overnight positions were discontinued by most stores because of budget reasons.


Food Basics eliminated giving out free cardboard boxes at the front end, in which customers relied heavily on for their needs. Boxes are still set aside for customers upon request, but most are diverted to the compression unit in which the company receives a refund for recycled cardboard.



124 locations:

Private label brands[edit]

A Food Basics store in Markham.
Food Basics in Toronto

Food Basics carries many products from Metro's private label brands:

  • "Irresistibles": premium quality products
  • "Selection": regular store-brand products
  • "Simply 1-2-3": low-price health and beauty products[citation needed]
  • "Simply Kids": baby products including diapers, baby food and other baby products[citation needed]
  • "Great Basics Finds": ready-to-assemble furniture, clothing, housewares and other seasonal items that are specially priced, available in limited quantities, for a limited time[citation needed]

Previous private label brands[edit]

  • "Master Choice": premium quality products.
  • "Equality": regular store-brand products.
  • "Basics for Less": large economy-sized products.
  • "The Baker's Oven": bakery products

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A&P Canada begins store conversions. (Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company Inc.)


External links[edit]