Food Basics

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Food Basics
Industry Retail
Founded 1995
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
Products Food, General merchandise (non-food)
Parent A&P Canada (1995–2005)
Metro Inc. (2005–present)

Food Basics is a Canadian supermarket chain owned by Metro Inc. The company operates over 115 stores throughout Ontario.[1]

Food Basics 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 in 2005.

Food Basics lowers its prices in a number of ways: 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,[2] 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.

A Food Basics store in Toronto.
A Food Basics store in Markham.

Labour relations[edit]

Food Basics is represented by the United Food and 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. Food Basics charges $0.05 per plastic bag, but this has resulted in customers bringing in their own re-usable shopping bags. Since 2009, Food Basics stores started using coin-operated shopping carts, which requires a deposit of $0.25 at some stores in an attempt to reduce shopping cart removal. Some stores were forced to discontinue coin-operated shopping carts because of negative feedback from customers.



128 locations:

Private label brands[edit]

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 b c "More about us". Food Basics. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  2. ^ A&P Canada begins store conversions. (Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company Inc.)


External links[edit]