Bread prices drop in the wake of price-fixing scandal

It looks as though bread producers in Canada are trying to make it up to you, the consumer, in the wake of a major price-fixing scandal.

According to a study by BMO Capital Markets, bread prices have dropped, on average, by 2.5 per cent across Canada since December, when Loblaw and Weston Bread announced they had been apart of a bread cartel, fixing the prices in stores for 14 years.

Other grocers and suppliers have been caught up in the scandal but deny wrongdoing. 

"Clearly the industry is trying to regain the confidence of consumers, one promotion at a time," says Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy expert at Dalhousie University.

In recent weeks, it appears there have been not only discounts, but other types of promotions — including Loblaw's much-touted $25 gift-card offer.

"We've seen drops of 5 per cent in some cases," Charlebois says. "There've been a lot of two-for-ones going on, that's what we've noticed. A lot of producers are selling in bulk."

These days, the average price of a loaf of white bread is supposed to run about $2.70 — a little more than a dime cheaper than the same loaf was in December.