In the Loblaw and Frito-Lay standoff, a local snack company wins

Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Frito-Lay are feuding, and a local company is reaping the benefits.

Loblaw is Canada’s largest grocer is engaged in a price-related dispute with global chip company Frito-Lay, who are responsible for Lays, Doritos, Miss Vickie’s and Tostitos, among others. Frito-Lay is under the Pepsi umbrella, and the Canadian branch of Pepsi stopped shipping their Frito-Lay products to Loblaw after the grocer refused to accept price increases a few weeks ago.

Without their usual roster of chips and snacks, Loblaw was forced to look for a solution. Enter Neal Brothers Foods, the Richmond Hill-based snack company. Loblaw placed an abnormally large order with the local company–one so big that they could only fulfill about 40% right away. They are still working to fulfill the rest.

“A few weeks ago we started getting calls from our biggest retailer potentially looking for massive quantities of snacks (massive for us Neal Brothers Foods). A week later mayhem ensued and we were getting real, not potential, orders and they were abnormally big for us,” partner Peter Neal wrote on LinkedIn. “Last Friday night, while on a short vacation in Quebec, I got an urgent note from a great partner at Fortinos pleading for extra stock on top of already huge orders. By Tuesday, after the long wknd, my team was in emergency mode – all hands on deck! I honestly didn’t think we’d be able to accomplish and fulfill these orders.”

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Neal Brothers on Instagram.

Neal Brothers called in another Vaughan business, Burnac Produce Ltd, to help get the process in motion. Normally found in the organic aisle, Neal Brothers products are now in the main chip section, and have seen their orders increase by 50% compared to February 2021. It was a huge boost for Neal Brothers, who noted that this was what they needed in a time when the food industry is suffering. For once, in a dispute between the big retailers, the local company comes out on top.

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