BRAMPTON, ONT. — With food inflation a central issue for many consumers in North America, the Canadian retailer Loblaw Companies Ltd. has instituted a price freeze on its line of No Name private label products. No Name is Canada’s second largest food brand, there are more than 1,500 products in the line and are currently 25% cheaper than comparable brands, according to the company.

The program is scheduled to remain in effect until Jan. 31, 2023.

“Maddeningly, much of this is out of our control,” wrote Galen Weston, Loblaw president and chairman in an email to customers. “Your grocery bill is higher today because the suppliers who make the products we sell are raising their prices for us. And, while we’ve challenged (and will continue to challenge) any unfair price increases, the truth is most are reasonable. Suppliers’ basic costs are way higher than they’ve been in decades — no different than costs like the gas in your car, or your rent or mortgage.”

Loblaw has nearly 2,500 stores across Canada.

In 2022, all food prices are now predicted to increase between 9% and 10%, and food-at-home prices are now predicted to increase between 10.5% and 11.5%, according to the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s Food Price Outlook.

The latest Consumer Price Index published Oct. 13 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the prices of all items increased 8.2% over the last 12 months and before seasonal adjustment. The food index had increased 11.2% over the same time of the previous year.