Nestlé Canada said on Wednesday it will “wind down” and end sales of its frozen food products including Delissio, Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine in the Canadian marketplace over the next six months, according to a company’s press release.
In an email to Global News, Nestlé Canada said the company decided to invest in categories that offer the most potential for growth in this “highly competitive Canadian market.”
Those categories include candy, coffee items, ice cream, infant food and supplements, health products, bottled water and pet food.
“We have determined that the Frozen Meals and Pizza categories are not a strategic focus for Nestlé Canada going forward,” the company said.
As of December 2022, the monthly average retail price for frozen pizzas in Canada was $4.27, up about 5.7 per cent from the same time in 2021 at $4.04, according to Statistics Canada.
Canadians have been grappling with rising food costs over the last year due to record-high inflation. While the overall inflation rate in December was 6.3 per cent, food prices at the grocery store rose 11 per cent year-over-year.
Over the course of 2022, grocery prices rose an average of nearly 10 per cent through 2022, according to Statistics Canada, the fastest annual pace seen since 1981.
John Carmichael, president and CEO of Nestlé Canada, said in the company statement that the decision to pull frozen foods from Canada enables the company to “further invest in priority categories and the company is open to enhancing their portfolio where it makes sense for their business.”
“We look forward to continuing to offer Canadians great Nestlé products now, and in the future,” Carmichael said.
Nestlé Canada noted that the company does not have a factory in Canada that manufactures any of its frozen meals or pizza products and it will work with its retail partners to facilitate the exit of the affected products.
The U.S. market will continue to offer products in the Frozen Meals and Pizza categories, Nestlé Canada told Global News in the email.