Despite the recent bread price-fixing scandal that shook the country’s grocery industry, most Canadians still trust their grocers, according to a new survey.

Almost half of those polled (47 per cent) said the bread price-fixing scheme hasn’t had any impact on their views of grocery retailers, while 33 per cent said their views have worsened, according to the Argyle Public Relationships Index released Wednesday.

The survey also found 79 per cent of Canadians trust their grocers, while 86 per cent are somewhat satisfied with the retailer they frequent most.

"While one-third of Canadians view their grocers more negatively after recent events, our relationships with these brands are strong and durable," says Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch in a release. "The legacy of trust in the category suggests Canadians will give these relationships a second chance, allowing grocers to deal with executive misbehaviour and do the right thing.”

The survey found concerns about the bread price-fixing scheme were highest among customers 45 and older, and among those who shop at Sobeys, Loblaw or FreshCo. 

In the survey’s Public Relationships Index, which averages public ratings about how brands perform based on six factors including trust and satisfaction, Loblaw scored 70 out 100 points – the lowest among Canada’s major food retailers. Rivals Sobeys and IGA were tied for the highest score of 74, according to the survey.


Grocery retailer

Public Relationships Index (out of 100)

Sobeys   74
IGA   74
 Walmart  73
 Metro  73
 Costco 72 
 Food Basics  72
 FreshCo  72
 Real Canadian Superstore  71
 Loblaws  70
 No Frills  68

In December, Loblaw and distributor George Weston Limited admitted to intentionally inflating bread prices between late 2001 and March 2015. By coming clean, the companies were granted immunity from prosecution by the Competition Bureau.  

The Competition Bureau has since said it believes Canada Bread Company Ltd., Walmart. (WMT.N), Sobeys (EMPa.TO), Metro (MRU.TO) and Giant Tiger Stores Ltd. have also violated the Competition Act with respect to the bread price-fixing scheme.