A pricing freeze implemented by New England grocer Big Y Foods this spring will now extend through the rest of the summer and apply to more products.
Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y said late yesterday that the price-hold program now includes 15,000 everyday grocery items — up from 10,000 when the pricing freeze went into effect May 1 — and will run through Sept. 2.
Big Y said the national economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic — which has led roughly 50 million Americans to file for unemployment benefits — prompted the company to expand the food price freeze as well as step up its support for hunger relief.
“When we announced our first price freeze, we heard from over 5,000 customers who indicated how important this action is to them,” Big Y Foods Chief Operating Officer Michael D’Amour (left) said in a statement. “These remain uncharted times, so we feel this is another way we can help our customers and the community.”
New seasonal items added to the price-hold program as of July 1 include meat franks, country-style pork ribs, frozen beef patties, jumbo fresh clam rolls, grape tomatoes, avocados, raspberries and deli salads, along with store-made cheese pizzas, large subs and fried chicken.
Big Y lists the brands and pricing for the price-freeze products on its website. Items already on the list include popular brands of fresh chicken, butter, red and green seedless grapes, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, breakfast cereal, English muffins, cheese, strawberries, Greek yogurt, pizza, orange juice, and spring water. Big Y noted that prices for the listed items could go down and sales will continue.
Examples include boneless chicken breasts/thighs for $2.99/lb., frozen beef patties (2 lbs.) for $7.99, fresh bananas for 57 cents/lb., Big Y naked cooked shrimp (31-40 count) for $8.99/lb., World Classics Trading Co. American cheese for $5.99/lb., store-made large cheese pizza for $10.99, Chobani Greek yogurt (5.3 oz.) at 10 for $10, Big Y spring water (24-pack, 16.9 oz. bottles) for $2.99, Driscoll’s strawberries (1 lb.) for $3.99, Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice (89 oz.) for $5.99, Coca-Cola/Sprite/Canada Dry soft drinks (12-pack, 12 oz. cans) for $5.99 and General Mills Cheerios (8.9 oz.-10 oz.) for $3.29.
To address rising food insecurity since March, Big Y also has funneled $250,000 in support to regional food banks, which the company said are encountering “unprecedented demand.” Big Y pegged its financial assistance to date as amounting to 1 million meals, based on estimates that every dollar donated provides four meals. The donation was divided equally between the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Worcester County Food Bank and the Greater Boston Food Bank in Massachusetts as well as Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank in Connecticut.
Big Y said it also supplies surplus food to local food banks weekly. On an annual basis, the grocer’s Sack Hunger program donates more than $11.5 million of food, or a total of 5.7 million meals, to help those in need throughout the region. “As a family business, we recognize our responsibility to be exceptional in our service to our customers, especially right now,” added D’Amour. “Our customers are like family to us, and that’s why the friendly service in our stores as well as commitment to the community remains exceptional as well.”
Overall, Big Y operates 83 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 Big Y World Class Market supermarkets, one Fresh Acres Market, one Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors store, and 10 Big Y Express gas and convenience locations.