Food Basics is a discount Canadian supermarket chain owned by Metro Inc. and with all stores within Ontario. It was created by A&P Canada to compete with the successful No Frills warehouse-style supermarket operated by Loblaw Companies. It became part of the Metro group when A&P Canada was sold to Metro.
Food Basics prices are generally lower due to low maintenance (no free plastic bags, just free cardboard boxes), store decor is kept to a minimum and a smaller number of staff is employed, mostly part-time positions. The chain operates by pushing higher volumes on a limited selection of products than Metro, allowing it to compete price-wise with other grocery stores. There are 117 locations in Ontario. 36 were franchise stores until Metro Inc. purchased all stores back by the end of 2008.
Some Food Basics feature a pharmacy, and are known as Food & Drug Basics.
In the past, the owners' name(s) appeared on the banner (e.g., 'X's Food Basics'); however, all stores are now simply called 'Food Basics'. Concurrent with this change is a different slogan, which was changed from "Best Prices Everyday!!!" to "Always more for less!"
Food Basics carries major national brands and six of its own private label brands:
- "Master Choice" (a former A&P brand now being phased out) and "Irresistibles" are the company's line of premium products.
- "Equality" (a former A&P brand now being phased out) and "Selection" are used for everyday value products.
- "Basics for Less" is the company's line of large economy-sized products.
- Food Basics recently introduced a line of low-price health and beauty products named "Simply 1-2-3".
- Products carrying "The Baker's Oven", an A&P brand for bakery products, are slowly being rebranded as either "Selection" or "Irrisistibles".
- "Simply Kids" is the company's line of baby products including diapers, baby food and other baby products.
"Great Basics Finds" are items such as ready-to-assemble furniture, clothing, housewares and other seasonal items that are specially priced. They are available in limited quantities, for a limited time.
In Fall 2006, Metro Inc. began to renovate Food Basics stores. The design and format of these new stores closely resemble Metro's Super C banner in Quebec. New store signs feature broken lettering and a larger emphasis on yellow, green and beige colours. In Spring 2007, Metro Inc. initiated their new BDMS inventory system into all of their warehouses.
- Pembroke's Food Basics is the worst location of Food Basics for many characters like Toad and Toadette, and then Yoshi and Birdo.