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Loblaw foods internationally recognized for taste and quality

BRAMPTON, ON, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - (TSX : L) - Loblaw Companies Ltd. is the first North-American retailer recognized by the International Taste & Quality Institute with a Superior Taste Award. Seven products available in Loblaw banner stores recently garnered the recognition at a ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

"We pride ourselves on the freshness and flavour of our foods," said Sal Baio, senior vice-president fresh grocery, Loblaw Companies Ltd. "Our development team always strives to create world-class products and these accolades confirm we've hit the mark."

To evaluate the food, a jury of more than 120 top chefs and sommeliers from 15 European countries underwent blind tests to take note of a dish's flavour, scent and texture. Mark Russell, executive chef, Loblaw Companies Ltd. accepted the awards on behalf of five 2014 winners; Red Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Butternut Arancini, Proscuitto & Truffle Lasagna, Dry Aged Strip Loin Steak, Coffee & Black Pepper Beef Burger, and two 2013 winners; AAA Ontario Cornfed Platinum Beef and Turkey Spinach Meatballs. Among them, four received the special rank Remarkable for a rating between 80 and 90 per cent and two earned the highest recognition, Exceptional, with a rating between 90 and 100 per cent.

"When we create recipes for stores our goal is to redefine people's expectations of supermarket food," said Mark Russell, executive chef, Loblaw Companies Ltd. "Everyone likes roast chicken and potato wedges, but at Loblaw take-out can also be gourmet prosciutto and truffle lasagna, or a steaming plate of turkey spinach meatballs."

Five of the seven winning dishes were created by a team of 30 chefs in the kitchen of the Loblaws store at Maple Leaf Gardens as part of the From Our Chefs program. Under supervision from Mark Russell, the team experiments with food to make gourmet meals that can be replicated for retail locations across the country.

International Taste & Quality Institute award winning foods are available at 220 Loblaw®, Zehrs®, Fortinos®, Atlantic Superstore®, Dominion® and Provigo® stores nationwide.

About Loblaw Companies Limited TSX: L

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 192,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.

Loblaw's purpose - Live Life Well - puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the companies' stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at more than 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® locations and more than 500 Loblaw locations PC Financial® no-fee banking; affordable Joe Fresh® fashion and family apparel; and three of Canada's top consumer brands in Life Brand®, no name® and President's Choice®. Through the PC Plus™ and Shoppers Optimum® loyalty programs, more than one in every three Canadians are rewarded for shopping with the companies.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

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