NEW YORK (MainStreet) —Wegmans Food Markets announced Tuesday that is will not raise prices on 40 staple products in an effort to help families save on the rising cost of food.

According to company president Colleen Wegman, the selected items are those that families “can’t do without.” They include orange juice, canned coffee, cereal, bananas, red peppers, pasta, pasta sauce, chicken, ground beef, salmon, tilapia, tuna, frozen pizza, frozen vegetables and deli ham and turkey.

The company said the pricing freeze, expected to continue through 2011, is in response to news that food is getting more expensive this year.

Just this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that food prices will rise by 3% to 4% in 2011, thanks to rising commodity costs and an increase in global food demand.

Wegmans explained that it is able to lock in prices on the items because all of the products involved in the pricing freeze are sold under its own brand.

“We can be more aggressive with pricing for our own brand because we have better access to information on the factors that determine costs,” Jo Natale, director of media relations, said in a written statement. 

Wegmans Food Markets is a 77-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. The company also plans to move into Massachusetts later this year.

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