Canada's No. 1 brand*, President's Choice(R), makes the season merrier with
FA-LA-la-LA-la LA-la LA - food

The 2009 Holiday Insider's Report(R) launches, featuring more than 100 new, must-try and iconic favourites

BRAMPTON, ON, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - The wait is finally over - let the Holidays officially begin! Today, the President's Choice(R) brand launches its highly anticipated and hugely popular 2009 Holiday Insider's Report(R). This year's Holiday Insider's Report is brimming with everything Canadians need to entertain guests and keep them coming back for more - all at great prices.

"For the last 25 years and the next quarter-century, the President's Choice brand is about helping make the holiday season for customers easy-to-manage and special with innovative, high-quality products at affordable prices - and this year's no different," says Paul Uys, Vice-President, Fresh and Loblaw Brands, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We've brought back many classic favourites that we know people look forward to each holiday season, and, as always, introduced an exciting and delicious range of new products that Canadians are also sure to love."

This holiday season, more than one thousand Loblaw Companies Limited corporate and franchised stores have transformed into holiday shopping destinations, all across the country, celebrating the second year of the "We Love the Holidays Too!" event, with everything from trees and turkeys to hors d'oeuvres, desserts, stocking stuffers, gifts and holiday décor. The Holiday Insider's Report also features rounded pricing on select items, to help shoppers easily calculate shopping lists and manage holiday budgets.

Entertaining comes home for the holidays

"Entertaining at home is a trend we've seen grow exponentially over the last few years," says entertaining and style guru Sebastien Centner of Eatertainment Special Events. "Not only does it just make sense from a budget perspective, but hosting friends or family at home also gives you the opportunity to create a more intimate atmosphere. People now understand that creating a truly magical event right in your own living room is both easy and affordable!"

To help kick-start the holiday season, here are some great tips to entertain in a big way, without breaking the bank:

Simple cocktail parties make a big splash

The President's Choice brand has probably introduced more Canadians to more kinds of appetizers than any major brand, over the last 25 years. Entertaining at home doesn't have to mean serving a four-course meal - hosting a cocktail party with PC(R) Mocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a chic way to save both time and money. With tasty and easy-to-cook favourites, such as PC Cheese Hors D'Oeuvre Collection, PC Cocktail Sausage Rolls, PC Fig & Goat Cheese Blooms, new Must Try! PC Beef Mini Wellingtons and the new Must Try! PC Indian Hors D'oeuvres Collection, you'll impress your guests for less. For a more homemade approach, try the new Must Try! PC Gravlax Cured Atlantic Salmon paired with a rosti and a little garnish; visit pc.ca for this and other recipes.

Easy-cheesy, charcuterie-please-y

Create an at-home cheese and charcuterie sampler to mimic today's trendy tapas bars. It's simple; on a couple of President's Choice Home Collection serving platters, pair an assortment of fine-cooked and dry-cured meats served with savoury and pickled garnishes - New PC Prosciutto and PC Genoa Salami with any of the four new PC Antipasto Collection items, including Pickled Mushrooms with Garlic and Herbs, work well - and add a variety of cheeses. Count on 75 to 100 grams of cheese per person, and remember that cold temperatures mute flavour and texture so remove soft cheeses from the fridge one hour before and hard cheeses 30 minutes before serving. To make the party a hit, try serving PC Triple Cream Blue Brie and the new Must Try! PC Le Belle Rivière(TM) Washed-Rind Soft Ripened Cheese from Québec and pair with Must Try! PC Mulled Apple Sparkling Soda or PC Italian Soda. And to kick your charcuterie platters up another notch, serve any of PC's new sweet-meets-savoury gourmet toppers, such as the PC Mission Fig and Pecan Topper, featuring Kalamata olives, caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, capers and thyme.

Get your "just desserts"

The holidays are a time to indulge, so why not skip the main course altogether and host a delectable dessert tasting? PC offers 32 different frozen desserts to choose from under $10 - more amazing frozen desserts than any major brand in Canada. One by one, try the new product offerings from the President's Choice collection, including Must Try! PC Desserts - Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brûlée and Crème Caramel - then move on to the new Must Try! PC Apple Upside Down Cake and new PC Mini Chocolate Coated Candy Cane Cheesecakes. Top it off with a sliver of the new don't-even-try-to-resist PC Chocolate Cake, made with simple ingredients you would find in your own pantry. Serve with the new PC Specialty Drink Mix in Caramel Latte for an added sweet-tooth hit.

Family night in

With the busy holiday season in full swing and party invitations arriving weekly, spending time with the family becomes a top priority. Make the holidays even more memorable by planning a family night in with the new Must Try! PC Rich & Creamy Chocolate Egg Nog - the perfect chocolate milk replacement - and kid-friendly comfort food like PC Shepherd's Pie and PC Meat Lasagna. Play board games, trim the tree, talk about why the holidays are a special time for families - and have fun!

Stocking stuffers

We made our list (and checked it twice) to find perfect presents for those hard-to-stuff stockings! Your loved ones will wake up to yummy treats, such as new Must Try! PC Double Chocolate Almonds with Peppermint and new PC Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Bites. And as the new PC Swiss Chocolate Truffles and Must Try! PC Belgian Chocolate Hollow Figurines prove, sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.

Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree!

Be part of the grown-local movement this Christmas and help support Canadian tree farmers by bringing a new six- to eight-foot tall PC Fraser Fir Tree home for only $40. Grown by local tree farmers in Ontario and Quebec, the PC Fraser Firs are 100 per cent Canadian and are guaranteed(i) to remain fresh until January 1, 2010. Known for their lush green colour, shape and fullness, and great needle retention, these premium-quality PC Fraser Firs will enhance any at-home holiday décor. Dress your tree with the PC Home Holiday 101 Ornaments for $19.99.

The President's Choice brand is also committed to protecting Canada's natural forests and has partnered with Tree Canada to fund the planting of 50,000 trees throughout Canada in 2010.

Where food meets function...pc.ca

Just in time for the holidays, the President's Choice brand has revamped its website, pc.ca - the online destination for all-things-PC. Tackling dinner just got even easier with new tools and information including:

    
    -   Connect with PC - By becoming a member of the PC(R) Insider's Club,
        shoppers can capture their favourite products, articles, videos,
        recipes and more, all on pc.ca or through the website of their
        favourite Loblaw banner stores. Shoppers now have the ability to
        create multiple shopping lists with a unique new tool that can access
        and itemize products from flyers, required ingredients from your
        favourite recipes, or individually adding your own shopping list
        items. Access to the store locator allows you to download addresses
        of store locations to your own GPS device, making shopping trips a
        breeze.

    -   Discover PC - Shoppers love the President's Choice Insider's Report,
        and now they can browse through the new online version of their
        must-have holiday resource, which has links to many products and more
        than 700 PC kitchen-approved recipes, rated by skill level, and
        how-to demonstration videos.

    -   Explore PC products - More defined categories, which include a rate
        and review of PC's most-loved items, along with an easy-to-use
        format, finding everyone's favourite PC products is now simpler than
        ever. With more than 100 new PC products online, users can search
        nutritional information and items based on specific criteria such as
        salt-reduced, gluten-free products and much more.
    

President's Choice products are available at Loblaws, Zehrs, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, Maxi, No Frills, Provigo, Extra Foods and more. Product pricing and availability may vary by banner and region. For more information, visit www.pc.ca.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice(R), no name(R) and Joe Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial(R) services and offers the PC(R) points loyalty program.

    
    --------------------------------
    *Source: AC Nielson Storeview Brand Comparison

    (i)The PC Guarantee - Try it...you'll love it! Or money refunded with
    proof of purchase. Trees and ornaments are not available at all corporate
    and franchise stores. Call 1-866-596-7277 for a list of participating
    stores in your area. Selection of other PC Home items varies by store.
    

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information: For further information: Product samples and high-resolution images are available upon request. For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact: Sheri Helman, Loblaw Companies Limited, (905) 459-2500, ext. 616253, sheri.helman@loblaw.ca; Andrea Craig, Hill & Knowlton, (416) 413-4735, andrea.craig@hillandknowlton.ca; Miguel Pacheco, Hill & Knowlton, (416) 413-4694, miguel.pacheco@hillandknowlton.ca


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