TORONTO -- Long-time Loblaws pitchman Dave Nichol has died at the age of 73.

The native of Chatham, Ont., who died on Sunday, appeared in TV ads for the grocery chain's President's Choice and No Name brands in the 80s and 90s and helped build President's Choice into one of Canada's top labels.

"We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave's family," Galen G. Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd., said in a statement.

"Dave's passion for food and his vision helped to transform the way Canadians eat, and he has left a tremendous legacy that endures in the company today.

He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to work with him and benefit from his guidance and friendship."

Loblaws described Nichol as "one of its most memorable colleagues," as well as a masterful marketer and was recognized both inside and outside Loblaw for his creativity and skill.

Nichol joined Loblaw in 1972 and held various roles with the company, including president of Loblaw Supermarkets and head of the product development team.

Many of the products Nichol was responsible for can still be found on the shelf, including the Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie.

He was also a driving force behind the popular President's Choice brand as well as No Name.

Nichol also introduced the Insider's Report magazine in the early 1980's, a flyer that told stories of the products his brands brought to consumers.

"He always listened to the customer and kept their needs front-and-centre, something that Loblaw continues to aspire to today," the company said.