Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery store

Metro plans to let customers bring their own containers to stores in Quebec. You can bet other retailers will follow suit

Replacing plastic packaging at the grocery storeMetro announced recently that it would become the first major grocery store chain in the country to allow customers to bring their own reusable containers for packaging of individual products. It's a significant step forward for the industry, but it comes with risks. The policy, which only applies in Quebec, will take effect on April…

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?

The iconic Canadian brand is expanding south of the border. The decision makes perfect sense and national dithering is to blame

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?Maple Leaf Foods, the largest pork processor in the country, has opted to build its new meatless plant south of the border. Unfortunately, the decision makes perfect sense. The iconic Canadian food company recently announced plans to spend US$310 million on a 230,000-square-foot processing plant in Indiana, where its Lightlife Burger and other products will…

Checking out on checkout charity

Customers face making a quick decision and without enough information. Can grocers fix this process?

Checking out on checkout charityMost of us have been asked to donate to charity at the checkout counter, especially at a grocery store. A dollar here, two dollars there adds up. The practice started years ago but appears to be growing. It’s estimated that more $35 million is raised by simply asking Canadians to donate at the cash register.…

Carbon tax will drive up grocery prices

The environmental and social costs of producing, distributing and selling food are rarely factored in. That’s about to change

Carbon tax will drive up grocery pricesThe carbon tax is now a reality for all Canadians – and that means food prices will be impacted. The federal carbon pricing scheme took effect in Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on April 1. These provinces had previously chosen not to comply with the new federal law through their own initiatives. Pricing will…

Hey, Google! Why is the food industry in trouble?

The rise of voice-activated searches throws the traditional food marketing model out the window

Hey, Google! Why is the food industry in trouble?Your voice will likely become food retailers’ and restaurants’ most significant focus over the next while. Voice searches are increasingly the norm. A recent study suggests that more than 20 per cent of all online restaurant searches in Canada are voice activated. To a lesser extent, grocery shopping is also done through these devices. Since…

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit list

Canada's diplomatic juveniles have jeopardized the Canadian target of $75 billion in agriculture and food exports by 2025

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit listTwo recent cases make Canada’s political elite look like diplomatic juveniles. The SNC-Lavalin debacle refuses to go away, garnering global media attention for weeks. The Meng Wanzhou case in Vancouver has made things much worse. The arrest of Meng – a Huawei vice-president and daughter of the company’s CEO – in December exposed Canada to…

Liberal budget sells the farm along with quotas

From supply management to food strategy to rural Internet to food processing to export targets, the government got it all wrong

Liberal budget sells the farm along with quotasMost people expected an electoral budget from the federal government this week and that’s exactly what Canadians got. But for the agri-food sector, the budget was underwhelming at best and provided little hope for the near future. Let’s start with supply management. The Liberal government opted to do exactly what the previous Conservative government did…

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guide

There are far too many barriers to following Canada’s Food Guide, including the Gwyneth Paltrow effect

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guideBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Simon Somogyi University of Guelph Will Canadians use the new version of Canada’s Food Guide and will it cost us more to follow the new recommendations it contains? The guide, introduced a few weeks ago, advocates a diet focused more on plant-based eating and reductions in…

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industry

The number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industryThe number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice. More than 28 per cent of Canadian households have just one person. That’s almost four million households. That number could reach five million in few years – a little less than the combined population…

Canada is losing its grip on valuable trade with China

Recent missteps suggest we're run by diplomatic amateurs, casting a shadow on trade. And now a deadly swine disease has hit China

Canada is losing its grip on valuable trade with ChinaRelations between China and Canada have never been more uncertain, particularly because Canada looks like it’s being run by diplomatic amateurs. And the news may get worse for the agri-food community. The Chinese claim Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December at the request of the United States. The U.S. alleges Meng…
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