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…

Kraft Heinz mess puts spotlight on shifting food industry

The giant company failed to adapt its products and hacked its marketing budget. Now it’s paying dearly

Kraft Heinz mess puts spotlight on shifting food industryIf anyone was still looking for signs that the power play between food brands and consumers is shifting, they got it last week. Kraft Heinz Co. – the owner of major brands we’ve all bought for years like Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Kool-Aid and Kraft Dinner – announced that it’s writing off US$15.4 billion worth of…

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefit

The issues surrounding the technology – and the payoffs – need to be clearly explained to get public support

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefitCultured meat is an interesting concept that could hit stores soon. But this new science needs to make a case for consumers, not just for the industry.  According to a recent survey by Dalhousie University, fewer than 19 per cent of Canadians would willingly ditch their favourite steak for a lab-grown version. But even if…

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?

The massive rise in consumption of alternative proteins has put huge pressure on the livestock and dairy industries

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?The overpowering plant-based narrative is clearly helping lentils, chickpeas and soya win the proteins wars. The livestock and dairy industries feel the pressure. With the publication of the new Canada’s Food Guide, we have officially ended more than 70 years of state-endorsed fascination for animal proteins. Let’s face it, the change was necessary. The guide…