Livestock, dairy industries face pandemic fallout

The continued popularity of meat-fee diets may point to the damaging legacy of COVID-19 for some sectors

Livestock, dairy industries face pandemic falloutBefore COVID-19, the craze for vegetable proteins was palpable. All we heard about were sustainability, animal welfare and Beyond Meat. The health of the planet and well-being of animals became increasingly important factors to a growing number of Canadians, and it showed in the numbers. A few months after the great confinement started, some new…

As Canadians flee cities, food sector recalibrates

Grocery retailers must come to terms with serving a shifting population. And restaurants face learning to be more flexible

As Canadians flee cities, food sector recalibratesCanadians seem to want to flee urban centres. The food industry will need to keep a close eye on the trend. The real estate market is overheating in regions outside of major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax. Recent real estate reports suggest sales are up 20 per cent in many rural markets and…

What was gained from grilling grocery CEOs?

Witnesses testifying before parliamentary committees are often used as political puppets to support underlying agendas

What was gained from grilling grocery CEOs?Top Canadian grocers testified before a parliamentary standing committee last week to explain why all COVID-19 incentive programs in their operations were cancelled within hours. Most grocery store and distribution centre employees were paid extra at the beginning of the pandemic, only to see wages go back to pre-COVID levels now. CEOs who testified were…

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boost

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boostWe’re now $343 billion poorer as a nation because of COVID-19. As a result, our national debt will reach unprecedented levels. While some Canadians will dispute how the government is supporting Canadians and businesses during the pandemic, many will argue it didn’t have of much choice. There’s certainly some truth to that. The numbers are…

Canada’s rising food insecurity problem

Food inflation is on the way up, despite lower prices for other consumer goods. And COVID-19 has impacted incomes

Canada’s rising food insecurity problemStatistics Canada has confirmed what most of us knew already: Canada is becoming a hungrier place. According to a survey conducted by the federal agency in May, almost one in seven (14.6 per cent) Canadians indicated they lived in a household where there was food insecurity in the past month. In 2017-18, a similar survey…

Online grocery retailing ramped up by Sobeys

Voilà delivery vans will offer one-hour grocery delivery in the Toronto area, with Montreal service next

Online grocery retailing ramped up by SobeysVoilà is the new benchmark in online food retailing in Canada, at least for now. More than 100 Voilà delivery vans will roam the streets of the Greater Toronto Area to deliver food to customers who have opted to buy their groceries online from Sobeys. At the centre of the fleet is a state-of-the-art distribution…

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

The use of robots can make the restaurant sector more robust financially and more secure from a public health perspective

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?Canada’s first server-free restaurant has opened its doors in Toronto. Box’d is a fully-automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. It’s an interesting concept but it makes you wonder what role humans can and should play in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we need to boldly move forward to…

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 cons

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 consWhen costs rise, most food companies adjust. Safe, fair and sustainable business practices are always a priority in this sector – almost. Several food science experts believe an increase in food fraud is inevitable due to COVID-19. The Food Authenticity Network advisory board, which includes more than 1,500 food science experts from around the world,…

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff

The economics of pay increases in the retail sector are always weak, especially in food retailing, which has low margins

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff‘Hero pay’ is quietly fading away in grocery stores and food distribution centres. That’s quite the reversal from 10 weeks ago. The American-based Kroger supermarket chain, among others, even asked employees to return the extra money they received. It has since backed off. It appears higher salaries in grocery stores were short-lived. It’s not overly…

Better get used to higher food prices

The food sector has never been recession-proof. But COVID-19 may show us that it’s immune to deflationary pressures

Better get used to higher food pricesDespite a negative inflation rate overall, recent Statistics Canada numbers tell us we’re in for a wild ride at the grocery store. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December, Canada’s Food Price Report predicted a food inflation rate of about 4.0…