Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemic

Nobody really knows how the economy will look as a return to normalcy progresses

Grocers face dramatic changes in wake of pandemicGrocers racked up millions of dollars in profits as they increased revenues during the first year of the pandemic. But numbers this year tell us tougher economic times await them. And the economy is just one part of the story. Nobody really knows how the economy will look this fall and winter as a return…

Food industry code of conduct finally gains traction

Recognizes that manufacturing - including farmers - are the anchor to the entire food supply chain

Food industry code of conduct finally gains tractionA new coalition led by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has presented a roadmap to peace within the food industry. It’s a positive step forward for the food production industry and consumers. For years, grocers have unilaterally imposed fees on their suppliers, with questionable excuses. While grocers maintained a hard line to protect margins,…

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?

The pandemic is changing our unease when using self-checkout counters

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?Only a few years ago, self-checkouts were seen as job killers by many Canadians. Grocers just didn’t know what to think of self-checkouts. And consumers had a love-hate relationship with them. Some saw them as job killers, replacing humans who desperately needed employment. Others quietly used them, either preferring a speedy exit or simply avoiding…

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shifts

Food manufacturing lacks investment, suffers from thin margins, faces additional grocers’ fees and must deal with aging facilities

Canada’s food security depends on significant policy shiftsBy Sylvain Charlebois and Amy Hill Dalhousie University Canadian food and beverage manufacturing plays a key role in supporting farmers and the rest of the food supply chain. The second largest manufacturing sector, food and beverage, contributed $26.5 billion to Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. Just 10 manufacturing sectors –  including food manufacturing…

Do Canada’s grocers need a code of conduct?

While food prices continue to climb in Canada, grocers’ fees, in addition to low margins, haven’t helped manufacturers benefit

Do Canada’s grocers need a code of conduct?Many Canadians are oblivious to the fact that, in the food industry, suppliers need to pay grocers to conduct business. Fees were justified by merchandising costs and shelf space – things anyone would expect. But in recent years, things changed. Companies like Loblaws, Walmart and Metro used infrastructure and capital projects to justify new fees.…

Independent grocers are a dying breed

Most Canadians wouldn’t know that a lot of the innovation we’ve seen in food retailing in Canada has come from independents

Independent grocers are a dying breedMost of us wouldn’t know if we were in an independently owned and operated grocery store unless a notice is posted somewhere as you enter the store or you ask someone. Canada regularly loses an independent grocer these days. Last week, we learned that Empire (Sobeys) would purchase one of Canada’s top premium independent grocers,…

Canadians still love meat, regardless of COVID-19

Recalls and plant shutdowns due to COVID-19 couldn’t keep Canadians away from the meat counter. But prices did reach the sticker-shock point

Canadians still love meat, regardless of COVID-19The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone on Earth one way or another, which is why the moment we are in is so unique. The way we consume food has also changed: how and where we buy it, and where we consume it have seen tremendous changes over the last 11 months. Proteins play a significant…

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocer

Couche-Tard has a reputation of generating value by polishing hidden gems in companies like Carrefour

Why a convenience store giant wants to be a grocerWe heard this week that Alimentation Couche-Tard is looking at acquiring European-based Carrefour, the seventh largest food retailer in the world. Buying a grocery chain would be a significant departure from what Couche-Tard is known for. A non-binding, friendly offer of $25 billion was sent to Carrefour. Couche-Tard is all about the convenience store economy.…

The year’s top food-related stories

From lab-grown meat to grocery store staff bonuses to the food-service crisis to gardening and cooking at home to panic buying

The year’s top food-related storiesThe year 2020 was as unusual as they get, with no shortage of stories. Some flew under the radar because of the pandemic but this list is based on how some food-related stories will probably have long-term implications, whether they were related to COVID-19 or not. At No. 10, the apparent end of Tim Hortons’…

Eliminating humans from the food supply chain

Loblaws will be able to move food from automated picking facilities multiple times a day to support its online grocery service

Eliminating humans from the food supply chainLoblaws is partnering with Gatik, an autonomous vehicle provider from the United States, to launch the first autonomous food delivery fleet. This is a solution to the ‘middle mile,’ assuring links between distribution centres and stores. Consumers won’t see autonomous vehicles drive up to their homes yet but that day will surely come soon. These…
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