The rise in ready-to-eat: grocers adopt restaurant tactics

The ‘grocerant’ model is going mainstream, driven by consumers who want quality, convenience and reasonable prices

The rise in ready-to-eat: grocers adopt restaurant tacticsLike hip sectors such as the high-tech industry, the food industry is developing a lingo to describe market shifts. The term ‘grocerant,’ a combination of grocer and restaurant, has been around for a few years but is going mainstream now. Grocerant accurately captures an emerging food industry trend. According American market researcher NPD Group, grocerants generated…

Amazon’s appetite for disruption takes a bite out of the food industry

Given its ability to fuse efficient distribution and strategic market insight, the e-commerce giant could well become the leading food retailer in North America

Amazon’s appetite for disruption takes a bite out of the food industryAmazon is intent on becoming the world's most powerful retailer, with the help of food sales. Amazon's US$13-billion takeover of Whole Foods isn’t shocking. It’s been rumoured for months. Now the mammoth Amazon, with its large revenues and small profits, has confirmed those rumours by making the biggest deal in its history. And acquiring troubled…

Multinationals face new pressures in grocery stores

Consumers increasingly want fresh, unprocessed food. The middle of the store now sees less traffic and that’s clearly affecting sales for most grocery products

Multinationals face new pressures in grocery storesSkippy peanut butter and Dad’s chocolate chip cookies are gone from the Canadian marketplace. If you feel sad about seeing these iconic brands go, brace yourselves. It’s just the beginning. Within days, two major U.S.-based food multinationals pulled well-known brands from the Canadian market. Mondelez International discontinued the iconic Dad’s cookies and Hormel Foods pulled Skippy peanut…

Generation X the lost food generation

Generation Xers grew up in an era when food was functional and boring. As a result, many don't cook and have little interest in the culinary culture

Generation X the lost food generationGeneration Xers don’t cook. They never acquired the skills. Most of this group (born between 1965 and 1976) grew up when food was essentially an afterthought. Different generations have different relationships with food and cooking. Recent studies show that baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have time to cook and most do. Millennials (born between 1977…

From farm to fork, brought to you by artificial intelligence

With AI, yields can be improved and grocers can understand consumers – and predict their behaviour – better than consumers know themselves

From farm to fork, brought to you by artificial intelligenceMany Canadian consumers have noticed that lettuce and celery prices have skyrocketed recently. Such fluctuations happen all the time. But artificial intelligence is about to change that. AI has us on the cusp of a revolution in how we make decisions and how we manage virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The agrifood sector is not immune. Cognitive…

Growing pains for the agri-food sector

The federal budget injects some new life into Canada's agricultural industries, but not enough funding and not nearly enough clarity of vision

Growing pains for the agri-food sectorCanada’s agri-food sector has underachieved for too long. The new federal budget gives the sector the opportunity to re-imagine its potential. Finally, Ottawa wants to make the agri-food sector a place to invest and foster innovation. The Liberal government aims to increase Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025 (from $56…

Are we witnessing the slow death of cooking?

Recent surveys suggest the average adult spends more time watching cooking shows than actually cooking

Are we witnessing the slow death of cooking?Canadians are cooking less and eating faster – and our obesity rates are at worrying levels. An increasing number of consumers are taking ownership of food systems, but taking control of our food systems can't be fully achieved unless some cooking is involved. Humans are the only species on Earth that cooks. But are we witnessing…

Costco finds a willing and growing market in Canada

Same-store Canadian sales are up 8 per cent – higher than in any other country in which Costco operates. And the future looks even brighter

Costco finds a willing and growing market in CanadaUnless you’re there on a Saturday, constantly trying to avoid collisions with oversized shopping carts, you probably like Costco, even though it will cost you more to shop there as of June. The basic membership fee is going up by $5 to $60, while premium folks will have to pay $120, up from $110. Paying to spend is…

Rotten apples: food fraud is everyone’s problem

Technology will ultimately take the guesswork out of shopping at the grocery story and making menu choices, but for now, be vigilant

Rotten apples: food fraud is everyone’s problemFood fraud isn't new – it's persisted for more than 2,000 years, despite mankind's best efforts. Perhaps technology can put an end to it. The first reported food fraud cases go back to the Roman Empire, when suspicions around adulterated wines and oils were prevalent. Food fraud can take many forms, such as adulteration – substituting…

Trump expected to serve up higher food prices

From higher commodity prices to lower business taxes to changes in available labour, Trump's policies could dramatically alter agriculture

Trump expected to serve up higher food pricesDonald Trump has been a topic of conversation at dinner tables for some time. Now, the American president-elect is poised to push up the cost of the food on those same tables. Policy proposals on immigration, trade and security dominated the U.S. presidential campaign. Not much was said about agriculture or food policies. But a…