Canadians getting desperate about higher food prices

Almost 24 per cent now cutting back on food purchases, almost 70 per cent of whom are women

Canadians getting desperate about higher food pricesWhile inflation is showing signs of dissipating, food inflation appears to be on a totally different path. Food inflation has outpaced our general inflation rate for over 12 months now. Statistics Canada just announced that the food inflation rate for retail was 10.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent in food service. Canada ranks third…

The bleeding continues for restaurants

Many won’t survive

The bleeding continues for restaurantsAfter a slew of confinements and closures, restaurants are still not out of the woods. Far from it. Over the past year in Canada, restaurant closures outpaced openings by a whopping 43 per cent. The industry is still shrinking. Inflation-adjusted food service sales will be around 11 per cent below 2019 levels by the time…

Proteins politicized in the fight to “save the planet”

There is no place for the state in the kitchens of the nation

Proteins politicized in the fight to “save the planet”During the current campaign in Quebec, one political party recently proposed a protein shift in the public cafeterias and institutions by offering a menu made up of 50 per cent plant-based protein meals. In the same vein, the party also suggested that 70 per cent of food products served in public institutions be local. Local…

Are Canadians drinking too much alcohol?

A new report recommends a person only drink an average of zero to two alcoholic drinks per week

Are Canadians drinking too much alcohol?Looks like Canadians are drinking way too much alcohol. According to a recent report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) which includes the assessment of over 5,000 different past studies on alcohol consumption from around the world, our country’s alcohol drinking guidelines need to be significantly reduced. The report recommends a…

Canadian brewers having a hard time staying afloat

And thanks to the federal government beer could get even more expensive in 2023

Canadian brewers having a hard time staying afloatWith recent reports that people are out enjoying the weather, we could assume that everything is back to normal after the pandemic. But that’s not entirely true, especially for the beer industry. Total beer sales have dropped 7.3 per cent from last year, according to Beer Canada. Total beer sales are up in Newfoundland and…

Food inflation eases but some prices keep surging

Some trouble spots include dairy and bakery goods

Food inflation eases but some prices keep surgingStatistics Canada is reminding Canadians every month this year how painful their trips to the grocery store are. The retail inflation rate is at an astonishing 9.9 per cent, its highest point since 1981. And food inflation has exceeded the general rate since last December, which is why food prices are on everyone’s mind. Allegations…

Our agri-food world is about to get a whole lot smaller

Exporting actual food products may no longer be the best option moving forward

Our agri-food world is about to get a whole lot smallerIt’s tomato season, and Canadians love their tomatoes. It is by far the most popular vegetable at the grocery store. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the average Canadian consumes at least six to seven kilos of tomatoes per year. More than 12 kilos per capita of fresh and processed tomatoes are made available to…

What’s really behind higher milk prices

The Canadian Dairy Commission is morally and ethically compromised. It needs to distance itself from the dairy sector immediately

What’s really behind higher milk pricesEvery year, the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), a branch of the federal government, hires external consultants to assess the cost of producing milk on the farm. The CDC has never released any data about costing and has recommended farm milk price increases most years, eventually impacting retail prices and Canadian families. Since February, dairy product…

Farming is losing to misguided urban politics

Interest groups are weaponizing science to support a narrative that fits their biased view of what farmers should and shouldn’t do

Farming is losing to misguided urban politicsMost Canadians have never been on a farm, let alone lived on one, which makes more than 98 per cent of our population agriculturally illiterate. For many Canadians, crop production is an unknown concept. Because of this, it’s relatively easy to use fear to influence public opinion on any food-related issue involving agriculture. Activists know…

A looming chickpea shortage is on the way

Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses for consumers who don’t necessarily opt for animal proteins

A looming chickpea shortage is on the waySince the start of the pandemic, we have heard about shortages countless times. Most sections of the grocery store have been hit by tightening supplies for one reason or another. But the latest headlines we are seeing are about chickpeas. Many analysts are expecting chickpea inventories to drop significantly in months to come. For westerners,…

Light at the end of the food inflation tunnel?

Food inflation in Canada may have already peaked

Light at the end of the food inflation tunnel?Once again, the numbers coming out of Statistics Canada were discouraging. The food inflation rate in the country was 8.8 per cent in June, which is still higher than the general inflation rate. Everyone is affected by higher food prices. Americans learned last week that food inflation at the grocery store was 12.4 per cent,…

Has ‘greedflation’ driven up Canadian food prices?

Evidence of ‘greedflation’ is weak at best

Has ‘greedflation’ driven up Canadian food prices?By Sylvain Charlebois and Samantha Taylor Accusations of gouging in the food industry have reached an all-time high. According to a recent survey, 68 per cent of Canadians believe food corporations are taking advantage of the inflationary cycle to increase prices, and it’s not just in retail. Class-action lawsuits have been launched against the beef…

Extremist views make for bad food policies

Unfortunately, the extremists are taking over

Extremist views make for bad food policiesNot a day goes by without seeing a group, or even a government, changing rules for farmers. In the name of the planet, animal welfare and our health, rules are changing despite our farmers’ knowledge and experience. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and it’s happening around the world. Farmers have long been regarded as the best…

Canadians desperately need help to combat food inflation

Unfortunately, the Trudeau government is the consumer’s worst enemy right now

Canadians desperately need help to combat food inflationIt wasn’t a good week if you’re a consumer on a tight budget – and that means most of us. Consumers are under attack. We’ve just learned that Canada’s food inflation rate was at a record 9.7 per cent in May. Everyone is noticing higher food prices and no section of the grocery store is…

Why Sobeys had to dump Air Miles

The food we buy is always changing, so keeping customers engaged with brands is challenging

Why Sobeys had to dump Air MilesSobeys recently decided to dump Air Miles and start its own loyalty program. Empire Co. Ltd., Sobeys’ parent company, is joining the Bank of Nova Scotia and Cineplex as co-owners of the Scene+ program. This move by Sobeys is no coincidence. As we brace for higher food prices and cope with a post-COVID-19 workforce still…

Health Canada’s new food labelling makes no sense

Saturated fat in beef, and pork: bad. Saturated fat in dairy products: nothing to see here

Health Canada’s new food labelling makes no senseIt looks like we will see different symbols on food packaging soon, telling us whether a food product at the grocery store has too much fat, sugar or sodium. Health Canada is likely going forward with a policy requiring front-of-package nutrition symbols on foods high in saturated fat, sugars and sodium. It will provide clear,…

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisis

Climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all contributing factors

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisisEvents unfolding around the world are creating the perfect playbook for a global food security crisis: climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all factors. Climate has been affecting agriculture for a very long time. And the unpredictable nature of severe weather patterns is making the lives of our farmers more difficult. Growing…

Befriending self-checkouts seems inevitable

Consumers used to love to hate these machines. But things have changed

Befriending self-checkouts seems inevitableSelf-checkouts have long been an unloved tool in the world of retail. In the beginning, nothing worked as it should, especially at the grocery store where an order for 20 items brought a new form of despair. But even if the mere presence of self-checkouts bothered many consumers, Canadians have apparently befriended them in some…

Canada has its own baby formula problem

Its largest baby formula plant ships all its products to China

Canada has its own baby formula problemParents of toddlers are concerned about baby formula shortages due to a combination of factors. A major recall in the United States affecting the top manufacturer of baby formula, coupled with supply chain challenges, has made things difficult for parents. In the U.S., some parents are driving hours just to get the right product for…

Meal kit market in Canada may have peaked

Industry facing headwinds as the economy trends back to normal

Meal kit market in Canada may have peakedMeal kits are to food what IKEA is to furniture: all you need to do is put things together. Meal kits empower consumers to feel like chefs, if only for a while. They have been popular, especially throughout the pandemic. Meal kits provide ideas, ways to manage your meals and some greatly needed inspiration for…

The world is running out of oil – vegetable oil

The entire planet will be impacted, one way or another

The world is running out of oil – vegetable oilIt’s funny how sometimes we take the simple things in life for granted. Cooking oil, or vegetable oil, is certainly one of them. Our appreciation for vegetable oil will likely reach new levels in months to come. Oil prices have increased by 25 per cent in just the last six months. While palm oil went…

The world is on the brink of a food shortage

More than 100 million people will soon experience either famine or hunger

The world is on the brink of a food shortageFood supply chain hangovers due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have resulted in questions about the global nature of our food systems. Some suggest we need to deglobalize and refocus our energy on making most economies around the world food sovereign, including Canada’s. Given what the world is…

Food industry is in the throes of pandemic-induced changes

If you’ve changed your grocery habits since March 2020, you’re not alone

Food industry is in the throes of pandemic-induced changesThe food industry is gathering at trade shows and events for the first time in more than two years. That means they can finally try to figure out what consumers are thinking, believing, hoping and – most importantly – fearing. Trends, flavours and tastes have changed since March 2020. But after more than two years…

Are meals in the metaverse a new frontier for restaurants?

Crossover between the real food world and a virtual metaverse offers companies a new look at markets

Are meals in the metaverse a new frontier for restaurants?Some restaurants are looking for new ways to re-engage with a market heavily affected by a two-year-old COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants have done a lot of juggling over the last two years: redefining menus, thinking of new ways of connecting with customers, pivoting to a positive future. It’s been nothing short of impressive. One approach gaining…

Saving the planet from climate disaster, one bite at a time

UN estimates that half of 2050 emissions related to food could be cut by things like eating less meat

Saving the planet from climate disaster, one bite at a timeThe United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided a roadmap to saving the planet. For global food security, we must become better environmental stewards. To reduce gas emissions, we need to adhere to sustainable agricultural practices if we are to meet our 2030 targets, according to the report. And, yes, changes in…

Is greed driving the beef industry to a legal showdown?

When it comes to price-fixing, the U.S. acts. Canada, not so much

Is greed driving the beef industry to a legal showdown?A Quebec-based group is leading a class-action lawsuit aimed at major federally-licensed beef packers. Cargill, JBS Foods, Tyson Foods and National Beef Packing are all accused of colluding and inflating beef prices since 2015. So if you’re a consumer in Quebec who’s been buying beef since 2015, you can be part of the claim. The…

Putin’s War puts global food security in jeopardy

The pandemic was just a dress rehearsal for what’s about to happen

Putin’s War puts global food security in jeopardyUnited States President Joe Biden was the first G7 leader to admit publicly that many parts of the world will soon experience food shortages and even famine. The world will be short of many commodities. Regions like the Middle East and northeastern Africa already have dangerously low food inventories. The world will soon discover that…

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?

Move raises questions about motive and why the announcement was so quiet

Why is StatsCan deleting its food inflation database?All eyes are on inflation these days, especially at the grocery store. Food is the one thing we need every day and the food choices we make matter a great deal to our budget. To know what's going on with food prices, we turn to Statistics Canada for details. But without fanfare, we just learned…

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing game

Compared to Americans, Canadians have far fewer options to save on groceries

Canada’s food industry needs to up its couponing gameThe food inflation rate in Canada in February was 7.4 per cent, the largest yearly increase since May 2009. With much higher food inflation, consumers are desperate to find new ways to save at the grocery store. In the United States and Canada, consumers are increasingly using food rescuing apps, going for the “enjoy tonight” deals, trading…

Playing Russian roulette with food security

Government shouldn't compensate Canadian companies hurt by sanctions, including agri-food

Playing Russian roulette with food securityWith war comes economic sanctions. Instead of sending troops to fight the old-fashioned way, wars are fought with money, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is no exception. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, the European Union, Turkey and a few more have sanctioned Russia in one way or another. Canada has…
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