Buy Canadian economics carry a steep cost

While Canadians may embrace buying Canadian food products in retaliation for the trade dispute with the U.S., it won't come cheap

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep costCanadians are encouraging one another to go “Trump-free” – that is, to shop for groceries without buying a single American product. Even restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon by serving “Trump-free” dishes. These are interesting reactions in the face of Washington’s somewhat contradictory foreign trade policies. In a nutshell, here’s what happened following the G7…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?

Grocers need to find a way to make inflation work for them and that means competing in the online market

The economy is doing well, so why can’t Canadian grocers hike prices?Retail food prices aren’t moving much. They’re barely higher than last year, up a modest 0.5 per cent. And according to Statistics Canada, prices dropped by 0.7 per cent over the winter months. U.S. grocers are dealing with the same issue. Since Canada's economy has some momentum, you would expect food retail prices to inch…

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – sense

A Supreme Court ruling that there’s no ‘constitutional guarantee of free trade’ will stifle both competition and lower prices for consumers

Comeau ruling defies economic – and common – senseThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that provinces have the right to erect interprovincial tariff barriers. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers and the health of the national economy. It is, however, a relief for provinces that for years have allowed fiscal priorities to supersede consumer choice and common economic sense. In 2012, Gerard…

Price fixing scandal breaking bad for grocers

The growing bakery goods price fixing investigation puts the onus on manufacturers and retailers to reach out to consumers in meaningful ways

Price fixing scandal breaking bad for grocersCanada’s Competition Bureau is alleging that almost every major food player was in on the bread cartel. This is extraordinarily disturbing and Canadians have every right to wonder if other grocery staples are affected by this type of collusion. The bread-price-fixing scheme, which allegedly lasted for 14 years, included major wholesalers such as Canada Bread…

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers

As shocking as it was, most of us will eventually forget Loblaw‘s admission of price-fixing. Let’s hope the industry doesn’t

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumersMost Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught up in a price-fixing scheme with bread-maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies Ltd. fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions…

Give us our daily bread: why a food cartel probe is necessary

The Competition Bureau’s investigation into bread pricing is likely intended to tell Canadian grocers to stop squeezing food processors

Give us our daily bread: why a food cartel probe is necessaryIs a bread cartel alive and well in Canada? The Competition Bureau is investigating major grocery chains in search of evidence of retail bread price fixing. Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Walmart and other companies have acknowledged the probe. Why is bread is being targeted by the bureau? Demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that grocers are colluding…

Food industry struggles to serve up convenience

Here's why consumers are spending more on food, even though food prices may be decreasing

Food industry struggles to serve up convenienceFood inflation at the grocery store continues to be an illusion in Canada, but Canadians are paying more for food. That's because restaurant prices are going up – way up, as is traffic at restaurants. According to Statistics Canada, food prices have dropped once again over the last month, by almost one per cent. Retail…

Amazon brings democratic simplicity to the food industry

The online giant is essentially about merchandizing convenience for all. Organic foods and meal kits are its latest targets

Amazon brings democratic simplicity to the food industryAmazon isn’t wasting time wading in to the food industry – and speed of execution and ease of delivery are at the heart of its business model. As soon as United States regulators approved its acquisition of Whole Foods last week, Amazon announced it would aggressively reduce the price of several organic staples in all 431 Whole Foods…

Days of supply management may finally be coming to an end

And if they are, Canadian consumers with have NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump to thank for the decrease in the price of dairy products

Days of supply management may finally be coming to an endCanada's supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily-criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry industries was…