The new era in food sales, from drones to virtual restaurants

Grocers understand that e-commerce only makes sense if consumers get convenience. That means delivery

The new era in food sales, from drones to virtual restaurantsGrocers can no longer afford to wait for money to show up at their stores. They need to go after it. Grocery e-commerce was barely a thought five years ago – retailers didn’t want to cannibalize sales and decrease foot traffic. The primary idea has always been to have more people in grocery stores, not…

Kindersley Mall celebrates start of new era

The mall has been busy since the new Buy-Low Foods opened earlier in the week, but the addition of Peavey Mart was also a big deal

Kindersley Mall celebrates start of new eraKenneth Brown of The Clarion Changes are ongoing at the Kindersley Mall since coming under new ownership in 2017, and a special reopening celebration was held at the mall last week. The mall’s reopening event was held on Dec. 6 and several people were on hand for the celebration. The mall has been a busy…

Loblaws wants to reap the online benefits of customer loyalty

The leading food retailer in Canada wants to become a true online contender to counter the Amazon effect

Loblaws wants to reap the online benefits of customer loyaltyLoblaws’ latest e-commerce move is significant. Canada’s largest food retailer has launched a subscription program for its PC Optimum members – more than 16 million people. For $99 a year, members of the newly-created PC Insiders program can get perks such as extra points for certain products purchased online, along with free delivery. This is…

Getting your veggie fix, from home and abroad

With El Nino on the way, vegetable prices will likely rise next year. But you can always opt for local produce – for a little extra cost

Getting your veggie fix, from home and abroadThe Food Price Report 2019 suggests that vegetable prices will go up by as much as six per cent next year. That’s significant because, unlike meat or fish, fewer alternatives exist when it comes to replacing vegetables. According to the report, recently released by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, El Nino will be…

Self-checkouts at the grocery store are still a pain

But grocers are compelled to keep introducing technological solutions to improve the shopping experience

Self-checkouts at the grocery store are still a painGrocers have always had a love-hate relationship with technology, which may explain why most of our self-checkout experiences are poor. But change is on the way. Some Canadians detest going to the grocery store. It’s repetitive, tiring and can be quite unpleasant, especially when the store is busy. Picking up groceries and lugging them home…

Front-and-centre nutrition alert labels on the way

Health Canada's food labelling proposals should help Canadians deal with an epidemic of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases

Front-and-centre nutrition alert labels on the waySupermarkets are crowded with around 40,000 products, yet most shoppers spend fewer than 10 seconds selecting an item. That’s certainly not enough time to review current Canadian nutrition labels, which are on the back or side of packages and contain detailed information that’s often too complex for many consumers to understand. But nutrition labeling is…

Farmers pay a high price for the convenience of consumers

The further food moves from the farm, the more the profit is diluted. Unless farmers can sell directly to consumers, they'll fall back

Farmers pay a high price for the convenience of consumersCanadians are spending more on food prepared and often consumed outside the home, but our pursuit of convenience may be costing farmers. According to some surveys, about 35 per cent of the average Canadian’s food budget is spent on food prepared outside the home. This is nowhere near what Americans spend on out-of-household food, which…

New grocery store plans to open this year

Buy Low Foods expects to open, if all goes well, before the end of the year

New grocery store plans to open this yearClarion Staff People in Kindersley and area are going to have another grocery option before the end of 2018. Buy-Low Foods is preparing its new space in the Kindersley Mall. Buy-Low Foods will become one of the mall’s anchor stores and it is taking over the space most recently occupied by another grocer. Peavey Mart…

Grocers finally join the blockchain party and consumers should rejoice

The idea is to better manage food recalls, farm to fork and back, and to tackle the intricate issue of food fraud

Grocers finally join the blockchain party and consumers should rejoiceWalmart, the largest retailer in the world, recently notified its leafy green suppliers that they will need to use blockchain by the end of next year. Walmart is banking on its relationship with IBM to put pressure on the entire sector to comply with what consumers want from the food industry: more transparency. But others…

Meal kits set the table for a new food retailing boom

Instead of takeout, consumers can choose a meal kit that allows them to whip up an appealing dish in minutes

Meal kits set the table for a new food retailing boomMeal kits are sweeping across North America. It’s the perfect trend for consumers who want to be empowered by cooking but still need convenience. For example, Walmart has just partnered with Gobble to deliver meal kits. In the battle over the future of food consumption in the U.S., Walmart wants a fighting chance against the industry’s…

Online grocery stampede changing the food retail landscape

The Amazon-Whole Foods buyout shocked the grocery world and is now leading to death by a thousand cuts for the food industry

Online grocery stampede changing the food retail landscapeOne after the other, grocers are going online. All of them, at some point over the last 12 months, have announced some sort of commitment to an e-commerce strategy. Costco launched its home delivery pilot in Ontario, while Maxi, Loblaws’ discount stores in Quebec, jumped on the virtual bandwagon with their Click and Collect program.…

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…

The plastic bag pollution paradox

At least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are floating in our oceans but we struggle to find packaging alternatives

The plastic bag pollution paradoxBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Tony Walker Dalhousie University An increasing number of people are voicing concerns about our use of plastics day-to-day. Single-use plastics of any kind – such as grocery bags, cutlery, straws, polystyrene and coffee cups – are significant yet preventable sources of land and marine pollution. In…

Minimum wage hikes serving up uncertainty in food industry

A 32 per cent increase in the minimum wage in 12 months is simply irresponsible

Minimum wage hikes serving up uncertainty in food industryThis is turning into a very challenging year for the Canadian food industry. Recent Statistics Canada numbers indicate that grocers are in trouble. Food inflation is above two per cent for the first time since April 2016. This is typically good news for grocers, increasing their margins. But given major headwinds affecting the industry, grocers…