Latest articles


We haven’t seen anything like this in a generation

The rise of the ‘grocerant’ appears poised to revolutionize both grocery chains and the restaurant business

Food trends are difficult to follow these days. As with hip sectors such as the high-tech industry, the food industry is coming up with its own peculiar lingo when describing market shifts. One of the latest examples is ‘grocerant,’ a word combining ‘grocer’ and ‘restaurant.’ The term has been around for a few years, but it […] Read more


Preparing the bill at a restaurant to be taken to a table

The pursuit of convenience

Food costs are falling but many Canadians are paying as much or more than ever

Food inflation continues to be an illusion in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, food prices have dropped once again over the last month, by almost one per cent. Food prices are below the general inflation rate, just as they have been for most of the year to date. The food distribution landscape is much more […] Read more



NAFTA’s potential end is Canada’s greatly needed wake-up call

Now more than ever the nation must expand its portfolio of allies and partners and take a strategic approach to trade


Despite Canada’s optimism, NAFTA talks seem to be heading nowhere. Wanting to push back on Mexico’s influence over the American economy, Washington now is indicating that the bilateral option with Canada is more appealing. In Trump’s playbook, multilateral deals are highly complex and can only benefit smaller markets to a greater degree. Bilateral deals are […] Read more


Comment: Death, taxes, and food

Getting taxation right for the agriculture and food sectors will require something other than one-size-fits-all thinking

Up until recently there were two things certain in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third one: Botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communication disaster. Various claims made about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for small corporations […] Read more



Close up of a pile of marijuana bud

Weeding out what is missing

Ontario’s approach to marijuana distribution is full of unknowns and ambiguity

Ontario has become the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. Around 150 stores across the province will open and will be operated by a division of the province’s liquor board, the LCBO. Marijuana won’t be sold alongside wine or liquor, but in separate, independent stores, as was […] Read more


Are days numbered for supply management?

If they are it will be because of NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump

Canada’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 […] Read more



Amazon set to take 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 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 […] Read more


Serving up an unpalatable minimum wage

The effects of artificial intelligence and the rise of the digital world will force us to rethink 
how we produce, process and distribute food

Governments jumping on the $15-an-hour bandwagon are missing an opportunity to look at how the next technological revolution will affect our food systems. And that’s a shame. The minimum wage is rising in many parts of the country. Recently, Ontario announced it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, to match Alberta. In […] Read more



Woman in supermarket shopping groceries

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

Skippy 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 […] Read more


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

Many 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 agri-food sector […] Read more