Five ways COVID-19 will change the food business

New eating and shopping habits likely here to stay as pandemic measures ease, U of A food economist predicts

Five ways COVID-19 will change the food businessEating at home more and sticking with online delivery or takeout are habits likely to persist even as pandemic measures ease, according to one expert. “The ‘new normal’ is unlikely to be the same for retail and food service as life was in January of 2020,” when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in…

Online grocery retailing ramped up by Sobeys

Voilà delivery vans will offer one-hour grocery delivery in the Toronto area, with Montreal service next

Online grocery retailing ramped up by SobeysVoilà is the new benchmark in online food retailing in Canada, at least for now. More than 100 Voilà delivery vans will roam the streets of the Greater Toronto Area to deliver food to customers who have opted to buy their groceries online from Sobeys. At the centre of the fleet is a state-of-the-art distribution…

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 cons

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 consWhen costs rise, most food companies adjust. Safe, fair and sustainable business practices are always a priority in this sector – almost. Several food science experts believe an increase in food fraud is inevitable due to COVID-19. The Food Authenticity Network advisory board, which includes more than 1,500 food science experts from around the world,…

Let’s be realistic about physical distancing in schools

It’s absurd to think that physical distancing in schools will look like it does in grocery stores

Let’s be realistic about physical distancing in schoolsThese days, grocery shopping looks a little different than usual. People wait patiently outside the store in long, spaced out, lineups. Direction arrows show customers where to move next. Customers stand at least six feet apart in the checkout lines. Cashiers carefully disinfect their terminals before the next customer arrives. These measures are designed to…

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff

The economics of pay increases in the retail sector are always weak, especially in food retailing, which has low margins

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff‘Hero pay’ is quietly fading away in grocery stores and food distribution centres. That’s quite the reversal from 10 weeks ago. The American-based Kroger supermarket chain, among others, even asked employees to return the extra money they received. It has since backed off. It appears higher salaries in grocery stores were short-lived. It’s not overly…

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisis

COVID-19 has meant some shortages at grocery stores. But overall, the supply chains developed over decades fill our needs

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisisEven as COVID-19 has put much of the economy into shutdown and caused a run at grocery stores on some staples, most of us remain generally well-supplied with food. That’s something to be thankful for. It’s one of the significant wonders of the modern economic system that most people, very few of whom are directly…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocers

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocersRestaurants are hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many won’t recover and some are already closed for good. And grocers, despite the influx of millions of new dollars, are managing unprecedented pressure points. Grocers are in a high-volume, low-margin business. The $80 billion shifting over from the decimated food service industry may have been a…

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteers

While artificially inflated retail food prices are possible in Canada at any time, it’s highly unusual – even now

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteersEven if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in…
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