CIFST NewsBrief
Nov. 5, 2013

Competition Bureau approves Sobeys' Safeway purchase
Daily Business Buzz
The federal Competition Bureau has approved the $5.8 billion purchase of grocer Safeway Canada by Sobeys, but only on condition that the Nova Scotia-based supermarket operator put 23 stores in Western Canada up for sale. Sobeys purchased 213 stores under the initial agreement, which included 199 in-store pharmacies and 62 gas stations on the Safeway properties. The retailer will still come away with a gain of 190 locations overall from the Safeway acquisition.More

McDonald's ends 40-year relationship with Heinz
Financial Post
The world's biggest fast-food chain is seeking new ketchup for its famous French fries. McDonald's recently said it plans to end its 40-year relationship with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz, since that company is now led by Bernardo Hees, the former chief executive of hamburger rival Burger King Worldwide. "As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement.More

British Columbia mulls allowing alcohol sales in grocery stores
CTV News
You may soon be able to pick up a six-pack of your favourite beer along with your weekly groceries in B.C. The provincial government is reviewing the feasibility of selling alcohol in grocery stores after receiving overwhelming support for the idea on a blog encouraging public consultation on how to overhaul B.C.'s liquor policies. Parliamentary Secretary John Yap said 80 per cent of respondents on his liquor review blog supported the idea.More

What's wrong with ignoring best-before dates?
Calgary Herald
It's not always easy to precisely date the items hiding at the back of a fridge. But the Mason jar of peach jam tucked into the far corner of mine was, at the very least, nine years old. I know because it was left behind by my friend Lila, the previous tenant, when she vacated the apartment in the fall of 2004. "I won't throw this out because it's very nice," she said, all those years ago. "Try it." On the question of food safety, I trust my own instincts. And a new Harvard study backs up my strategy.More

Study: Protein source crucial to quality of gluten-free baked goods
Bakery and Snacks
The proteins in a formulation can drastically impact the quality and texture of gluten-free baked goods and therefore must be selected wisely, suggest researchers. Published in the Journal of Food Hydrocolloids, the study looked at the impact both animal and vegetable-sourced proteins had on the rheology (the texture and flow of the batter or dough) and quality of rice-based gluten-free muffins.More

Would you buy groceries on Amazon?
Bloomberg
Big-box retailers got big by putting huge stores on cheap land, offering customers one-stop shopping for an entire category. Amazon got bigger by offering its customers one-stop shopping for almost everything, from even huger warehouses on cheap land in the middle of nowhere. Previously, only a small number of catalog sellers and home shopping networks such as QVC could match that kind of scale. More

Which yogurt attracts the 'manfluencers' pushing grocery carts?
Living Green Magazine
It remains a mystery who, if anyone, identifies with the ups and downs of Jamie Lee Curtis' digestion — but it's probably not young men. Curtis' endorsement of Dannon's Activia yogurt is by no means the only female-geared marketing tactic to beset the dairy aisle. But with more "manfluencers" — or, men "responsible for at least half of the grocery shopping and meal preparation for their households" — taking the reins of the grocery cart, the gender identity of food products is undergoing a major shift.More

Experts: Sale of 5 grocery stores could hurt Winnipeggers
CBC News
Five Winnipeg grocery stores will soon be up for sale, thanks to a Competition Bureau ruling that ordered Sobeys to sell the spots before it takes over Safeway. Sobeys has been ordered to sell 23 stores across Canada, including five in Winnipeg, before it purchases Safeway Canada for $5.8 billion. The bureau said the sales are necessary to keep the grocery market competitive.More

The power of branding: How Tim Hortons edges out Starbucks
Motley Fool Canada
No matter what the talking heads or marketing machines that drive the world's largest mutual fund companies might have you believe, finding great companies is not just about crunching numbers. To be completely honest, anyone that studied math beyond Grade Four can perform the required number-crunching that goes into a typical company's financial analysis. The real magic is in making sense of those crunched numbers. And to do this well, you must go beyond the numbers.More

Are celebrity wines any good?
Yahoo!
An ambitious woman once said that you're not really anybody in America unless you're on TV. She was an idiot. In America, you're not really anybody unless you're on TV and you make your own wine. Really. Remain thirsty for knowledge no more; Yahoo's top entertainment and lifestyle editors recently conducted their own tasting panel.More

Independents warn: Grocery mergers will hurt us
Toronto Star
Canada's Competition Commissioner got an earful recently in a meeting with independent grocers, who fear for their survival under a pending mega-merger of giants Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart. Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers president Tom Barlow said he told John Pecman that smaller food retailers could go out of business under the plan, which will give big grocers 90 per cent control of the industry compared to the current 80 per cent.More

A generation shaping the Canadian market
Canadian Grocer
I think the phrase "Millennials are different than any generation before them," is quite an understatement. They are breaking all the rules and carving a path for themselves, but on a path that was cleared by their boomer parents. I can say quite confidently that this generation is more concerned about the future than any generation, at their age, before them. This concern should be duly noted because it is affecting many aspects of millennials as consumers.More

A taste of home: Opportunities on Canadian dessert menus
Technomic
Montana's Cookhouse says guests can go to their "happy place" when they order the chain's Shake 'N Share Mini Donuts. And Mrs. Fields' Nibbler mini cookies, available individually, the half-dozen and the dozen, are touted as "perfect for the kids, or the kid in you!" Canadian restaurant operators are keen on selling nostalgia in their desserts, and with good reason: More than one-third of Canadian consumers say they tend to enjoy many of the same desserts they ate as a child.More

Burger King sees promise in lower-calorie fries but warns it's still early
The Globe and Mail
Burger King says it's attracting more customers with its new lower-calorie fries but is being careful not to call them a home run yet. The Miami-based company said recently that it saw sales trends in North America turn positive after last month's launch of "Satisfries," which have 20 per cent fewer calories than its regular fries because of a batter that absorbs less oil.More

Food prices skyrocket in Manitoba
CBC News
It's getting more expensive to eat healthy in Manitoba. New figures from Statistics Canada show in Manitoba fresh vegetables cost 23.5 per cent more this September, compared to last September. Distributors blame a cold snap in California, a stunted Manitoba growing season, and recent provincial tax increases.More

McDonald's ends 40-year relationship with Heinz
Financial Post
The world's biggest fast-food chain is seeking new ketchup for its famous French fries. McDonald's recently said it plans to end its 40-year relationship with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz, since that company is now led by Bernardo Hees, the former chief executive of hamburger rival Burger King Worldwide. "As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement.More

'Sugar salmon' expected to be first ever GM food approved for sale
Canada.com
A new "super salmon" is expected to be approved for sale in the US within the next few weeks, reigniting a heated debate over genetically-modified food. The salmon would be the first GM animal ever approved for human consumption, and has been under development in Massachusetts for 18 years. More

Unilever launches sustainability mark on Knorr products
Food Navigator
Unilever is introducing a sustainability badge across all qualifying Knorr products as the brand celebrates its 175th anniversary. The company confirmed it would display the Knorr Sustainability Partnership Logo on packs of products containing ingredients that were 100 per cent sustainably sourced. Unilever committed to source 100 per cent of agricultural ingredients sustainably for all Knorr products by 2020. More

How colour, texture and environment influence taste perception
Food Navigator
The way we taste foods is actually far more complex than their flavour alone. Neuroscientist professor Charles Spence discusses how the shape, smell and colour of a food, its packaging, and even the setting in which it is eaten, affect the way it tastes. According to his research, rounder shapes tend to taste sweeter while angular shapes tend to taste bitter. His studies also suggest crockery and cutlery can influence taste perception.More