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Alberta's ag minister: Cross-border labelling beef hurting both sides
Edmonton Journal
A decade after bovine spongiform encephalopathy slammed borders shut on Canadian beef, the country’s livestock industry faces new and lingering international battles. U.S. rules force mandatory country of origin labelling of Canadian agricultural products including beef and pork and bring with them increased tracking and processing costs. The program was adopted in 2008 after American farm and consumer groups argued shoppers have a right to know where their food comes from.
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Scrutiny urged over supermarket mega-mergers
Global News
A pair of mega-mergers between the country's biggest grocery store operators and pharmacy this past summer is raising concern among consumer advocacy groups and academics over the potential for the blockbuster deals to result in higher prices at the checkout. The Consumers Association of Canada and others are calling for federal regulators to request sales and pricing data from Loblaw, Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada Safeway and Sobeys to determine if the proposed mergers will harm consumers.
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Ethnic and gluten-free foods continue to dominate at the grocery store
Times Colonist
Gluten-free foods and ethnic offerings are expected to continue their march onto store shelves as grocers also look to sustainability and ponder how to deal with online ordering. Ethnic products have been top of mind for retailers for several years. In the past, "if you wanted to get those products you had to go to a traditional ethnic grocer and now it's switched where you've now got the large players putting it in and making it permanent sections," said Tom Barlow, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.
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Labour costs in spotlight as Canadian grocery wars shift to front lines
The Globe and Mail
An increasingly competitive market and a wave of consolidation are forcing major grocers to look for more ways to cut costs, moves that are causing tension with employees who are feeling the squeeze. In the latest flare-up, unionized workers at Loblaw have set a strike deadline in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They are locked in a fight over the company's bid to add more part-time employees and reduce wages by as much as 40 per cent, according to the union.
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Subsidies suggested for potential Winnipeg grocery store investors
Winnipeg Free Press
A report on the feasibility of a downtown Winnipeg grocery store concludes subsidies may be necessary to lure a potential operator. The report, written by former councillor and downtown grocery store operator Peter Kaufmann, states that the downtown area could support another 10,000-square-foot, full-service grocery store. However, Kaufmann states that because of the reluctance of banks to finance such a venture and that it would likely take several years to break even, city hall could consider creating subsidies to encourage an investor to open a grocery store operation.
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Chia is making a comeback — To your toaster
Toronto Star
When it comes to baked goods, chia is the new black. The seed popularized in the 1970s through the goofy Chia Pet craze is sprouting up in bread, bagels and buns the way the once lowly flax seed did several years back. Chia is the common name for the salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family that is native to Mexico and Guatemala. But the seeds can be grown anywhere — hence the ubiquitous Chia Pet.
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Bucking the male shopper stereotype
Progressive Grocer
Despite the stereotype to the contrary, not only do men shop, but they take pride in being smart shoppers, according to New York-based WSL Strategic Retail. An unprecedented 63 per cent of men say they actively look for sales in-store and 53 per cent admit to regularly using coupons, a finding revealed in WSL's How America Shops Men & Shopping report, which also identifies millennial men as the most tech-savvy shoppers.
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Square melons? Japan's luxury fruit masters grow money on trees
CTV News
With melons that sell for the price of a new car and grapes that go for more than $100 a pop, Japan is a country where perfectly-formed fruit can fetch a fortune. An industry of fruit boutiques has defied Japan's sluggish economy to consistently offer luscious and lavishly tended produce for hefty prices — and it is always in demand. In July, a single bunch of "Ruby Roman" grapes reportedly sold for 400,000 yen ($4,000), making the plump, crimson berries worth a staggering 11,000 yen each.
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Convenience stores want your fast-food dollars
Business Week
An English-muffin breakfast sandwich from 7-Eleven might not have the scrumptious, familiar ring of the Egg McMuffin, but it does the trick as a McDonald's substitute. For fast-food restaurants, convenience stores are increasingly part of the competition vying for value-oriented customers, with food that's awfully similar. Three key factors are shaping the battle between fast-food eateries and convenience stores, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Industries.
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Nestlé plans to sell underperforming brands
Food Navigator
Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke said in an investor meeting recently that the company intended to divest some of its brands and shake up its portfolio. Without naming any specific brands, Bulcke said the company had drafted lists for possible divestment as well as for those that needed fixing, which had been "sailing under the radar screen for too long without being part of the party."
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Shape, size of wine glass may skew how much you pour
Web MD
You may be serving wine with a heavier hand than you believe: The size, shape and location of a wine glass can affect how much you pour into the glass, according to a new study. Most people think of a glass as just one serving, but it could be closer to two or three, which means that it can be easy to consume more than you think, the researchers at Iowa State and Cornell universities noted. The study was published online recently in the journal Substance Use and Misuse.
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Want fruit with your burger? McDonald's expands anti-obesity push
Business News Network
Hold the fries, pass the salad. McDonald's recently said it would offer healthy options as part of its popular value meals, letting customers choose a side salad, fruit or vegetables instead of french fries. The announcement by the world's largest fast-food chain comes as more companies respond to government and consumer pressure to address the global obesity epidemic. McDonald's, which often bears the brunt of criticism over the restaurant industry's penchant for tempting diners with indulgent and often high-calorie food, said it would offer the option in all of its 20 major global markets by 2020.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Ex-Trader Joe's exec to open expired food store (Yahoo!)
The facts behind low calorie sweetener consumption (Food Navigator)
Invitation to participate in the CFIA's Integrated Food Labelling / Regulatory Modernization Face-to-Face Session (CFIA)
Study: Diet heavy in fruits, vegetables protects mental health, while fast food may invite depression (National Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


A&W: Hormones, steroids, preservatives gone from our beef
Huffington Post Canada
Canada's second-largest burger chain says its beef is now free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. A&W announced recently it is "proud to be the first national burger restaurant to serve this better beef," in a move likely to be applauded by advocates of healthier eating. "It was a real challenge to make this happen," A&W's chief marketing officer, Susan Senecal said.
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Driving dessert sales at fast-casual restaurants
Technomic
They're matches made in food-nostalgia heaven: a sandwich and a cookie; a burger and a shake. And for fast-casual restaurants, sweet treats such as cookies and milkshakes offer not-insignificant potential to raise check averages. Consumers' appetite for dessert is on the rise: 40 per cent of consumers polled for Technomic's newly released 2013 Dessert Consumer Trend Report said they eat dessert after a meal at least twice a week, up from 36 per cent who said the same in 2010. Moreover, they indicated that more than half of their foodservice dessert occasions are impulse purchases.
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Popcorn lung: Diacetyl butter flavour alternatives may also carry risks
Food Navigator
Butter flavour alternatives touted as replacements for the potentially harmful popcorn butter flavour diacetyl may be just as unsafe, warn researchers. The new study suggests that alternative butter flavourings that have been touted as possible replacements for the potentially harmful compound diacetyl have similar sensitization responses and may not be safe to use as alternatives.
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TRENDING ARTICLE
FEATURED ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Blueberries and red grapes may boost immunity
Canoe.ca
A study announced recently has found that chemicals in red grapes and blueberries may boost your body's immune system. Researchers from Oregon State University looked at the impact of 446 different chemicals on the human immune system. Findings published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research showed that two compounds, resveratrol found in red grapes and pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the body's ability to fend off illness.

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Alberta's ag minister: Cross-border labelling beef hurting both sides
Edmonton Journal
A decade after bovine spongiform encephalopathy slammed borders shut on Canadian beef, the country's livestock industry faces new and lingering international battles. U.S. rules force mandatory country of origin labelling of Canadian agricultural products including beef and pork and bring with them increased tracking and processing costs. The program was adopted in 2008 after American farm and consumer groups argued shoppers have a right to know where their food comes from.

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McGill students awarded $1 million Hult Prize for plan to transform insects into food
National Post
A team of McGill MBA students pitching a plan to transform insects into a viable food source has won a prestigious prize that came with $1 million to help their project along. The students — Mohammed Ashour, Gabriel Mott, Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein and Zev Thompson — were announced as winners of the Hult Prize competition in New York City. The prize, presented by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, is awarded as support for business plans designed to do social good.

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Study: Chocolate shape affects flavour perception
Confectionery News
The shape of chocolate can affect flavour and texture perception, according to a study published in the journal LWT — Food Science and Technology. The study, carried out by researchers at the Nestlé Research Centre, backs the opinion of many consumers on internet forums who complained en masses about a change in the taste of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate when the company changed its shape last year, but not its recipe.
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A roof, some greenhouses, and a new way to supply supermarkets?
Canadian Grocer
Late in 2011, David Wilson, the produce manager for B.C.'s Choices Markets, found himself with a predicament to which most grocers can easily relate: How to get more local fruit and vegetables into Choices' seven stores, most of which are deep inside Vancouver neighbourhoods. Help came in the form of a phone call from a new grower with an appropriate name: Local Garden. "They approached us right as they were planting their first crop," recalls Wilson.
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Heineken hints at 'revolutionary' high-end home beer appliance
Beverage Daily
Heineken could be set to launch a high-end machine that serves beer after collaborating with industrial designer Marc Newson and finding consumers desire an 'upscale' at-home drinking experience. Citing months of preparation, Heineken says it plans to introduce the new global concept this month in Paris and Milian, and it promises it will "revolutionize the at-home beer experience." Francois-Xavier Mahot, senior director of global innovation at Heineken adds, "the success of products such as coffee machines shows the importance of developing an iconic high-end home appliance."
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