Volume 20 – Issue 32
CFEA & Partner News
Welcome New Members
We’d like to welcome the following companies that became a member in September:
We look forward to working with you!
November 28-30, 2023 Fi / Hi Europe, Frankfurt, Germany (one space available – configured as 6, 9 or 12sqm)
January 21-23, 2024 Winter Fancy Food Show, Las Vegas, NV (deadline to register extended to October 6th)
January 28-32, 2024 ISM Show, Cologne, Germany (2 spaces available)
March 18-21, 2024 Alimentaria, Barcelona, Spain (deadline to register extended to October 4th – 2 spaces available)
Other Upcoming Events Launching Soon:
March 11-14, 2024 Trade Mission to ANTAD, Guadalajara, Mexico
May 28-30, 2024 SIAL Show, Shanghai, China
Trade missions to Fi Europe, Alimentaria and Natural Products Expo West will be launched once funding is officially approved.
October 4, 2023 1pm ET Webinar: Navigating Canada’s Economic Realities: Insights for Emerging Leaders, The Peak
October 18, 2023 2pm ET Webinar: Canadian Food Regulations Session, Dell Tech
November 15-17, 2023 Webinar: Canadian Front of Package Nutrition Labelling (NSF)
December 5-7, 2023 Canadian Supplemented Food Regulations (NSF)
February 13, 2024 Future of Food Conference on Canada’s Agriculture Day in Ottawa (FCC)
To view all available postings, please visit the News landing page.
Healthy Planet opens new store in Richmond Hill
Canada, September 22 – Healthy Planet has opened a new location in the Greater Toronto Area. Spanning 8,000 square feet, the new location features a modern layout and a range of products, including fresh organic produce, natural grocery items, dietary supplements, vitamins, sports nutrition, natural beauty products, eco-friendly household products and more. Full story at Canadian Grocer.
Dom’s shopper-centric approach fuels its Chicago growth
USA, September 22 – This coming summer, Dom’s Kitchen & Market will open its third Chicago location where it will continue its focus on a combination of foodservice offerings, prepared foods and groceries and personal connections with shoppers — a leadership style emphasized by co-founder Bob Mariano. Full story at Progressive Grocer.
A monopoly-busting Amazon lawsuit might be Biden’s boldest move yet to tame tech
USA, September 22 – The FTC may issue an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon as early as Sept. 26, according to three people familiar with the matter. It remains unclear what charges the agency could file, but many believe it could challenge the company’s Amazon Prime program and its alleged blocking of lower prices on competing websites. Full story at Politico.
New Seasons Market grows to 20 locations
USA, September 22 – Ethically raised meat, sustainably sourced seafood, produce, artisan cheeses and prepared foods are among the products New Seasons Market will offer at a new 24,000 square-foot location in Vancouver, Wash., that is set to open next month. The new location brings the grocer’s store count to 20, and the company has plans to open additional locations in the Northwest in coming years. Full story at Progressive Grocer.
ALDI to rev up investment in UK
September 25 – ALDI will spend $1.7 billion in the UK over the next two years to expand its network of stores and distribution centers, upgrade technology and give existing stores a makeover. “Profits in grocery are notoriously tight and we’re no exception,” said CEO Giles Hurley. “Our focus is on investing profits in low prices.” Full story at BNN Bloomberg.
USA Today’s readers name best grocery store in America
September 25 – The USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards has named The Fresh Market the Best Grocery Store in America for the third consecutive year. Full story at Progressive Grocer.
CPG leaders met with the federal government to discuss stabilizing grocery prices
Canada, September 26 – The Canadian leaders of seven international manufacturing companies, including Nestle and Kraft Heinz, met with Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne Monday (Sept. 25) to discuss stabilizing grocery prices. Champagne summoned them to answer to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call earlier this month for Canadian grocers to come up with a plan to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving. Learn more at Canadian Grocer.
Target to close 9 stores citing theft that threatens workers, shoppers
USA, September 26 – Target will close nine stores in four states saying that theft and organized retail crime have threatened the safety of its workers and customers. Target said that despite investing heavily in strategies to prevent theft, the business performance at the locations slated for closure was unsustainable. Full story at ABC News.
Grocery staples, private label support Costco’s sales
USA, September 27 – Grocery staples and fresh foods contributed to a strong fourth quarter for Costco, according to Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said. “We believe Costco’s leading value proposition centered around low prices, high-quality products, and its private-label brand, should fuel ongoing momentum in traffic as inflation-battered consumers continue to seek opportunities for savings,” said investment baking firm analyst Phillip Blee. Full story at Progressive Grocer.
Grocers highlight ethically sourced seafood products
USA, September 27 – ALDI, Lidl, Wakefern, Giant Eagle, H.E. Butt Grocery, Meijer and WinCo are all participating in the Global Seafood Alliance’s initiative to recognize October as National Seafood Month and educate consumers about its Best Aquaculture Practices certification for responsibly sourced seafood. The grocers will feature in-store signage and videos as well as social media posts and influencer campaigns designed to encourage consumers to “Choose Seafood with Standards.” Full story at Progressive Grocer.
HoneyBunny Chicken wins 6-month tryout at Market 57
USA, September 22 – The James Beard Foundation has selected HoneyBunny Chicken and Biscuits from about 30 applicants to be the first concept to launch in Good to Go, its fast-casual incubator at the New York City food hall Market 57. HoneyBunny, which will operate there for six months, serves a Maryland-style chicken and seafood menu created by chef Jared Howard during the pandemic as a pop-up and pick-up meal concept. Full story at Restaurant Business.
Fat Brands acquires Smokey Bones for $30M
USA, September 25 – The owner of Johnny Rockets and Twin Peaks on Monday said it has acquired the 61-unit Smokey Bones for $30 million from Sun Capital. Learn more at Restaurant Business.
Eataly names first North American CEO as it plots US expansion
September 25 – Tommaso Brusò comes to the Italian food hall/marketplace chain from the fashion industry. He will help lead Eataly’s efforts to more than triple its North American footprint. Full story at Restaurant Business.
A Burger King franchisee gets sold out of bankruptcy, and a big buyer is Burger King
USA, September 27 – Meridian Restaurants, the large operator that declared bankruptcy in March, is selling 70 of its 91 remaining restaurants to several different franchisees as well as the brand following an auction this month. Full story at Restaurant Business.
Eleven Madison Park turns 25 with a plant-based mission
USA, September 27 – Eleven Madison Park will celebrate 25 years in business next month with a special 11-course tasting menu featuring some of the New York City eatery’s iconic dishes, as well as cocktails created by head bartenders over the years. Chef/owner Daniel Humm talks about the pandemic-era challenges that led him to reopen EMP as a vegan eatery in 2021, how the restaurant weathered the criticism that followed and his commitment to sticking with a purely plant-based menu. Full story at BNN Bloomberg.
How chefs are putting plant-forward foods in the spotlight
USA, September 27 – Chefs are feeding flexitarians’ growing craving for meatless meals that eschew meat alternatives in favor of making vegetables the star of the plate. At Indaco in Greenville, SC, chef Josh Begley creates seasonal dishes that feature produce from local farmers, such as this summer’s corn ravioli, while Seattle chef Blake Lord-Wittig of Alder & Ash uses lentils to add protein to a popular cauliflower dish. Full story at Nation’s Restaurant News (free registration).
Premium water brands are winning with consumers
USA, September 21 – Although the bottled water market is facing competition from other hydration beverages, premium bottled water sales are soaring due to their status as a luxury product, according to industry analysts. More consumers are seeking premium sparkling brands as alcohol alternatives and brands that support sustainability, they added. Full story at Beverage Industry (free registration).
The high price of dietary intolerance
Australia, September 22 – New research by Compare the Market Australia has revealed that gluten-free products across seven prominent markets are more than triple the unit price of the original products on average. Full story at BakeryandSnacks (free registration)
A third of plant-based shoppers want more options
USA, September 24 – An Acosta Group study finds 33% of consumers buy plant-based products regularly and of those consumers, 33% would like to see more plant-based options, including snacks. Younger consumers concerned about sustainability, health and animal welfare are driving the plant-based trend, but price serves as a purchase barrier for more than 50% of consumers. Full story at Candy & Snack Today.
Private labelled pet food thriving in Europe
September 25 – Private labels within pet food now account for 34% of the value share in Europe, as retailers leverage growing demand. Full story at FoodManufacture (free registration).
How to engage with Gen Z in the produce aisle
USA, September 25 – Understanding the shopping trends of Generation Z can help boost sales in otherwise flat produce departments, writes Rick Stein, vice president of fresh foods for FMI — The Food Industry Association. Consumers in this age group want to try global flavors, are drawn to a product’s authenticity and are mindful of foods that bolster their holistic health, writes Stein, adding that technology such as digital recipes with buildable shopping lists and point-of-sale QR codes can also engage Gen Z in the produce section. Full story at The Produce News.
Rising tide: Food safety and convenience driving pre-packaged seafood growth in APAC supermarkets
September 26 – Heightened consumer awareness of food safety as well as increased demands for convenience in food preparation are driving demand for packaged seafood in the post-pandemic market. Learn more at FoodNavigator (free registration).
What’s driving confectionery sales growth?
USA, September 26 – Confectionery is one of the strongest retail sales categories with smaller package sizes and seasonal offerings driving double-digit growth in the chocolate category, according to the National Confectioners Association. Circana has found confectionery sales are growing the fastest in the convenience channel. Full story at CSP.
Can wine and spirits really move away from glass? ‘Today’s consumers are extremely open to alternative pack formats’
Various, September 27 – Glass remains by far the most dominant packaging format for wine and spirits. While there’s plenty of enthusiasm for thinking outside the bottle, such alternative formats are only really in their infancy. One of the main challenges is that consumers have been used to buying and using glass bottles for spirits all their lives and are used to its premium look and feel. Full story at BeverageDaily (free registration).
Private label products growing in popularity due to price, quality and sustainability, research shows
Europe, September 28 – Due to a wide range of factors, most notably the cost-of-living crisis but also concerns around sustainability, private label (supermarket own) products are growing in popularity across Europe. New research from global packaging producer Amcor shows the extent to which this trend has proliferated across the continent. Full story at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Non-GMO claims around sweeteners are less impactful while ‘natural flavors,’ ‘no added sugar’ gain traction among consumers
USA, September 29 – The influence of non-GMO claims on purchase intent is declining, while claims such as “no artificial ingredients,” “natural flavors” and “no added sugar” are more impactful, Carla Saunders, senior marketing manager, Cargill, explained to FoodNavigator-USA. Learn more at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Ignorance to sex differences may explain why nutrition interventions fail in research
UK, September 15 – A review has explored how the differences between men and women might heavily influence the impact of nutrition on heart health, asserting that ignorance of such discrepancies may explain why some promising interventions appear to fail in later stage research. Full story at NutraIngredients (registration required).
‘A vitamin B12 deficiency can have very unpleasant consequences’: Can B12 work in plant-based meat?
USA/Europe, September 20 – Despite the abundance of NPDs for plant-based meat in recent years, concerns about nutrition still resound in the sector. There are many nutrients, critics claim, that are difficult to find outside of animal products. One of these is B12. Yet it is possible for plant-based meat to contain B12, with some manufacturers including it in their products. Learn more at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Long Covid linked to multiple organ changes, research suggests
UK, September 23 – A third of people hospitalized with COVID-19 have “abnormalities” in multiple organs months after getting infected, a UK study said on Saturday, potentially shedding light on the elusive condition of long COVID. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Study links aspartame consumption to learning and memory deficits in mice
USA, September 25 – Researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine have unveiled findings from an ongoing study revealing a potential link between aspartame consumption and learning and memory deficits in mice. Learn more at Food Safety News.
Study links blue light from smartphones or tablets to early puberty
Europe, September 25 – Exposure to blue light, like that from smartphones or tablets, may lead to early puberty in male rats, according to research presented at the 61st Annual European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology Meeting in The Hague. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Study in mice shows how chronic caffeine consumption alters sleep pattern and blood flow
USA, September 25 – A new study finds that chronic caffeine consumption has surprising effects on sleep patterns and brain blood flow in mice, increasing brain blood flow during sleep. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Study finds link between autism in boys and maternal diet soda and aspartame consumption
USA, September 27 – A recently published study shows a potential association between the diagnosis of autism in boys and their mothers’ consumption of diet soda or aspartame during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Learn more at Food Safety News.
Plant-based meat shows promise for reducing cardiovascular risk factor
USA, September 27 – According to a small study, consuming plant-based meat, rather than its conventional counterpart from animals, is correlated with a “significant drop” in an emerging cardiovascular risk factor. Learn more at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Risk of eating disorders among vegan diet followers is low, study suggests
Brazil, September 27 – A hypothesis raised in the literature is that veganism could be used to legitimize rejection of certain foods and social situations that involve eating. In this sense, it may mask dysfunctional dietary behavior and even eating disorders by facilitating restriction. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Saturated fat may interfere with creating memories in the aged brain
USA, September 27 – New research hints at a few ways fatty foods affect cells in the brain, a finding that could help explain the link between a high-fat diet and impaired memory—especially as we age. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Walking more than five flights of stairs a day can cut risk of heart disease by 20%
USA, September 28 – Forget walking 10,000 steps a day. Taking at least 50 steps climbing stairs each day could significantly slash your risk of heart disease, according to a new study from Tulane University. Learn more at MedicalXpress.
Food Safety Watch
Irish agency reveals seafood safety cases
Ireland, September 24 – The agency responsible for seafood safety in the Republic of Ireland has recorded 18 potential breaches of food safety law in the first half of 2023. Full story at Food Safety News.
Tahina recalled in Canada after testing finds Salmonella
September 25 – Ararat Trading (2002) Corp. is recalling Ararat brand Tahina from the marketplace because of possible Salmonella contamination. This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. According to the CFIA, the recalled products were distributed in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Full story at Food Safety News.
FDA releases guidance on sesame cross-contamination
USA, September 26 – The FDA has released a new chapter on preventing sesame allergen cross-contamination in its publication, Guidance for Industry: Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food. The update is a response to some manufacturers who added sesame to their food products to comply with the FASTER Act enacted at the beginning of the year, which requires sesame to be disclosed on food labels; the FDA is encouraging businesses to minimize and prevent cross-contamination instead. Full story at Food Safety Magazine.
UK dealing with E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks
September 27 – The United Kingdom is dealing with a serious outbreak of E. coli and several strains of Salmonella Enteritidis, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). One more case has been added to the ongoing Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O183 outbreak, bringing the total to 25 sick since May. Learn more at Food Safety News.
FTC ‘clarifies’ claims substantiation of Health Products Compliance Guidance
USA, September 22 – Despite language in the 2022 Health Products Compliance Guidance around the need for clinical trials to substantiate health claims, the US Federal Trade Commission has stated that not all claims require that level of substantiation. Learn more at NutraIngredients (registration required).
Online grocery shopping: ‘Huge gap’ in major supermarkets’ food labeling
Australia, September 26 – Food label information that is otherwise mandatory for physical products is missing from online supermarkets in Australia, which may pose a health and safety risk for consumers, a new study suggests. Full story at MedicalXpress.
Consumer awareness of Fairtrade labels grows, as shoppers will pay premium for certified products
USA, September 29 – Fairtrade America has released new research showing that consumers are seeking out foods and beverages that support farmer’s livelihood and the environment — revealing an opportunity for CPG brands to draw attention to their products through Fairtrade-certified products, Amanda Archila, Fairtrade America Executive Director, shared during a webinar. Learn more at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Trade and Regulatory News
The global sugar shortage is about to ease thanks to a corn supply boom
September 22 – Corn output from Brazil is surging, making it more profitable to use the grain to produce ethanol. As a result, mills that crush costlier cane are looking to produce more sugar and less biofuel. Full story at Bloomberg (subscription required).
New EU regulation a ‘pivotal moment’ for astaxanthin to support ‘the well-being of all ages’
September 22 – The astaxanthin industry is celebrating new EU regulation which scraps prohibitive labelling and allows the use of astaxanthin supplements by children from the age of three. Learn more at NutraIngredients (registration required).
Lower soybean supplies, higher average price predicted for 2023/24
USA, September 22 – The US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has revised down its soybean supply forecast for 2023/24 based on lower yield. Learn more at at DairyReporter (free registration).
Food inflation is still high around the world
September 24 – According to the World Bank, domestic food price inflation remains high, with people in Venezuela, Lebanon, Argentina, Turkey, and Zimbabwe particularly hard hit. Learn more at Bloomberg (subscription required).
Yiannas: California should pause food additive ban
USA, September 24 – Frank Yiannas, former FDA deputy commissioner, urges California Gov. Gavin Newsom to delay signing Assembly Bill 418, which bans certain food additives, until the FDA completes its review of these additives. “Without relying on a strong, science-driven federal food safety agency, our country is left with a state-by-state patchwork of different, emerging regulatory standards that would weaken our nation’s food system and food safety efforts,” Yiannas wrote in an opinion piece for The Orange County Register. “Our nation is better when each state can help feed the rest of the states with a uniform standard of safe, available food.” Full story at The Orange County Register.
Increased sales growth for Canada’s food and beverage sector
September 26 – Sales for Canada’s food and beverage sector are forecast to surpass $164 billion, exceeding initial projections by 3.2 per cent, according to the 2023 Food and Beverage Report Mid-Year Update from Farm Credit Canada. While positive news, a number of considerations continue to weigh on the sector. Learn more at FCC.
Updated soybean standard to take effect December 2023
China, September 26 – The People’s Republic of China (PRC), State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and Standardization Administration have published the final version of National Standard for Soybeans (GB1352-2023), which will take effect on December 1, 2023. This standard will replace the current National Standard for Soybeans, GB 1352-2009 of September 1, 2009. Further details available at USDA.
US government shutdown looking more likely. What would the impacts be?
September 26 – A shutdown of US federal government operations may have wide-ranging impacts on military operations, employee paycheques, and the US and Canadian economies. Full story at Global News.
Other Interesting Articles
‘Countries are experiencing cascading crises’: FAO climate change chief on food systems transformation in challenging times
Global, September 25 – From the COVID-19 pandemic to extreme weather events and war in Ukraine, ‘cascading crises’ are impacting countries across the world. Responsible agri-food practices can help mitigate the impact of these disruptions, suggests Kaveh Zahedi, director of the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment. Sustainable agriculture can help build resilience in terms of adaptation and sequestration, as well as food security, Zahedi suggested. “We have a large number of solutions in the agri-food system…that we are now supporting countries to scale up and roll out.” Full story at FoodNavigator (free registration).
Hemp Beverage Alliance sets out to help the category reach its potential
USA, September 27 – Regulatory confusion and poor availability is hampering the success of hemp beverages in the US. But the consumer demand is clearly there, says the newly formed Hemp Beverage Alliance – which believes that, if these challenges are addressed, the category will be free to reach its potential. Full story at BeverageDaily (free registration).