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May | June 2014 Vol 4 | No 3 $9.95

A Man with a Mission Darrell Jones

President, Overwaitea Food Group

Grand Prix Finalists The Deal of the Decade Loblaw & Shoppers

PM # 42211029

Outstanding International Store Design


Grand Prix Finalists... Parmalat Canada has a long standing tradition of winning awards for its market leading products. We are pleased to be recognized as Finalists by the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards and the Retail Council of Canada.

Trademarks owned or used under license by Parmalat Canada, Toronto, ON M9C 5J1. All rights reserved. Š 2014 Parmalat Canada


*Voted most trusted brand in a tie Yogourt category by Canadian shoppers based on the 2014 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study TRADEMARKS OWNED OR USED UNDER LICENSE BY PARMALAT CANADA, TORONTO, ON M9C 5J1

Grocery Business May | June, 2014 Volume 4, Issue 3


Walmart To Go Bentonville, Ark.


Front End

People & News

11 Open Mike

Simplify the shopping experience: let the dogs out!

13 Perspective

It’s time to discuss “the Code”

21 Loblaw + Shoppers: The Deal of the Decade


May | June 2014

31 Shelf Life

Gluten free is rising

62 Launch It, List It

New and now products

64 It Figures

Focus on social media


24 Darrell Jones: A Man With a Mission Overwaitea Food Group is poised for growth in

Western Canada’s rapidly changing retail landscape




FEATURES 9  Is a Grocery Code of Conduct

39 The Innovators

14 The Sweet Truth About Sugar 15 Going Local and Loving It 20 sofi Awards

45 Canadian Grand Prix Award

21 Loblaw + Shoppers Drug Mart


35 Best New Products

59 Canadian Produce Marketing Show 66 Grocery Showcase West

Next for Canada?

International store design at its best


60 Nielsen: What’s in Store 2014

Local goes global

The deal of the decade

The consumers’ choice


The sofi Award C O V E R P H O T O : R O B E RT K A R PA

May | June 2014


Front End


Montreal-based Dollarama Inc. has appointed Johanne Choinière chief operating officer. Choinière comes from Metro Inc., where she was senior vicepresident of the Ontario Division. Louis Frenette is the new president and CEO of Parmalat Canada. Previously, Frenette was president and CEO of Bonduelle North America. Paul Del Duca has joined Walmart Canada as senior vice-president, Fresh. Del Duca is the former general manager, Ontario, for Sobeys Canada. Les Mann, senior vice-president, food and consumables, is retiring from Walmart Canada at the end of May. Mann is a Golden Pencil Award winner.

Jeff DeLapp becomes president, North America, for McCain Foods Limited, on June 2. DeLapp was president of Lamb Weston from 2002 to 2010. Paul Corney has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Saputo Inc.’s Dairy Foods Division (USA). Corney joined Saputo in 2001. Dave Dudick was recently named senior vice-president, president, of General Mills Canada. Dudick replaces Dave Homer, who was named CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide in Switzerland, a joint venture between General Mills Inc. and Nestlé S.A. CROSSMARK has named Ben Fischer chief executive officer of the Plano, Texasbased sales and marketing services company.

Fischer succeeds Joe Crafton, who retired after 26 years with the company.

at Empire Company Limited, and chief corporate development officer at Sobeys Inc.

The North West Company Inc. of Winnipeg has appointed Vi Konkle to its board of directors. Konkle is the past president and CEO of The Brick Ltd., and has held senior executive positions with Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Walmart Canada.

John Harvie, CEO of Co-op Atlantic until his retirement in 2011, has been named chairperson of the board of directors for The Co-operators Group Limited.

Paul Beesley is joining Hudson’s Bay Company as chief financial officer. Previously, Beesley was executive vice-president and CFO

Alain Bouchard (left) is stepping down as president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. on Sept. 24, 2014, and will take on a new role as founder and executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. Brian Hannasch, who currently is chief operating officer, will be promoted to the positions of president and CEO. The responsibilities of chief operating officer will be shared by Couche-Tard’s executive management team.

May | June 2014 Volume 4, Number 3

Co-Publisher and Executive Editor Karen James 416-561-4744

Executive Vice-President Content and Market Development Dan Bordun 416-817-5278 Contributing Editors Angela Kryhul, Sally Praskey

Davide Viola is the new vice-president, chief operating officer for Centric Health. Viola has previously worked at Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, and Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Creative Agency Boomerang Art & Design Inc. Subscription changes & updates or general inquiries: Chris Terrio, CROSSMARK Canada Inc. Nancy Croitoru, Food and Consumer Products of Canada Tim Berman, Kraft Foods Canada Michael Marinangeli, MIDEB Consulting Inc. Cheryl Smith, Parmalat Canada

Contributing Writers Peter Diekmeyer (Montreal)

Co-Publisher and Content Director Kevin Smith 416-569-5005


May | June 2014

Contributors Perry Caicco, Michael Marinangeli, Tricia Ryan, Maisie Vanriel, Robert Thompson, John F.T. Scott, Maureen Atkinson, Carman Allison

Grocery Business Advisory Council Phil Donne, Campbell Company of Canada Tom Barlow, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers

Mark Ayer, Procter & Gamble Inc. David Wilkes, Retail Council of Canada Cori Bonina, Stong’s Market

@grocerybusiness © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. GST Registration No. 83032 6807 RT0001 Publications Mail Agreement No. PM42211029 ISSN 1927-243X Mailing Address Grocery Business Media 390 Queen’s Quay W., PO Box 40085 Toronto, ON M5V 3A6

Perry Caicco, CIBC World Markets

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Front End

SIAL Canada 2014 sets new records By Peter Diekmeyer The SIAL Canada 2014 international food and beverage trade show, and SET Canada equipment and technology show, which took place jointly at Montreal’s Palais des congrès in early April, set records for size and attendance: The two events attracted 767 exhibitors and brands from 43 countries, as well as 14,685 attendees from more than 60 countries. “These are record amounts,” said Xavier Poncin, executive director of SIAL Canada. “The gains mean the event, which Xavier Poncin alternates between Toronto and Montreal, is now roughly the same size in both cities.” The big story at SIAL Montreal was the large representation of international exhibitors and attendees. For example, Marianela Martinez, chief operating officer of Secrets of Panama, came to the show to leverage the free trade deal that Canada and Panama signed last year. She decided to introduce the company’s Hot Chombo premium hot style habanero pepper sauce to the Montreal market after seeing quick success in Toronto’s growing Latin and Spanish-speaking communities. A highlight of SIAL Montreal was Olive d’Or, the largest international extra-virgin olive oil contest in North America. There were a total of 12 winners in four categories.

Some of the category winners: Ripe Fruit: Los Alamos, Agroindustrial Siracusa S.A., Chile; Oleiva Traditional, Slama Huiles, Tunisia. Light Fruit: L’Ottobratico, Olearia San Giorgio, Italy. Medium Fruit: Morellana, Sucesores de Hermanos Lopez S.A., Spain. Strong Fruit: Villa Magra, Frantoio Franci, Italie. SIAL Canada 2015 will be held in Toronto at the Direct Energy Centre, April 28 - 30.

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May | June 2014


Front End

WALMART REINVENTS C-STORE FORMAT WITH WALMART TO GO The new Walmart to Go convenience store debuted in the retail giant’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, this past spring. Designed by Tampa, Fla.-based api(+), the new format is Walmart’s first attempt to capture a share of the US$415-billion quick-trip market. Walmart to Go is a non-traditional mix of grocery items, fresh prepared foods and traditional convenience store products. The prototype store design features vibrant canopies and expansive storefront glass to showcase merchandise and to welcome inside customers who are filling up at the gas pumps. Inside, Walmart offers fresh produce and such grab-and-go items as pizza and sandwiches. There are hundreds of packaged foods and non-edible items, ranging from breakfast cereals to dog food, diapers, magazines and books. Walmart has also partnered with Bentonville Butcher & Deli to operate a quick-serve meat counter in the store.



Is a grocery

code of conduct next for Canada? By Peter Diekmeyer

Debate is heating up in the wake of calls for guidelines to govern relationships between grocery players. In recent weeks, widespread reports of retailer practices – such as retrospective changes to contracts between suppliers and grocers – have pushed industry groups to respond. “Canada’s increasingly consolidated grocery sector requires new oversight to ensure that there is a vibrant and sustainable marketplace,” says Adam Grachnik, senior director of communications for Food & Consumer Products of Canada, an industry group representing food and CPG manufacturers. “Grocery codes of conduct are emerging as a global trend to provide a more transparent, stable and fair business operating environment.” Tom Barlow, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, agrees. “Large listing fees,

deductions because of ‘shrink,’ refusal by some retailers to accept club packs, and similar practices all reduce competitiveness in the market,” says Barlow. “This is a particular challenge for independents, as they don’t have the leverage to get the same terms as the big guys.” Barlow says, “We need to see the industry come together on some voluntary guidelines. That includes a clear definition of how business is conducted between suppliers and retailers.” Codes of conduct (which can be voluntary or statutory) are a fairly recent innovation in the grocery sector. They

Continued on page 10

May | June 2014


Continued from page 9 have made headway in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, where there is significant retailer concentration; however, those lobbying for an industry code of conduct here in Canada face challenges. Despite reports that some grocers are moving close to the line, consistent violations of laws or regulations have yet to be demonstrated, and suppliers may be reluctant to speak out. Grocers, for their part, are less convinced that action is needed. Eric LaFlèche, CEO of Metro Inc., Canada’s third-largest grocery distributor, has publicly rejected calls for a code of conduct, saying that grocers are known to be “easy negotiators.” Sobeys Inc. CEO, Marc Poulin, describes relationships with suppliers as “harmonious.”

David Wilkes, senior vice-president (grocery division) of the Retail Council of Canada, agrees, citing a highly collegial climate that is characterized by close business relationships. “Don’t confuse strong competition with something that requires a regulatory response,” says Wilkes. “The Competition Bureau already has the tools it needs to enforce the [Competition] Act. And don’t forget that pressure in supply channel relationships goes both ways. Suppliers, for example, have been pushing retailers on the issue of minimum prices.” Wilkes cites a strong sense of collaboration on a wide variety of issues, ranging from food safety to product identifiers and stewardship, as another signal that no intervention is needed.


The United Kingdom: A legislated code of conduct Michael Hutchings, a U.K.-based lawyer, has been working with vendors and retailers on the code of conduct issue for more than a decade, and says that, in Britain, an enforceable standard works best. According to Hutchings, there was recently a big win for suppliers in the U.K.: They can now file complaints anonymously via trade associations. “There tends to be code of silence that develops among suppliers who sell to buyers in a concentrated industry, as they worry they will be blacklisted if they speak out publicly.” Hutchings spoke with Grocery Business on what the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act means for British retailers and suppliers. WHEN DID THE LEGISLATION COME INTO EFFECT? The Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013 was given Royal Assent on April 25, 2013. WHAT ARE THE RETAILER OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE ACT? The relevant retailers (the biggest 10 grocery retailers) have a statutory obligation to incorporate the Code of Conduct into all agreements with suppliers. This is laid down in paragraph 5 of the Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009. As a result, the contents of the Code become part of the agreement between those retailers and their suppliers. The obligation to comply becomes a contractual obligation owed to the supplier.


May | June 2014

Michael Hutchings, Solicitor (England and Wales)

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES THAT ARE PROHIBITED? » N ot to make retrospective changes to contractual terms; » To pay suppliers in accordance with contractual terms; » Not to require a supplier to contribute to a range of matters such as buyer visits, artwork/packaging design, consumer research, store refurbishment costs, and wastage; » Not to charge listing fees, except for newly listed products; » Not to demand payments for better shelf positioning. WILL THE GROCERIES CODE ADJUDICATOR HAVE THE ABILITY TO IMPOSE FINES? It is anticipated that she will. Legislation to that effect is expected to come into force any day now.

Open Mike

Simplify the

shopping experience –

let the dogs out! By Michael Marinangeli

Efficient assortment is a key component of your store positioning and value proposition. During my recent store visits, I focused my attention on grocery assortment, and came to the conclusion that most stores (including discounters) carry far too many items. The proliferation of line extensions, “me-too” products, and private labels has gotten way out of hand. In one store, I counted 42 shelf labels for one brand of laundry detergent. Thirty years ago, this brand had four SKUs. I’m not singling out one category; this phenomenon is rampant in many. How and why did this happen? Who’s to blame – the retailers, manufacturers, or both? I say both are at fault. I believe that the escalation of trade spending to keep the “dogs” on the shelf has been the biggest contributing factor. As a category manager, the first thing I did when I was assigned a new category was conduct a complete review of the items listed. Every time, I was able to delist at least 10 per cent of the SKUs in the category without adversely affecting sales. My premise was that the “dogs” were taking up too much space, and the “winners” were cramped and prone to

out of stocks due to inadequate shelf allocation. My primary motive was to improve category performance by simplifying the shop, providing better exposure to the items that matter most, and increasing sales by eliminating out of stocks. Before I pulled the plug on these items, I would visit stores on a Friday evening – the busiest time back then – and check the shelves to determine which items had little or no movement. I don’t recall this test ever failing. Managing assortment is an ongoing endeavour. Although some retailers today list new items only once or twice a year, I never subscribed to or endorsed this approach. Exploring new opportunities and removing weak elements of your offering should be an everyday occurrence. Once I had my SKU count and space allocation set, I abided by two underlying principles. 1. If I listed a new item in a category, I delisted an existing one. (Obviously, if the category was dynamic or growing, I would consider expanding variety.)

2. W  hen doing planograms, each item must have a minimum one-and-a-half case capacity on the shelf to avoid part cases being put in the back room after the shelf was replenished. This makes inventory management at retail easier to control. When suppliers complained, I told them to reduce their pack sizes. Several years ago, I was working with consultants on developing a new store concept. In discussing assortment strategy, one of the consultants used the expression “the intelligent loss of sales.” I asked him what that meant, and he explained that Sol Price, the founder of Price Club, used this expression to make the point that it is better to walk away from a sale and focus your energy on the items that count the most. Every sale comes at a cost. Make sure the carrying cost is not higher than the profit from the sale. Over the years, this simple expression has left a lasting impression. Continued on page 12

May | June 2014


Open Mike Continued from page 11

10 reasons why efficient assortment needs to be on your radar 1. Simplify your shop and make it a more enjoyable experience for your customers. 2. Reduce out of stocks and increase sales by allocating more space to the items that warrant it. 3. Improve your inventory turns at the warehouse and in the stores to free up working capital for other initiatives. 4. Nine out of 10 new items fail. Give them a chance to succeed by providing adequate shelf space and timely promotional support. 5. Maintain a healthy balance between sales and trade spending in order to focus on sales and gross margin at store level.

6. Follow the 80-20 rule. This applies to almost everything in life, including SKU management. 7. Set up benchmarks and rewards for SKU efficiency with your staff that puts as much or more focus on margin management as on trade spend. 8. Analyse item velocity on regular shelf movement versus promotional volumes. It’s amazing how many items don’t sell when they are not promoted. 9. Follow the one-in and one-out philosophy. It makes every listing decision more painful, which is what you want.

10. Do a complete annual review of category space allocation throughout the store. Categories grow and decline. Ensure that you stay on top by allocating more space to the categories that warrant it and less to those that have too much exposure. Maintaining an efficient assortment is like having a green lawn. You have to get rid of the weeds so the grass has room to flourish – and let the dogs out to do their business elsewhere! Michael Marinangeli is a principal at MIDEB Consulting Inc. and a retailing veteran with more than 40 years of experience. Contact: Michael is a founding member of the Grocery Business Advisory Board.


It’s time to

discuss “the Code” By John F.T. Scott

When the chips are down, the grocery industry has a history of collectively arriving at a solution, often with the support of, but free from, the regulatory clutches of the public sector.

In the 1990s, the industry developed the concept of Efficient Consumer Response to counter the unheard-of efficiencies that Walmart introduced into food retailing. That collegial work spawned such initiatives as zero-tolerance scanning and the precursor organization to GS1 Canada. We are now witness to the fledgling Canadian Stewardship Service Alliance, which underscores that each time a critical issue has come knocking, the entire industry takes leadership and embraces the problem in order to achieve a unified direction. That’s why the apparent lack of interest on the part of many senior leaders regarding the contemplated Code of Conduct – intended to protect suppliers from alleged patterns of egregious behaviour by distributors – is so surprising. Surely our industry can read the tea leaves. The Australians, many of the E.U. countries, and the U.K. are all in various stages of developing or implementing a Code to facilitate certainty in trade dealings, which in turn should provide a measure of stability in the marketplace. Probably the U.K.’s new Groceries Supply Code of Practice, supported

John F.T. Scott

by all parties and adopted in 2013, holds the competitive balance of the food industry. That most promise for achieving the objective, but deafening silence must be a concern to code it’s early days. proponents, as the concept must be embraced In the wake of two mega deals in our as policy by the political element, and we well industry, various advocates have suggested know whence their motivation comes! that Canada needs that enforceable code. But wait a minute – a groundswell of Their voices have been bolstered by the consumer complaints didn’t exist in any of the provision of information to the Competition countries now working with a code. In each Bureau by companies that have allegedly case, concern evolved gradually to the point been disadvantaged. That the Bureau has where it became an imperative and part of the seriously considered this evidence is public trust. Nobody wants that to happen here obvious by the terms that accompanied the because it implies the potential for publicLoblaw – Shoppers Drug Mart approval. sector interference. What, then, is to be done? And yet the CEOs of major distributors My guess is that pressure for a code is not recently dismissed the idea of a code, going to go away. If you buy that, then I commenting that they are tough negotiators suggest it’s time for the extended industry to but experience good relations with their come together and talk it through. Let’s once suppliers. And after all, Canadian consumers again embrace that valued, collective approach enjoy a virtual feast of shopping alternatives to ensure we are well ahead of the curve. Folks that boast arguably the safest food, the – take a hard look and let’s hold the debate. most diverse and comfortable shopping environments, and among the lowest prices (as a percentage of disposable income spent JOHN F.T. SCOTT is an economist who consults and on food) in the developed world. speaks on the food distribution sector. The author of It’s easy to extrapolate that those CEOs were Perspectives on the Retail Food Industry, he also serves as interim managing director of the George confident they were on safe ground based on Morris Centre, a non-profit economic research the lack of consumer complaints over the institute dedicated to the agri-food sector.

May | June 2014



the sweet


By Maisie Vanriel

We heard more buzz around sugar this spring than 1,000 honeybee hives could generate. Most of the noise resulted from the release of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for the intake of added sugar for adults and children. While the WHO made a strong recommendation to limit the amount of added sugar to 10 per cent of total calories per day, it shocked many experts by indicating it would eventually like to cut that in half to only five per cent. To put that in perspective, all the added sugar consumed in a day should not exceed the amount of naturally occurring sugar found in two eight-ounce glasses of milk. Based on tenuous evidence at best, this unrealistic target has experts around the world buzzing.

How did the WHO come to recommend an intake as low as five per cent of total calories per day based on scientific information the WHO itself said was weak? These recommendations are part of the WHO’s plan to reduce obesity and dental caries (tooth decay and cavities), which continue to eat up increasing amounts of many countries’ health-care budgets. Everyone supports these


May | June 2014

good intentions, but we all have a responsibility to ground policy in sound, established science. Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) responded to the WHO’s request for comment on behalf of our members, asking: How did the WHO come to recommend an intake as low as five per cent of total calories per day based on scientific information the WHO itself said was weak? Welcome to the wonderful world of public health policy. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – the leading voice for setting Dietary Reference Intakes – which reviews thousands of studies to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision-makers and the public, there simply isn’t enough evidence to go below 10 per cent of added sugar. Right now, the IOM recommends staying below 25 per cent. After all, sugar has been with us throughout history, and it certainly has its place in rounding out our diet and making it more enjoyable. At FCPC, we know obesity is a complex issue. Physical activity, availability of fruits and vegetables, income, genetics, sleep, and happiness can all play a role. We look at

programs to reduce obesity and dental caries; we support the ones that are scientific and evidence-based. Canada’s food and beverage manufacturers have for many years developed “healthier-foryou” products that focus on all aspects of a healthier diet. We are helping Canadians to reduce their intake of calories, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats and added sugars while increasing their intake of vitamins and minerals. And we look forward to continuing to provide Canadians with the products, tools, information and choices they need to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As our submission to the WHO makes clear, FCPC would support the organization in the pursuit of strong scientific evidence on this topic. It’s our duty and responsibility to ensure that, while the bees will always buzz, we are swatting away the nonsense.

Maisie Vanriel is a registered dietitian and vice-president, scientific and regulatory affairs, food policy, Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC).



Canadians are hungering for local food – both fresh and locally processed – and grocers across the country are stepping up to provide it.

A 2013 Conference Board of Canada report titled Cultivating Opportunities: Canada’s Growing Appetite for Local Food found that locavorism – the desire to eat locally produced food – has surged in the last 10 years, “driven in part by concerns about food quality, health and nutrition, food safety, local economies and farmers, and the environment. Local food is a way for consumers to express their values and beliefs about the food system.” Across Canada, 20 per cent of food is consumed within the same province in which it is produced (a widely used definition of local food). But there is still plenty of opportunity to grow. “We’re finding that there is room to expand the role of local food systems in Canada, and that in doing so, there are significant economic benefits to be realized,” says Michael Bloom, the Board’s vice-president, organizational effectiveness and learning. Here’s a sampling of some local-food initiatives across the country.

QUEBEC: ALIMENTS DU QUÉBEC Producers, retailers and consumers in Quebec are benefitting from a program called Aliments du Québec – Foods of Quebec – that began about a dozen years ago. Eligible foods include any product made entirely from ingredients sourced in Quebec, or composed of a minimum of 85 per cent of main ingredients from Quebec. All processing and packaging must be done in the province as well. “The model is very interesting because the brand is owned by everybody in the supply chain, from production to distribution,” explains Sylvie

Cloutier, president and CEO, Quebec Food Manufacturers Association, which represents the food processors. Thanks to the provincial government’s investment in the program, all the major retailers now feature generic Aliments du Québec advertising in their weekly flyers, on their websites, and on their shelf labels. That exposure has prompted more food processors to register with the program, says Cloutier. “Within a few years, the program went from 3,000 to at least 15,000 products registered with the database of Aliments du Québec.” Continued on page 17

May | June 2014




he 26th annual Foodland Ontario Retailer Awards Ceremony recognized 30 grocery retailers for their in-store promotion

of fresh Ontario food. The displays increase consumer awareness of the variety of fruits and vegetables grown in

the province. Stores submit photographs of their promotional displays to qualify for the awards. There are five award categories that recognize the support for promoting in-season local food. From individual store displays to overall retail banner endorsement, the Retailer Awards program is a true celebration of our Retailers’ commitment to sourcing local food.

Award of Excellence

Metro #73

Metro #479

Sobeys Ira Needles


Andrew & Emily’s No frills

Food Basics #697

Food Basics #932

Food Basics #877

Metro #73

Metro #147

Metro #170

Metro #453

Metro #479

Metro #771

Sobeys Ira Needles

Stewart’s Town & Country Market

Retailer AwardWinners

Foodland Ontario

Gold Creative

Metro #252

Metro #808

Metro #853

Zehrs #515

Gold Cross Merchandised

Food Basics #620

Food Basics #676

Metro #83

Sobeys #866

Gold Seasonal

Cayuga Foodland

Metro #139

Metro #266

Morello’s Independent Grocer

Vision Award

Food Basics



We’ve helped Ontarians take home

They’ve helped us take home 34 awards.

Proudly promoting Ontario-grown produce has earned Metro and Food Basics stores 34 Ontario Retailer awards this year. Thank you Foodland Ontario and lovers of freshness province-wide.





Source: BrandSpark study, 2014.

NOVA SCOTIA: COUNTRY MAGIC Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley is the unique growing area where Country Magic products are cultivated for Nova Agri. Introduced in the 1980s to brand the company’s potato crop, Country Magic products are produced by fourth-generation farmers in different microclimates across 2,500 acres. The line now includes high-bush blueberries, yellow and red onions, potatoes, strawberries, grape tomatoes, blackberries, cooking greens, beans, Asian vegetables, lettuce, and, most recently, bloo juice, a 100 per cent pure blueberry juice. Country Magic has grown from a local brand to distribution across Canada, Iceland, the U.S. and Europe. Brands feature Taste the Colours, a proprietary labelling program that illustrates each product’s vitamins and micronutrients in order to educate consumers in-store.





With the passage, last November, of the Local Food Act – the first legislation of its kind in Canada – the province of Ontario will increase awareness and boost sales of local foods by setting goals and targets in consultation with sector partners. According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Act requires the government to produce an annual report on its activities to support local food. It also proclaims an annual Local Food Week. “The Local Food Act will benefit people by making the connection between buying local and helping grow an important Ontario industry,” says Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario and Minister of Agriculture and Food. “If we increase demand to homegrown food, we will create jobs and boost the agri-food sector’s contributions to our economy.” The province has also expanded its Foodland Ontario program, which has traditionally focused on produce, to include meat, dairy and egg.


RETAILER INITIATIVES METRO EXPANDS LOCAL PURCHASING PROGRAM Following the establishment of a Local Purchasing Policy last year, Metro Inc. recently welcomed 68 new products from the Chaudière-Appalaches region into five Metro and two Super C stores. Customers at the participating stores can purchase sauces and tapenades, jellies and jams, syrups and oils, flours and seasonings, and more, all prominently displayed and identified as “Colours and Flavours of Chaudière-Appalaches.” Suppliers of fresh products also participate in the program. The pilot project is the second in a series of three, all intended to make Metro a prime showcase for regional products.



Vancouver Island-based Quality Foods lists local suppliers on its website. Founding partner Noel Hayward points out that the retailer uses its produce wholesaler for supply chain management, so the producer has only one drop to make. “This works well, but because people don’t always see the farm trucks delivering direct to the store, the perception may be that we are not buying locally,” he notes.

The six-year-old “Grown Close to Home” campaign sources 40 per cent of the produce sold seasonally in Loblaw-owned stores from Canadian growers, and 31 per cent year-round.

CO-OP ATLANTIC Based in Moncton, N.B., Co-op Atlantic works with producers to help them grow the food that the stores sell. It sells producers the seed, feed, and other products they need, and advises them on best agricultural practices. On the consumer end, the retailer holds the Eat Atlantic Awards, whereby consumers can vote for their favourite Atlantic foods in a buy-local campaign.

During the annual campaign, customers can meet the growers in the stores. The chain has vendor development managers in each region who support local growers on a full-time basis, and help connect growers and buyers. The company also holds regional annual produce grower meetings.

May | June 2014




LOCAL GOES GLOBAL While local food products are in great demand in their own neighbourhoods, they can be popular elsewhere as well. The Specialty Food Association’s sofi Awards are a way for “local” Canadian companies to gain international recognition – and sales. Over the years, many Canadian products have won sofi Awards, and have leveraged those wins to attain distribution in other markets. Grocery Business spoke with Ken Seiter, chief marketing officer of the Specialty Food Association, to find out more about the Awards and how Canadian companies can parlay local success into worldwide acclaim. What are the sofi Awards? The sofi Awards have honoured the best of the best in specialty foods and beverages since 1972. The Awards represent outstanding culinary innovation in the U.S. and around the globe. What are some of the benefits of being a sofi winner? The Specialty Food Association provides winners and finalists with a marketing tool kit that includes sales materials, presentations, catalogues and press releases to help promote their win. Winners have


May | June 2014

exclusive rights to use the sofi logo in promotions and on packaging. The sofi logo and marketing materials are a proven way for specialty food makers to demonstrate to retailers, press and potential new accounts the craft, care and joy that goes into the development of their products. Several Canadian companies have won Gold sofi Awards over the last few years. Are you seeing more international companies competing for these awards? Yes, we are seeing an increase in international companies. Canadian specialty food makers, in particular, made an impressive showing in 2013: Gold winners included Gourmet du Village, Lesley Stowe Fine Foods, and Wildly Delicious Fine Foods. How does one enter? The sofi Awards are open to the 3,200 member companies of the Specialty Food Association. All entry forms, contest rules and FAQs are posted at

What is the judging process? This year, a panel of specialty food professionals evaluated 2,025 specialty foods and beverages across 30 categories to come up with their list of 109 finalists. Among the finalists is Raincoast Crisps – Cranberry Hazelnut, made by Vancouver-based Lesley Stowe Fine Foods. Products are judged on several characteristics: » Taste » Quality » Innovation » Ingredient profile » Merchandisability » Best in its class Every product is evaluated, and feedback from each judge will be sent to every participating company. The final judging takes place during the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York (which runs June 29 to July 1, 2014), with the winners announced on June 30.

For more information on the sofi awards, please e-mail or call the sofi hotline at 212-482-6440.

It’s a deal: (from left) Shoppers Drug Mart president and CEO Domenic Pilla; Loblaw executive chair Galen G. Weston; Holger Kluge, former chair of Shoppers; and Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw Cos. Ltd.


By Robert Thompson

Loblaw’s $12.4-billion purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart is a bold play on demographic trends, the future shape of retail, and the care and feeding of Canadians. It is one of Canada’s most stalwart businesses, with a nearly century-old tried-and-tested business model, but Loblaw executive chair Galen G. Weston and the company’s president Vicente Trius are willing to go all in on a bet staked by the country’s changing population. The gamble is a big one – the $12.4-billion acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart, which, when combined with Loblaw, encompasses more than 2,300 stores, including 1,800 pharmacies, and $42 billion in revenue. Mitigating the risk, perhaps, is the fact that the wager is based on long-term opportunities in demographic and social trends rather than short-term aims like taking out a competitor, cutting redundant employees, or finding synergies in distribution and computer operating systems. Instead of

waiting to see what their competitors would do next, Weston and Trius, who joined Loblaw as CEO in 2011 when it was struggling, rolled the dice that the market would transition the way they expected. The transaction is about Loblaw driving “a disruptive change in the Canadian grocery and drug retail landscape,” said retail analyst Derek Dley of Canaccord Genuity when the deal was announced. Such potential impact, executed at a scale that leaves even U.S. invaders Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Target Corp. playing catch up, is why Loblaw’s takeover of Shoppers is considered by many to be the industry deal of the decade.

May | June 2014


A transformational deal In striking this deal, Loblaw execs envision a time in the near future when Canadian consumers are more urbanized, rely on their cars less, and are prepared to pay a premium to buy food and health goods on demand from smaller, easily accessible stores. If they are right, it is a “transformational” deal, said Trius in a conference call last summer, a little more than a month after the acquisition had been announced. Transformational “because it combines two companies [that] when you bring them together then have the largest small-store format in the country,” he explained. “When we look in the future in Canada, it will be a lot more about small stores than large stores.” Smaller stores where customers pay a premium for emerging health-related products, added Weston, speaking at the time of the deal. “We are confident that the two great companies will come together to serve our customers better and create shareholder value,” he said. “We are building on a strong foundation.” That foundation has been shaken in recent years, especially as large American big-box chains such as Costco Wholesale Corp., Walmart, and Target push into the traditional grocery market, stripping away market share from Canadian companies like Loblaw. That’s why some observers see the acquisition as a calculated reaction that’s more about everyday competition in the grocery sector and the allure of healthier margins in the drugstore business than it is about changing longerterm consumer trends. “The notion that this deal is about health and wellness and smaller stores, that’s just the backdrop,” says Kevin Grier, senior analyst with the George Morris Centre, a Guelph, Ont.-


May | June 2014

based independent research organization that focuses on the food industry. “The real story is that Walmart, Costco and Target have been eating into the traditional grocer’s share, and it isn’t going to get any better.”

Seeking synergies Weston’s company has been in transition for several years as the American chains began aggressively entering Canada. Walmart has been investing heavily in the food sector, pumping in $450 million to expand its offerings in its Canadian stores as Target opened its first 124 stores in Canada. In the process, it has increased its food sales in Canada by $700 million last year alone. Sobeys also entered the fray earlier in 2013, launching a $5.8-billion takeover of more than 200 Safeway stores in a bid to fend off the Walmart juggernaut. During this time of turmoil, Loblaw has seen more revenue shuffle to its No Frills and Superstore brands, a move that hits the company’s margins. Loblaw expects to save $300 million over three years once the two companies are fully connected, money that it says will be used to pay down the debt level to about three times EBITDA. But overall, Trius said the process would take longer as Loblaw attempts the delicate dance of balancing the cultures of the two businesses, a process that could take up to five years. “Having done a couple of integrations before, to me, a successful integration is about the synergies, but it is a lot more about having integrated processes and one culture that works together,” he said. “It is setting up a stage so that everyone recognizes the end stage is this company.”

Domenic Pilla and Galen Weston

A big bet The end stage in this case is Loblaw’s big bet, something Weston said he had been pondering for years, and that he’d discussed with Holger Kluge, then Shoppers’ chair, for several years. “We have had approaches from many firms,” Kluge said when the deal was announced. “And in the end, it just happened to be the right time, when these two minds came together, and came together quickly, at what we believe at the right price for our shareholders.” Weston’s comments at the time spoke to both the long- and short-term potential of the deal. “I have long believed that becoming a Canadian health and wellness and nutrition champion represented a powerful next chapter for the company,” he said. “But to be frank, if we were really going to be serious about it, we had to go out and add the very best pharmacy retailer in Canada. And that is just what we have done.”

Winning with real estate Another key to the deal is real estate. Less than two weeks before announcing the acquisition, Weston completed the IPO for Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. At the time, that included 415 retail

The Deal of the Decade properties, representing about 75 per cent of Loblaw’s holdings, with a value of approximately $7 billion. Valuable retail space is clearly part of the plan moving forward. Shoppers’ stores are often located centrally in Canadian cities, whereas Loblaw and other large grocery chains are based in more suburban settings. Trius acknowledged that his vision of the future of food sales in Canada included large superstores with 80,000 to 90,000 square feet in space, but that those vast warehouses would also likely offer less growth. There are much bigger opportunities, he said, in stores one-third the size of the big-box retailers. “Real estate is pricey, and Loblaw [by buying Shoppers] got access to real estate in nice urban centres to help move their private-label products,” says Charlebois, noting he thinks a key to the deal is moving Loblaw’s privatelabel brands into the smaller Shoppers stores. Speaking at an investor conference in September, Trius acknowledged an early intention to move more food into Shoppers stores, in part by replacing big space-eating services like photo finishing. “As you do that . . . you can put in a more comprehensive offer, leveraging the space in food,” he said. “To us, this means you can buy your breakfast, lunch and dinner when you go to Shoppers.”

Focus on the future The Competition Bureau placed several conditions on the closing, including forcing Loblaw to sell 18 stores and nine pharmacies it controlled to an independent operator. Additional “behavioural restrictions” were placed on the company’s interaction with suppliers for up to five years. Still, the deal left the combined company with 2,300 stores, and nearly 1,800 pharmacies. Of particular note, said Trius, would be the appointment of an executive vice-president of

integration and an executive vice-president of speed of change. Analyst Grier warns that looking into a crystal ball and trying to position a company ahead of an emerging trend is a tricky business. What’s especially worrisome, he says, is that Loblaw has struggled with its execution in recent years. Consequently, Grier remains skeptical of the company’s abilities to fully realize the potential of the Shoppers transaction. “To make this deal into something different will be based on execution, and they’ve had challenges doing that,” he says. But Weston said he saw this transaction as a business with a long history in Canada adapting to changing demographics and competitive realities. And even if it meant relinquishing his family’s coveted 51-per-cent ownership stake in the business (the Westons now hold 46 per cent of Loblaw voting stock), it was worth the risk. “The timing of the transaction right now is optimal,” said Weston. “It is optimal from a leadership perspective. It is optimal from a culture perspective. It is optimal from a regulatory perspective, and it is optimal from a fundamental sales and earnings trend perspective for both of these businesses.” All that remains, then, is to find out whether Canada will evolve to match the business Weston and Trius are creating.

The combined company

2,300 stores


HEALTH & CONVENIENCE With the Shoppers’ acquisition, Loblaw will be the clearinghouse for around one-quarter of all prescriptions for medication in Canada. “To the extent that, over time, the Canadian population is increasing in urban environments, this makes sense,” says Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at the University of Guelph. “People aren’t doing their commuting or travelling by car, and once you think about that in the context of shopping, location is important.” Trius also noted that, by 2025, 25 per cent of the Canadian population would be over the age of 65. “If you look at Canadians across all social classes – it doesn’t matter – it is about health and wellness.” Others agree. “The deal reflects how consumers perceive food and how they want to connect with food,” says David Soberman, Canadian national chair of strategic marketing at Rotman School of Management in Toronto. “I do believe that to enable growth in the food industry is to sell products at a premium by focusing on health products. The Shoppers deal makes sense by reaching out to market factions that are looking for products with health benefits.”



Robert Thompson has written for The Financial Post and other business publications. This article was adapted from Listed magazine.

May | June 2014


Darrell Jones:


After a period of relative stability, the retail landscape in Western Canada is undergoing a major shakeup. With the purchase of 15 stores from Sobeys Inc., Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) is right in the thick of it and poised for further growth, not only in its current provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, but beyond.

Leading the charge is Darrell Jones, whom OFG owner Jim Pattison appointed as president in 2012, upon the retirement of longtime company executive Steve van der Leest. Jones, a 39-year veteran of the company, got his start bagging groceries after school in Cranbrook, B.C. Over the years, he has worked in 23 different stores in various parts of the province while rising through the ranks. “It’s something that


happens when you are fortunate enough to work for a great organization with terrific ownership that’s privately held,” he says of his achievements. “Those are big advantages when you’re in any business, particularly in the retail food business.” By tailoring its stores to fit each community in which it operates, OFG is uniquely positioned to take advantage of changing

consumer demographics. Under Jones’ leadership, it is moving forward on a number of fronts, including online shopping and the construction of a new distribution centre to support a move eastward. Grocery Business had an opportunity to speak with Jones about his plans for the recently acquired stores and the company’s future.


BANNERS: Save-on-Foods, Overwaitea Foods, Cooper’s Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods, and Bulkley Valley Wholesale

CURRENT LOCATIONS: British Columbia and Alberta

EMPLOYEES: More than 14,000

OWNERSHIP: Part of the Food & Beverage operating division of The Jim Pattison Group, the second-largest private company in Canada


May | June 2014


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with Darrell Jones

verwaitea recently acquired 15 stores from role does PriceSmart play in your Q | OSobeys. Q | What What does this acquisition bring to the growth strategy? organization?

Culturally, it’s a very good fit. In each and every one of the locations, we have agreed to keep all of the staff and all of the store management. And they’re great people who have a tremendous amount of experience, so we feel very good about that. said that the acquisition positions you Q | You’ve for further growth. How do you see this growth playing out? We are starting to build a second warehouse in Edmonton. That will allow us to look to markets, not only in Alberta, but east into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. recently implemented a new Q | Overwaitea store start-up fee of one free case of all listed items per new store. What has been the reaction from the vendor community? Well, the vendor community is always supportive. This is something that has been done for quite some time with most of the major players. We’re looking for the same types of opportunities that have been in play with the other major retailers.

PriceSmart Foods has a very important role in our strategy. As you know, the demographics are changing in the West and in all of Canada; the ethnic customer base is growing, particularly in major metropolitan areas. PriceSmart Foods allows us to better service the ethnic customer with stores that are what we call mosaic, or East meets West. For example, our Richmond, [B.C.], store has a full Asian supermarket combined with a western-style supermarket. We try to ensure that our stores fit the demographics of the community so we don’t put the same cookiecutter store everywhere. And we give our store managers a tremendous amount of flexibility to purchase local products that suit the communities they serve. We believe that it’s critical to be unique and to be the best possible place in each and every community for our customers to shop. For example, there’s a supplier who makes potato chips in Cranbrook, so we’ll have those potato chips in our stores. The local person who makes sausages – we’ll have those sausages.

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Q&A continued is changing consumers’ shopping Q | Technology habits. How is Overwaitea adapting to this new environment? We want to deliver great service to our customers in the form that suits them best. Aside from the shopping apps we’ve introduced, we’re launching an online grocery shopping test in three major markets in September. We’re just putting the final pieces together, but customers will be able to purchase groceries online and have them delivered, or they can pick them up at one of our set locations. That’s exciting for us. Basically, it’s Save-on-Foods anywhere, anytime.

Q | will be?

Can you tell us where those test markets

No, we’re not quite ready to do that, but they will be in Greater Vancouver.

Q | challenge going forward?

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE LEADERSHIP? It was best coined by [management consultant] Peter Drucker, who said: “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” For me, leadership is all about doing what is right for your business, your people and your community. Therefore, important decisions need to be made always looking with a broad perspective, not just immediate easy solutions. DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR? Yes, Clarence Heppell, who was the president of the Overwaitea Food Group for 18 years. He transformed the company. Clarence worked for Overwaitea for a total of 42 years, and he taught us that this business is a “people business,” not a “food business.” That context still shapes how we think about our business today: We put our customers and our people first. WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED? If you can find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.

What do you see as Overwaitea’s greatest

Managing the extraordinary speed of change that’s happening in the retail business. Whether it’s online shopping or changing customer expectations, we have to make sure that we know what our customers want.

Q | Is there anything you’d like to add? To be successful, it’s critical for our stores to reflect the communities they’re in and to have store management that has the autonomy to do what’s right for the people in the community. That’s the unique thing about our stores – we’re the local guys!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE GROCERY INDUSTRY? My advice would be to give whatever you do, everything you’ve got. The only limitations you will ever have in the grocery business or in anything you do will be the limitations you put on yourself. Never listen to people who tell you that you cannot do something. Believe in yourself! I once read: “If you work hard on your job, you will make a living. If you work hard in yourself, you can make a fortune!” Great advice!

May | June 2014


Shelf Life

GUT FEEL Consumers seem to have an unwavering focus on digestive health these days, and, according to market research firm Mintel Group, that will drive a 48-per-cent increase in sales of gluten-free products over the next few years. Interesting fact: only one per cent of the population have been diagnosed with celiac disease, and just 7 per cent with gluten sensitivity. Despite this, it’s estimated that 23 per cent of North Americans are now adopting a gluten-free diet for numerous “non-medical reasons.”

So what are the key drivers behind the popularity of gluten-free foods? The main reasons consumers have embraced a gluten-free lifestyle, according to Hartman Research, are digestive harmony and overall health.

Gluten-free defined Gluten-free foods are those that do not contain the protein gluten (and other reactive proteins), which exists in all forms of wheat, including: faro, durum, semolina, spelt, kamut and einkorn, and all related grains, including barley and rye. Gluten can be found in baked goods and pastas, as well as in unidentified starches,

binders, fillers and malts. It can even be found as an additive or ingredient in a variety of foods, such as cold cuts, soups, soy sauce and jelly beans. When eaten by people with celiac disease or sensitivities, gluten can trigger the production of antibodies that damage the lining of the small intestine, leading to numerous complex health issues.

From a marketing perspective, what do grocers need to know about the gluten-free consumer? According to Catalina Marketing, the typical dollar ring of gluten-free consumers can be more than three times that of average consumers in supermarket-purchased products.

The reason? Gluten-free consumers create

more “from scratch” meals for themselves and/or their families. Plus, they are more likely to purchase higher-margin, premium food products or hard-to-find items that figure into a restricted diet.

Source: Hartman Research

Q. Can a gluten-free product also be tasty and nutritious? A. Our research shows that there is a gap in the market for great-tasting gluten-free products that also offer nutrition. We’ve found a lot of room for improvement in both the health and taste profiles of gluten-free products so that the consumer doesn’t have to compromise. As well, 57% of gluten-free consumers tell us that they will change brands for increased fibre and better taste in a baked good. Q. What is different about Promise products? A. Bakery represents 51% of the Canadian gluten-free food market. Gluten-free consumers are totally frustrated by not getting the quality of baked goods that they need in terms of taste, texture and nutritional value. The vast majority of consumers who go gluten free do so for overall health reasons, for nutritional value or to lose weight. Unfortunately, products on the market in Canada today do not deliver on these key consumer needs; in fact, many are inherently unhealthy, with high fat content, low fibre and high sugar. Many people who go on a gluten-free diet can actually gain weight unless they are very careful. Promise is different because it has the taste of “normal bread.” In addition, it is low in fat – as low as just 1.7% compared with 9% fat, which is commonplace in others. Promise has very high fibre content and has less sugar, lower calories and lower carbs. It really is nutritionally better than anything else out there, and we can’t wait for Canadian gluten-free consumers to try it as we launch here in the coming weeks. Q. Who is buying gluten-free products?

Why Consumers Go Gluten-Free 47% Digestive and Overall Health 33% Nutritional Value

Tom Doyle, President of Promise Gluten-Free Bakery

26% Weight Loss 22% Improved Mental Function/ Concentration

A. The growth of the gluten-free market is coming from the non-celiac consumer, from people who have chosen to go gluten free, and they do not want to compromise on the taste or nutritional value of the products they buy.

Shelf Life

Q&A with Paul Valder, president of Allergen Control Group Inc., administrator of the Gluten-Free Certification Program on behalf of the Canadian Celiac Association. Q. What is the role of third-party gluten-free certification programs? A. It is key for manufacturers to reassure consumers that their products are certified gluten free. Initiatives such as the GlutenFree Certification Program are used to ensure that any foods labelled gluten free do not contain 20 ppm (parts per million) or more of gluten. The certification tool kit includes:

• • • • • • •


Conducting in-house gluten testing of starting ingredients or finished foods;


Employing a third-party laboratory to conduct in-house gluten testing;


Requesting certificates of gluten analysis from ingredient suppliers;


Participating in a third-party gluten-free certification program.

Artisan taste and quality since 2001 Certified gluten-free No starchy fillers Zero transfat All natural No GMO’s Kosher

Q. Why is it important to have third-party certification? A. These programs add value in a number of ways: »»

The Gluten-Free Certification Program mark provides a significant third-party market differentiator versus “self-declared” claims, and will be the “mark of trust” when consumers shop for gluten-free products.


Third-party claims help to remove bias and set standards for a food manufacturer, as well as for the consumer buying these gluten-free products.


Third-party gluten-free certifications differentiate brands and give consumers added reassurance that they are purchasing the right products for them.

The Gluten-Free Certification Program is endorsed by the Canadian Celiac Association.

Shelf Life

Gluten-Free Market by Retail Format (2013) RETAIL FORMAT



Stand Alone Natural



Natural Chains





















Categories feeling the gluten-free fallout


Source: Markets & Markets 2013

I have reduced my gluten-free consumption because of:

56% 10% Personal choice

Doctor’s instructions



Among gluten-free adopters, 19% have switched completely to gluten-free products. Source: Nielsen Syndicated Study on Health & Wellness, Canada, 2013

Source: Nielsen Syndicated Study on Health & Wellness, Canada, 2013

Manufacturers are taking the opportunity to tap into several markets: soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and organic. When you consider the “free-from” product claims, it’s interesting that the gluten-free opportunity is actually one of the only ‘allergen claims’ that has a specific diet attached to it. Perhaps this is part of its allure and success.

—Tricia Ryan, vice-president, Allergen Control Group

May | June 2014








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FebrezeTM is a trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company, used under license.


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to the 2014 Best New Product Award Winners! Thank you for making this year our biggest year ever! The Best New Product Awards remain the country’s largest and most credible CPG Awards program in both the number of categories and the 90,000 consumers who participate. We’re proud to be working with our retail partner Walmart to bring the Best New Product Award winners to as many shoppers as possible through shelf talkers, online and flyers, and also through other Best New Product Award media/PR programs.

This year, we have expanded the depth of the BNPA product and trend research with our new OptiSpark custom research option, our new Canadian Ethnic Shopper Report and the new BrandSpark Shopper Retailer Report. We are also excited to launch the first annual BrandSpark Most Trusted Award for CPG brands, as voted by 95,000 Canadians. I congratulate the 2014 winners, and thank all those involved with this year’s awards. Robert Levy President & Founder, Best New Product Awards BrandSpark International

BEST NEW PRODUCT AWARDS: The People’s Choice By Sally Praskey

When 90,000 consumers vote for their favourite products, the winners are bound to be good. That’s why the Best New Product Awards (BNPAs), now in its 11th year, is Canada’s largest and most credible consumer packagedgoods (CPG) awards program. This year, Canadians voted 88 products as winners in the Food & Beverage, Health & Beauty, Household, and Kids categories. “The Best New Product Awards are 100 per cent consumer voted,” says Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International market research firm and founder of the BNPAs. “It’s the real People’s Choice Awards for products

we buy every day. When shoppers purchase a Best New Product Award winner, it means that they’re buying a product that has been tried and endorsed by thousands of Canadians just like them. Consumers believe that is the most trustworthy source of recommendations besides their own friends and family.” In addition to voting, consumers participate in the BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study, providing feedback about their everyday purchasing decisions and their attitudes towards such topics as food and nutrition, health, media habits, the economy, the environment, and new technology.


41% Avg. Awareness of New Products in 2014 BNPA (Among Category Shoppers)

17% Avg. Trial Rate in 2014 BNPA (Among Category Shoppers)

May | June 2014



DRIVE SALES, with these product winners; voted #1 in 2014 by Canadian Consumers*

TIDE® Plus Febreze® Freshness™ Sport HE Liquid Laundry Detergent

* 2 0 1 4

COVERGIRL® Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast

Bounty® DuraTowel

Pampers® Baby Dry Diapers

Wolfthorn™ Body Wash Pampers® Natural Clean Wipes

Gillette® ProGlide™ Sensitive Shave Prep

Hawkridge™ Body Wash Gillette® MACH3® Sensitive Men’s Razor

Pepto-Bismol™ To-Go

Oral-B® Professional™ Deep Sweep™ Triaction 1000™

Touching lives, improving life.


Venus & Olay™ Razor in Sugarberry

*BNPA Category winners are chosen using consumer appeal and repurchase intent measures proprietary to BrandSpark International. Winners are based on the highest numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance. For more information visit The Best New Products Award logo is a trademark of Best New Products Awards Inc., used under license.

Best New Product Awards

A Matter of Trust This year, the company launched the BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards, identifying the brands that Canadian shoppers trust the most in key Food, Beverage, Beauty, Personal Care, Health, Baby & Kids, and Household Care categories. “We had 60 categories this year for the inaugural edition,” explains Levy. The winning brands are those that consumers cited, unaided, when asked in the Canadian Shopper Study to name their most trusted brands. So far, several major brands are already starting to actively promote the credential. “We’re very excited about that new credential,” says Levy. “Our study shows that more than 70 per cent of Canadians place a high importance on established trust in a brand when purchasing a product.”







% are trying to improve their

food consumption habits by paying attention to the daily intake values shown on product packaging


they always or sometimes use written % say shopping lists, but they still purchased items they did not plan to buy on 49% of trips








84% CHECK GROCERY-STORE FLYERS EVERY WEEK Source: 2014 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study.

May | June 2014


Tracking Shoppers’ Trends Levy and his team of researchers identified several trends in consumer shopping habits that prevailed in the 2014 Canadian Shopper Study. Shoppers continue to seek ways to save money on their shopping, he says. While they will generally buy one of a set of preferred brands, they will choose that which offers the best promotion that week. In their efforts to save money, consumers are increasingly shopping at banners that they feel offer everyday low prices. Levy also notes that, while readership for digital flyers is increasing, “they remain secondary in use to the traditional print

format. Canadians are among the highest readers of print flyers in the western world.” Increasing numbers of shoppers are using their smartphones in-store, says Levy, with many leveraging coupon apps like SnapSaves (coupon scanning for cash-back rewards). However, the paper coupon still holds sway, being redeemed on three in 10 household shopping trips. And although consumers are spending more time online, traditional retailer channels remain strong; shoppers continue to cite in-store samples, flyers, direct-mail coupons, and retail displays as the most effective means to learn about new products.

OTHER TRENDS: • Consumers are increasingly concerned with sugars and artificial sweeteners; • Natural foods are increasing in popularity; • Organics remain appealing, but for three in four shoppers, only at the same price or a minimal price premium; • An emerging issue for Canadians is genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which four in 10 shoppers cited as a concern.

For more information on how to access the insights from the BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study, please contact Philip Scrutton: or 647-727-3590.


The INNOVATORS Retail innovators are notable for their ability to adapt many game-changing ideas, as well as their penchant for looking beyond their own category for inspiration. They create new business models that may incorporate elements of cross-channel retailing, deep customer involvement, experiential shopping, and the intelligent use of new technologies. Retail innovators think about an existing business in a completely different way, often shattering the tried-and-true methods of distribution and selling. They may seamlessly blend the online and offline retail experience, allowing customers to shop where and how they want, at any time, and offering them the best of the physical and virtual worlds. Often, these new models force one to rethink the very nature of what retailing can be.

Those are the conclusions of Ebeltoft Group’s Retail Innovations 9, its latest compilation of leading-edge innovation, which highlights individual ideas and identifies emerging themes. With 21 members in 20 countries – including J.C. Williams Group in Canada – the company spans the world in its search for retail innovators, selecting examples from 22 countries for its ninth edition. Here we highlight six examples that are particularly relevant to the grocery industry.

By Maureen Atkinson

“In the competitive retail world, it’s critical, especially in the grocery sector, to not compete on a commodity basis and to truly differentiate your retail, service and product offering. Brick-andmortar innovation is crucial for developing new incentives and experiences that will motivate consumers to visit the store.” – John Williams, senior partner, strategy and new concepts; and Maureen Atkinson, senior partner, research insights, J.C. Williams Group

May | June 2014




Arcimbo Arcimbo uses an interesting and obvious complement to an online store/drive-towarehouse concept. Customers can order groceries online and pickup in-store, but during the same trip they can hand-pick the items they care about most, like fresh produce. This allows for customers to have a quick and efficient trip to the grocery store while at the same time provides a solution for the retailer who has struggled to persuade customers to purchase fresh foods online. Let’s face it, most of us prefer to feel the firmness of a mango or a peach ourselves before we can be convinced of buying it!


May | June 2014

International ROMANIA

Mega Image Concept Store Everyone talks about differentiation, but very few actually do it. Mega Image uses a variety of tactics to communicate to customers how it is unique, such as incorporating distinctive store design features (e.g., specialized food islands, wooden furnishings) and superior technology to keep produce fresh, as well as focusing on the exclusive grocery segment (80 per cent of shelf space is devoted to exclusive products).


Continente Stores Continente Stores brings together the benefits of the very large and the very small to offer its customers a total shopping experience that includes several specialty stores within a mass hypermarket. Continente takes the hypermarket concept even further to include services that aren’t normally associated with food, such as a nail salon, in an attempt to create a one-stop-shopping destination.

May | June 2014


International SINGAPORE

BreadTalk BreadTalk has been a closely watched concept in food retail since its inception. What could be mundane is made fascinating, and the company has refreshed its stores to combine the old and the new. BreadTalk also promotes healthy living, which is not normally associated with bread.


Petra Mora Petra Mora is a retailer that is learning from other retail sectors, such as fashion. It offers affordable private-label gourmet products, both in-store and online. Leading retailers don’t just look at companies in their own category; they go beyond and look at other product ranges to search for solutions and opportunities from the retail industry as a whole.



Olive Market (CJ Foods) Olive Market is a retail showcase for manufacturer CJ Foods. The store displays a wide variety of merchandise, while demonstrating how various products are used in cooking. Refrigerated and prepared foods, TV displays featuring companysponsored cooking shows and food service stations all work to create a unique “market hall” experience.

About J.C. Williams Group J.C. Williams Group retail consultancy has offices in Toronto, Montreal and internationally. The company has senior advisor specialists in a variety of areas, including market research, strategy/new concepts and branding.

About Ebeltoft Group Ebeltoft Group is a global alliance of 21 consultancy companies with a focus on retail. Since 1990, the company has helped retailers, as well as suppliers to the retail sector, remain competitive by blending global retail expertise with each member’s local insight.

About Retail Innovations 9th Edition Retail lnnovations 9 is Ebeltoft Group’s latest compilation of leading-edge retail innovation. To obtain a copy of this publication, go to:

May | June 2014


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CANADIAN GRAND PRIX NEW PRODUCT AWARDS Healthy food options, diverse flavours and easy to prepare foods dominate the shortlist of new products vying for the 21st annual Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) announced 89 finalist products in 26 food, non-food and private-label categories, as selected by a 32-member jury. Winners will be announced at the Grand Prix Gala on June 4, 2014 at the Toronto Congress Centre, as part of the STORE 2014 retail conference presented by RCC.

Congratulations TO THE FINALISTS…


Astro® Original Greek Yogourt, Banana Cream Pie


May | June 2014







For trade inquiries call 1-800-663-8695

* Except for those naturally occurring in the ingredients.




Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables

A. LASSONDE INC. Del Monte World

MORE FINALISTS B&G FOODS CrockPot Seasoning Mixes CANADA BREAD COMPANY Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread COUNTRY MAGIC Bloo Juice - Blueberry Citrus and Blueberry



Boulangerie Grissol® Sweet Thins


May | June 2014




Happy Planet Fresh Soup


KRAFT CANADA INC. Kraft Fruit & Veg


Kraft Peanut Butter Flavours

KRAFT CANADA INC. Cracker Barrel


Philadelphia Chocolate Spread Made with Cream Cheese

MORE FINALISTS DARE FOODS Breton® Popped!™ - Sea Salt and BBQ DELTA DAILY FOOD Fleury Michon Surimi Rolls


May | June 2014

FINICA FOOD SPECIALTIES LTD. Zerto Fresh Mozzarella Pre-Sliced


Fibre 1 with Protein


MAPLE LEAF Schneiders® Country Naturals® Burgers


Schneiders® Country Naturals® Pork Sausage in Lamb Casing

MAPLE LEAF Schneiders® Country Naturals® Sausage Snacks


IÖGO 0% with Stevia Extract

May | June 2014


PAC Symposium, Toronto

Eric Ashworth

Tom Szaky

Donna Razik

Al Metauro

Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 2, 2014

• Day 1: Key note speakers will open with current and future retail trends driving consumer engagement and sustainable supply chain innovation. A collaborative workshop will feature a retailer, brand owner, package maker, waste manager and government leader demonstrating sustainable design life-cycle thinking for our imaginary product. • Day 2 : The journey will continue and feature disruptive packaging innovation, creativity from graphic design students and celebration. • Day 3 : Next life value-added solutions for packaging waste therefore closing the loop on our imaginary packaged product.

Presented by: TM


Ron Davis

Bromlyn Bethune

Karina Espinel

Liberatore Trombetta

Food A&V 2000 INC.

NuTerra™ Granola

MORE FINALISTS NESTLÉ CANADA Aero® NEW ERA NUTRITION INC. Solo Gl Energy and Nutrition Bars NUTRINOR Laura Secord Chocolate Milk SMUCKER FOODS Robin Hood® Nutri Flour Blend™ UNILEVER CANADA Fruttare™ Frozen Fruit Bars


Organic Mushroom Broth

WESTON BAKERIES LIMITED Country Harvest™ Veggie Bread

Thank You! On behalf of CPMA, the organizing committee and the produce industry, we would like to express sincere thanks to all of our sponsors for their support of CPMA’s 89th Annual Convention and Trade Show. Our sponsors are an integral part of this annual event, going above and beyond to assist with the business, social, companion programs, and more. Their active participation ensured that the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s 2014 Convention & Trade Show was memorable for all.


Visit to see the full list of sponsors!

CHAIRMAN’S CLUB ($25,000 and up) C.H. Robinson Canadian Grocer Chiquita Brands North America Stemilt Growers Inc. Sunkist Growers The Oppenheimer Group The Packer PLATINUM ($17,500 – $24,999) Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc. Mucci Farms Paramount Citrus/POM Wonderful Wonderful Pistachios/ Wonderful Almonds The Produce News The Star Group Windset Farms Inc. GOLD ($10,000 – $17,499) Association québécoise de la distribution de fruits et légumes • BCfresh • BC Tree Fruits Ltd. • California Strawberry Commission • California Tomato Farmers/ Florida Tomato Committee • Dole Food Company FirstFruits Marketing of WA LLC • Fresh Direct Produce Ltd. • Giumarra Companies • H&W Produce Corp. Highline Mushrooms • Ippolito Fruit & Produce Ltd. JemD Farms • Krown Produce/The Lid Company Loblaws • Mastronardi Produce • Pear Bureau Northwest • Rainier Fruit Company • Sobeys • Target Transport Ltd. • Washington Apple Commission


Mrs Dash® Seasoning Mix Packets


Club House Gluten-Free Gravy Mix


Mini Pastries 189 Harwood


Quaker™ Harvest Crunch® Quinoa Bars


Yopa!™ Stirred Greek Yogurt




Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate

May | June 2014


Non-Food CARLTON CARDS Sparkle Knits



Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection AgeDefy Shampoo and Conditioner


Cascade Platinum Citrus


Gillette Venus & Olay Exfoliating Razor

MORE FINALISTS DLM FOODS CANADA Meow Mix Tender Centers Paté Toppers GROUP SEB T-Fal OptiGrill JARDEN BRANDED CONSUMABLES First Alert ATOM Smoke Alarm JOHNSON & JOHNSON Polysporin Eczema Essentials 54

May | June 2014

WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION Affresh Coffeemaker Cleaner


Old Spice Wild Collection Body Wash



Royal Chinet


Cashmere UltraLuxe


Purina Beneful Baked Delights

MORE FINALISTS PROCTER & GAMBLE ZzzQuil Liquicaps Sleep-Aid IAMs So Good with Savory Chicken Secret Clinical Tampax Radiant Compak Bounty DuraTowel Febreze Stick and Refresh S C JOHNSON Glade Wax Melts



güd from Burt’s Bees


Clorox Bleach Foamer



Glad Compostable OdorShield

SOLO CUP CANADA Solo Varietal Plastic Wine Glasses TRUE EARTH PAPER CORPORATION True Earth Paper - Dragon Towels


Glad Easy-Tie Kitchen Catchers


Gold Saskatoon Berry Ice Cream


Gold Strawberry, Yogurt & Banana Smoothie


Chicken Pad Thai



Life Smart Smoothie

White Balsamic Vinegar


Mini Sorbet Bars

MORE FINALISTS METRO INC. Irresistables Puff Pastries Selection Ice Cream Irresistables Shrimp Irresistables Gluten Free Frozen Meal Selection Soft Dairy Swirl Ice Cream

May | June 2014


Private Label SOBEYS INC.

Sensations No Limits BBQ Sauce


Edwards Tassimo


Compliments presents Jamie Oliver Flattened Chicken


Our Finest Chocolates


Sensations Netherlands Pays - Bas Speculoos Spiced Cookie Crumble Ice Cream

MORE FINALISTS SOBEYS INC. Sensations Chocolate Extravagance Ice Cream Sensations Stuffed Burger Debi Lilly Fluted Petite Vase WALMART CANADA Our Finest Peanut Butter Burst Cookies


May | June 2014


Our Finest Preserve Style Spread



May | June 2014




In its recent study, What’s in Store 2014, Engaging the Elusive Consumer, Nielsen found that Canadian shoppers are looking for value, eating healthier and shopping outside traditional channels.

BOTTOM 5 -5% Deli Meat -4% Natural Cheese +8% Vegetables

-4% Cold Beverages

+8% Home Meal Replacements

-1% Shaving

+6% Hot Beverages

-1% Household Products

+6% Processed Meat +5% Fruit





1.5 - 2%

0 - .5%

May | June 2014

GROW IT OR BUY IT: CAPITALIZE ON AN UNSATURATED MARKET Don’t be caught with a health and wellness void

The No. 1 global consumer concern after the economy is health





IN 2013




IN 2008






Align innovation to deeper trends such as wellness

Find them – Segmentation and Precision

Have a laser focus on your consumer


Know them better than they know themselves

Be deliberate about how you connect with them

Technology and lifestyles are creating opportunities for profitable growth

Close the loyalty gap

Plan, buy and evaluate media across all platforms in real time


Innovation is as much a mindset as it is a product launch

Communicate LESS about me and more about you

Innovate along the path to purchase

Leverage the small cost/big impact media

Demand, assortment, shopability, functionality, social sharing

Underdogs can become top dogs

Rate of change is only going to increase; windows of opportunity exist everywhere, but will only be won by those with an unwavering focus on the consumer.


May | June 2014


New products you need to know about!


New Spreadable Fine Cheeses Parmalat introduces a new line of spreadable fine cheeses: President Spreadable Brie, a rich, creamy essence of Brie, without the rind; and President Spreadable Feta, the rich, creamy essence of Feta, without the crumble. For more details, contact your Parmalat sales representative at 1-800-563-1515

Creamy Icings Made with Real Yogurt Cake Mate’s new Yogurt Crème icings are made with real yogurt and offer a smooth and creamy yogurt taste. Yogurt Crème is easy to use, is gluten free and shelf stable, and comes in three delicious flavours: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate and Strawberry.


May | June 2014

New Snacking Delights Fibre 1 expands the nutritious portable snacks category with two new Delights flavours: Lemon and Chocolate Chip.

New Veggies & Hummus Trays

The Leading Edge

Mann’s convenient new snack trays feature fresh-cut vegetables and Sabra hummus. These vegetable trays feature micro-perforation technology, which holds veggies in place, keeping them fresh and helping to extend shelf life.

General Mills is rejuvenating the cereal category with Edge with Protein. Edge is a flake cereal that offers the stacked nutrition of 11g of protein, is high in vitamin B and very high in fibre.

A Complete Protein Snack Maple Leaf Natural Selections Protinis is a new, complete protein snack made with delicious oven-roasted seasoned chicken or combinations of oven-roasted chicken and dried fruit. Made with natural ingredients, Protinis is a smart and satisfying snack option available in eight flavours.

May | June 2014


it figures



51% of Canadians own a smartphone, 12% are expected to buy one in the next year


of Canadians use social media to help make purchase decisions

Takeaway Social media is redefining word of mouth as consumers trust family and friends’ feedback more than advertising. Engage your customer in a conversation – foster a dialogue, not a monologue.


May | June 2014

Takeaway Your online presence is important, so have an easy-tonavigate site that is mobile friendly. It’s just as important as having an engaging storefront.

of consumers have downloaded

retailer-specific applications on their phones, with grocery being the most popular (51%) Takeaway Ensure that your app is used. Communicate with consumers often, to get feedback about what’s working and what is relevant to them.



Takeaway How do you establish a social media presence that’s influential and personal? Build your network by daily searching, reading, tagging and asking questions.

Consumers are most willing to connect with loyalty programs (29%) and grocery retailers (25%) using social media Takeaway Consumers are more willing to share and get involved when you are interested and listen. Position yourself to be found by industry influencers and interested consumers.


54% of consumers are

willing to get more involved in new product input, 48% in product reviews


Takeaway Through social media, you have access to the largest, most unaided focus group, so ask for feedback, reciprocate and respond to inquiries. Be genuine in your interactions – today’s consumers are passing your comments on to others.

Carman Allison is Vice-President of Consumer Insights for Nielsen in Canada, and is responsible for creating thought leadership insights for CPG manufacturers and retailers. Carman Allison


May | June 2014








Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building NEW LOCATION

Conference September 11 & 12 Trade Show September 13 & 14

Celebrating 50 years as the voice of the natural health industry • natural health products • health and beauty • sports nutrition • specialty food • nutraceuticals • organics

FOR COMPLETE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER VISIT CHFA trade shows are not open to the public. Proof of industry status is required in order to gain admission to the conference and trade show. For additional information on the show and our show policies, please visit

Scallops made simple.

Scallops & Sauce - simple to prepare. Simply delicious. Wild-caught scallops coated in one of three signature sauces. Sauté in six minutes and customize with your favourite ingredients. Add them to your seafood lineup today. Also le! ab avail • (905) 858-9514 •

May/June 2014  
May/June 2014  

Darrell Jones: A Man With a Mission Overwaitea Food Group is poised for growth in Western Canada’s rapidly changing retail landscape