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March / April 2015 Vol 5 | No 2 $9.95




PM # 42211029

A Universe of Flavours

produce PLUS


Night to Nurture Gala

Grocery Business March | April, 2015 Volume 5, Number 2


Night to Nurture Gala 2015


Front End


Open Mike



March | April 2015

Time for a loyalty card overhaul?

Launch It, List It New & now discoveries

It Figures


Perry’s Point of View

People & News



Deliver on delicious

Old school in a new world


Night to Nurture Gala



16 Marché Adonis

A Unique Universe of Flavours




FEATURES 13 Why Canada Needs a Code

14 Dairy-Deli-Bakery

What’s in store?

27 Strength in Partnership 43 Perspective: Target

49 Aurora Importing and Distributing

Focus on the future

Supermarket Unique?

47 Building Your Brand Online

Every Day

61 Bee Aware

24 More Than Purveyors

65 Spring Into BBQ Season

25 A Produce Point-

How pollinators affect food prices

of Produce of-View

26 Top 10 Trend Drivers

Exits Canada

45 What Makes Your

23 Delivering Freshness



March | April 2015


Front End

Jim Downham, CEO of PAC, Packaging Consortium since 2006, has been inducted into the North American Packaging Hall of Fame. The Packaging Hall of Fame is organized by PMMI, the Washington-based Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Paul Marsham, Marsham, CEO Paul CEO of of Marsham Marsham International Inc.,isis InternationalFood Food Brokers Brokers Inc. pleased to announce announcethe thehiring hiringofof Bill pleased to Ivany to the created position of Bill Ivany to newly the newly created position President & COO at Marsham of President & COO at Marsham International.

International. Bill brings withover him30 over thirty Bill brings with him years’ years’ experience in the consumer experience in the consumer packaged goods packaged goodsindustry industryininCanada. Canada. He the first first 11 11years yearsofofhis hiscareer He spent spent the career in thebrokerage food brokerage in the food business before business moving to the moving tobefore the manufacturer side of manufacturer side of the industry. the industry. His first position thereHis first position there was with GVMF was with GVMF Canada, a division of Canada, a division of Conagra, where Conagra, served as the General he servedwhere as theheGeneral Manager Manager for six years. Following for six years. Following that, he that, he transitioned to President & CEO transitioned to President & CEO of of Melitta Inc.,where wherehehespent spent MelittaCanada Canada Inc, the the 13 years. lastlast thirteen years. Bill’s Bill’sleadership leadership and and team-building are well welldocumented team building skills skills are documented, and we are very excited and we are very to add his considerable talents and excited to add his considerable talents expertise to our flourishing team. and expertise to our flourishing team. Marsham International Marsham International Food Food Brokers Inc. is one of Canada’s Brokers one of Canada’sleading leading sales agencies in theand Natural sales agencies in the Natural and Organic sector of CPG, Organic sector of CPG representing representing many of the toporganic natural many of the top natural and and organic brand manufacturers in brand manufacturers in the Canadian the Canadian marketplace. marketplace.

March | April 2015


Front End

Transitions Kraft Canada’s Tim Berman (left) has moved into the role of acting president at Kraft Foods Group, Inc., while Mark Ayer (below) was named acting vice-president of sales. The Canadian operation will continue to report to Chris Kempczinski, who has expanded his responsibilities into a newly created international role. Thomas Haig (pictured), the former president of Hudson’s Bay Company, is the new president and COO of Giant Tiger. Haig succeeds Greg Farrell, who is retiring.

Mike & Mike’s Organics named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies Ian MacKenzie, president of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association, plans to retire at the end of this year. Prior to joining OPMA in 1994, MacKenzie held various positions within Agriculture Canada. Aaron Chin has been appointed to the position of sales manager at Organika Health Products. Chin is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, and holds a master’s degree from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France.

Mike & Mike’s Organics joined the ranks of the most recognized businesses in the country when it was recently named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies of 2014. “We are very passionate about what we do. We make sure our growers are looked after, which enables us to have the best product for our customers,” says Mike Fronte, president, Mike & Mike’s. “It’s the all-around commitment to the industry that helps us grow our business.” Mike & Mike’s is Ontario’s only exclusively certified-organic distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2004 by Fronte and Mike Dattoli, vice-president of operations, Mike & Mike’s has positioned itself as a leader in the organic food market by focusing on quality, selection, reliability and personalized service. Its direct-to-store delivery includes more than 300 kinds of fresh, certified-organic fruits and vegetables, as well as the Mike & Mike’s snack line of dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

March | April 2015 Volume 5, Number 2

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

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


March | April 2015

Executive Vice-President Content and Market Development Dan Bordun 416-817-5278 Contributing Editors Angela Kryhul, Sally Praskey Contributors Thomas A. Barlow, Birgit Blain, Perry Caicco, Errol Cerit, Rodney Daw, Sarah Feldman, Marjo Johne, Ron Lemaire, Michael Marinangeli, Kim Rapagna, Rich Rotzang, John F. T. Scott, Virginia Zimm

Creative Agency Boomerang Art & Design Inc. Subscription changes & updates or general inquiries: Grocery Business Advisory Council Shaun McKenna, Acosta Sales & Marketing Thomas A. Barlow, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers


Tim Berman, Kraft Canada

© Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission Mike Longo, Longo Brothers Fruit Market of the publisher. Michael Marinangeli, MIDEB Consulting Inc. GST Registration No. 83032 6807 RT0001 Darrell Jones, Overwaitea Food Group Publications Mail Agreement No. PM42211029 Cheryl Smith, Parmalat Canada ISSN 1927-243X David Wilkes, Retail Council of Canada Mailing Address Cori Bonina, Stong’s Market Grocery Business Media 390 Queen’s Quay W., PO Box 40085 Toronto, ON M5V 3A6 Mark Ayer, Kraft Canada

Perry Caicco, CIBC World Markets Nancy Croitoru, Food & Consumer Products of Canada

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Open Mike

Losing faith in loyalty cards By Michael Marinangeli

I believe today’s loyalty card programs need an overhaul. These types of programs have been around for over 20 years, and need a new perspective. I question not only their value and expense, but also whether they would even exist in their current format if they didn’t rely on suppliers to buy points, miles or data. Loyalty card programs have two main purposes: 1. Reward customers so they will visit a retailer’s store more often and spend more money once they are there. 2. Collect data on customer purchases to make more informed and fact-based merchandising, procurement and promotional decisions; and to sell this data to manufacturers. I don’t think these programs actually build loyalty. Many grocery retailers with loyalty card programs have struggled in recent years to grow their same-store sales, while others without them have continued to outpace market growth with higher penetration numbers.

Today’s decision-makers need to challenge their marketing departments on the value and cost of these programs. The usefulness of the data being collected needs to be examined, along with the tactic of trying to market to the individual consumer. Everyone has jumped on this bandwagon, and I am not convinced, based on my own experience with these offers, that this is an effective approach. Sometimes, the micro makes us lose sight of the macro, and we become too preoccupied with the smaller picture.

10 reasons why loyalty card programs aren’t delivering: 1. The value of the customer data being collected is questionable, since consumers shop around and spread their purchases among various stores. The result? You are not getting a complete insight on shopper behaviour in a given banner. 2. Since most consumers carry several cards, they are becoming intimidated by the number of e-mail offers from various retailers, and may delete the messages without ever reading them. Continued on page 11

March | April 2015


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Open Mike Continued from page 9 3. Loyalty rewards are not significant enough to override the appeal of hot flyers, deep-cut specials and ad matching. Most customers continue to use these tools to make their purchase decisions and store selections; loyalty cards take a back seat.

7. In general, the cost of these programs is being passed on to the suppliers. There must be a better way to use this trade spending to build retail and brand loyalty. 8. These programs appear to be becoming diluted. One chain recently extended its points program to one of its discount banners, which I consider to be off-strategy. Two other competing chains now offer the same reward in the same market.

4. Often, it takes too long to realize the benefit of the reward – several years, perhaps, in the case of a vacation or trip. 5. The e-mail coupon offers are often off today’s inflated regular shelf prices, which are nowhere near the value of a great feature price without the coupon. The savings are not enough to build loyalty.

9. In general, it is conventional grocery stores that offer loyalty card programs. And yet, despite these programs, they continue to lose market share to discount formats that don’t offer these enticements.

6. Customers worry about confidentiality and the security of their information. The rewards need to be significant and meaningful enough to mitigate their concerns.

Without a major change to loyalty card programs, I believe that retailers that offer them could face many more years of share erosion at the hands of those that spend their time, talent and treasury running a better store and offering better overall value to the consumer.

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.

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10. I have not seen any evidence that today’s grocery loyalty programs actually build loyalty. Any share numbers that I have seen over the past several years support this hypothesis.


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Independents’ Day

Why Canada

needs a Code A Code of Conduct would encourage collaboration and fair competition in a time of consolidation. By Thomas A. Barlow

The year 2014 was a watershed for the retail food industry in many respects. The 2013 acquisitions of Safeway by Sobeys, and Shoppers Drug Mart by Loblaw, took hold in 2014, and the increased consolidation brought renewed scrutiny of our industry. It is no secret that some of the practices in the industry that have arisen from retail consolidation have raised concerns with suppliers, regulators and independent retail grocers. These practices have also found their way onto the pages of both the trade and mainstream media, and it is clear to most objective observers that the industry has a problem. To address this problem, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers believes we need to bring forward a Code of Conduct similar to that in jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom and Australia. Concerns arising in the payments industry led to the development of a Code of Conduct for that sector that all retailers – large, small, independent and chain – welcomed. We now need to take the same approach to help us restore a more collaborative atmosphere in the food industry and provide more transparency with respect to some practices in our sector.

Economies of scale and leverage already afford competitive advantages to the large corporate retailer, presenting barriers to entry for many prospective independent retailers, and contributing to a decline in independent retail grocers across Canada. A Code of Conduct will not change the reality of scale, protect retailers from competition, or level the playing field, but it will help independents to at least stay on that playing field. Last year, Eric La Flèche, CEO of Metro, said, “I was very outspoken with our suppliers when we had a meeting with them, that the procurement synergies that some people are claiming are not going to be at our expense.” Independent retail grocers are saying exactly the same thing. They do not want the synergies of consolidation to be at their expense. The issue of fairness cannot be overstated. The CEO of any large corporate retailer can understandably have a conversation around synergies and trade spend with suppliers. Notwithstanding that independents account for about $13 billion in sales revenue in Canada (roughly on par with Metro), thousands of independent retailers, located in a myriad of communities across the country, cannot have that same “one-off” conversation

with the supplier community. However, a Code of Conduct becomes the tool by which that conversation can be held on their collective behalf. Fairness, transparency and balance were beliefs the retail community unanimously called for with respect to the payments industry. We cannot cherry-pick when we want those principles to apply. If we believe as a retail community that they should apply to another industry, how can we argue to regulators that they should not apply to our own? Enshrining those three tenets in a Code of Conduct is not about taking aim against any one company. Rather, it is about what we can do to support our industry and begin to focus on achieving culture change within it. In the long term, this will be good for the industry as a whole and, most importantly, for the consumers of Canada.

Thomas A. Barlow is president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

March | April 2015



IN STORE Michael Eardley, the new president and CEO of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), shares his thoughts on the category, the organization, and IDDBA’s highly anticipated June 2015 conference and show in Atlanta, Ga. HOW ARE THE DELI, BAKERY AND CHEESE CATEGORIES BEING IMPACTED BY THE “NEW CONSUMER?” The “new consumers” are the Millennials, who are changing both what and how we eat. IDDBA research tells us that Millennials look for stores that inspire them, but that they also want to eat healthy, save money and have fun while food shopping. We’re living in a world where loyalty is eroding and stock-up shoppers aren’t as common. Consumers today tend to shop in the moment. In the supermarket environment, dairy, deli and bakery departments are up against fast-casual and fastfood outlets. As a parent of Millennials, I know they enjoy cooking, but they’re more than willing, on any given day, to ditch cooking at home altogether and eat out. Our Engaging the Evolving Shopper report tells us that we need to take a more nuanced approach to what we offer because consumers want more than to just avoid sodium and additives. I believe dairy, deli and bakery departments are in a great position to earn more of the new consumers’ food dollars, and it’s our mission to help all facets of the industry work together to do that.


March | April 2015

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THE DAIRY-DELI-BAKERY CATEGORIES FACE? Hiring the right people and training them, both technically and in customer service, is always the biggest challenge. And the issue of food safety needs to be a top priority. To that end, we’ll be releasing training videos and research pieces throughout the year. WHAT EMERGING CATEGORY TRENDS SHOULD RETAILERS KNOW ABOUT? In the next four or five years, half the population will be over 50, and half will be under. That means we will have mostly Millennials and Boomers. Millennials offer a great opportunity to our departments. They eat when the urge strikes: according to our What’s in Store 2015 report, 85 per cent of Millennials say they’re looking for healthy foods, but 88 per cent say they’ve bought a snack at a fast-food restaurant in the last month – and snacks account for half of all eating occasions. As an industry, we should be positioning ourselves to capture the snacking dollar, because if we don’t do it, someone else will.


Don’t miss it!

2013 2001


The Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo takes place June 7-9, 2015, at the Georgia World Congress Center. Check out for more details.


*# of shopping trips




24% 14%





Mass Merchandiser

IDDBA IS ENTERING A NEW ERA; WHAT CHANGES ARE AHEAD FOR THE ORGANIZATION? At IDDBA, our mission is to expand our leadership role in promoting the growth and development of dairy, deli and bakery sales. Our vision is to be the essential resource for relevant information and services that add value for our categories. We will continue to stage the premier show and conference for category professionals, while delivering strong training programs. But we are also driving some important new initiatives, such as: • Our “Safe Food Matters!” program; • Understanding how Millennial shoppers view our departments; • Defining what omni-channel shopping means to our departments; • Developing initiatives to show career opportunities in our areas to a new generation of food lovers. WHAT CAN ATTENDEES EXPECT TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE AT THE IDDBA SHOW IN ATLANTA THIS YEAR? The Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo is a showcase for industry trends and new products, and once again this year, we have an impressive lineup of speakers. The show floor is always exciting, and provides plenty of opportunity for interaction and networking among attendees, exhibitors and speakers.


25% 26% 29% Boomers






at home



away from home

Source: What’s in Store 2015 For more information, go to: All figures are reported in US$

March | April 2015



MarchĂŠ Adonis, Laval, Que.

Cover Story



Inspired by Middle Eastern, Lebanese and Mediterranean influences, brothers Jamil and Elie Cheaib, and their friend Georges Ghrayeb have created in Marché Adonis a gastronomic shopping experience that transcends the ethnic supermarket and captivates mainstream consumers. “The Adonis concept initially catered to a mostly Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern consumer, but has now attracted the general public,” says Terry Henderson, president, Division Québec et Atlantique, J.C. Williams Group Limitée. “It has maintained its original audience by being a very good operator that consistently offers an interesting experience of a wide variety of unique, trend-right, fresh products at prices that a larger population is looking for.” Adonis’ eight stores – six in the Montreal area and two in the Greater Toronto Area – feature an exotic variety of fruits, vegetables and other culinary delights – including freshly made pitas from a massive in-house machine – that consumers cannot find elsewhere.

JAMIL CHEAIB: IN HIS OWN WORDS HIS MENTOR: “I have been inspired first and foremost by my family members. We had a grocery in my home country. When I came to Canada, Mr. Joe Haddad hired me to work in his store and helped me to expand and explore my beliefs.” PHOTOS: PIERRE CHARBONNEAU

BEST ADVICE HE’S RECEIVED: “Be visual.” FAVOURITE BUSINESS QUOTE: “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” – Thomas J. Watson, chairman and CEO, IBM (1949-1956) March | April 2015


The owners’ passion for produce was cultivated in their homeland of Lebanon, where the Cheaib family owned a food market and operated a farm in their small village outside Beirut. In 1976, the trio immigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal, a hub for fellow émigrés. Three years later, they acquired a 1,000-sq.-ft. store and set out to fulfill their vision of bringing foods from the Middle East to North America. Living in a sparsely furnished apartment above the store, the three partners worked seven days a week to build the business. Fast-forward to 1984, and the original store has been relocated to accommodate growth. A few years later, the owners opened a succession of stores, administered by their extended families – aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. Their hard work paid off.

Fresh seafood counter, Laval, Que., store


In 2011, Adonis entered into a partnership with Metro Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Metro holds a 55-per-cent interest in Marché Adonis and its distributor, Phoenicia Products. The Cheaibs and Ghrayeb retain a 45-per-cent share and continue to manage their companies. The deal helps Metro increase its share in the fast-growing ethnic foods category, while Adonis benefits by accelerating the expansion of its banner into Ontario. “Adonis, now partnered with Metro, has not only maintained its original DNA, but has contributed in enhancing the produce offerings of other Metro banners, thus spreading the Adonis DNA within the group,” says Henderson.


March | April 2015

Not content to rest on their laurels, the owners continue to explore international markets in search of original products and new flavours. “The Adonis philosophy is built on passion,” says Ron Lemaire, president, Canadian Produce Marketing Association. “Since opening their first store in 1979, the Cheaib brothers and Georges Ghrayeb have been introducing new and exotic flavours from the Middle East to customers in Quebec and Ontario. Flavour is an underlying factor to the success of Adonis. “From Red Figs and Molokhia, to Jujube, shoppers can always find a range of exotic and dynamic flavours to meet their needs.”




Why is Adonis a unique shopping experience? First of all, service, for us, is most important. If a customer has a question, a staff member will be there to answer it. If a customer would like to taste something before buying it, no problem. We welcome people to experience our food. Service is more than a word for us. We take it seriously – this is how we’ve built our business. Responding to customers’ needs, welcoming feedback – it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. How do you approach training your staff? We are a family business, and so we have worked in the produce department and behind the deli counter. We know the business and the products. We’ve trained the staff ourselves, and over the years have shared our experience with our employees. Plus, we are loyal to our staff and our staff is loyal to us, so that commitment helps perpetuate the Adonis culture. How does the produce category fit within your mandate? Actually, if you go back a little bit, fresh produce has always been part of our offering, even back to our parents’

business in Lebanon. We are deeply convinced that the consumer will always look for fresh things – healthy food, good-quality food and variety.

Do competitors try to copy you? They try! They are welcome to try! Trying is one thing; succeeding is another. It takes a lot of work, a lot of learning.

What makes your produce offering unique? Basically, there are two things here. First of all, the produce that we buy is top quality only. This is a must. This is our philosophy; this is our mission. It has to be top quality. The second thing is the variety that we offer. We have tomatoes; we have apples, but we also carry unusual exotic fruits and legumes. We source them either directly or indirectly. Consumers who cannot find those products elsewhere come to us. This is our niche. If you are searching for a product that you cannot find in most grocery stores, you are almost sure to find it at our place. And if customers have questions such as, “What is this? I’ve never seen this vegetable before; how do you cook it?” we can help with all of that.

In late 2011, Adonis and Metro entered into a partnership agreement. How have you both benefitted? We have a very good relationship with Metro. They have an extensive understanding of the grocery business and an extensive property portfolio, which has allowed us to increase our exposure to consumers. It’s a win–win situation because they are able to benefit from our experience and knowledge, and add it to their offering. We share the same vision, so it makes us very good partners for each other.

What are some of the challenges you’re facing? Our main challenge is to be continually sourcing new products and working to differentiate Adonis from other retailers. It is a very competitive market, so we have to offer something no one else offers.

Since that partnership was announced, you’ve opened two stores in Ontario. Do you have plans to open more? Yes, we have plans to open more stores. Actually, we are planning for two more stores in Quebec. And eventually, maybe later on, in Ontario. We’re still examining the opportunities. The sky’s the limit, as they say.

March | April 2015


March | April 2015

delivering freshness every day

a produce point-of-view

you’re the top: 10 bestsellers

Visit Us at CPMA Booth #2005

Governor: Chris Christie Secretary of Agriculture: Douglas H. Fisher New Jersey Department of Agriculture 609-292-8853

Produce Manager


FRESHNESS EVERY DAY The saying “the only constant is change” holds true for many in this day and age, but none more so than those of us in the produce industry. We live by this motto day in and day out! We are a business that functions in hours, not days or weeks, and we make the impossible possible when fresh produce is picked, shipped and sold in the market within days. From the time the seed goes into the ground to when the consumer purchases the final product, we deal with unpredictable weather, pests, labour shortages, high production costs, supply chain issues, transportation challenges, border issues, and even more. Yet we survive, and as an industry we continue to deliver quality local produce to those who demand it, while still offering a wide range of produce from around the world to meet changing consumer palettes and dietary needs. The odds seem stacked against us, so how is it we keep delivering on success? The answer is simple: freshness. This one word is what separates companies that fail versus companies that thrive. The core of retail success depends on freshness; yet it can mean many different things to different audiences. Freshness to the consumer reflects his or her need for

Ron Lemaire President of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association

quality, taste, texture and affordability. To retailers, freshness hinges on the efficiency of their supply chain, the strength of their vendor relationships, and their own creativity in meeting consumer demands. In order to consistently offer freshness and meet consumer expectations, the entire supply chain must embrace change and be prepared to alter business practices and procedures on a dime. Sound impossible? Perhaps, but the produce industry seems to do the impossible every day. Achieving the impossible involves many moving parts, from understanding consumer demand to enhancing the consumer experience at the retail level. The supply chain supports retail by introducing adaptive packaging that reduces shrinkage and improves shelf life; new packaging sizes to address demographic changes and food waste; new product varieties to address consumer demands for new flavours; and new cold chain technologies that give retailers the power

to track their produce loads in real time so they can detect variances in temperatures or deviations of route by trucks prior to arrival in-store. These elements and more drive our industry’s ability to deliver freshness every day. Day in and day out, the produce industry works to ensure that we can sell a fresh rambutan from Southeast Asia, mangosteen from the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas, strawberries from California, and Canadian lowbush blueberries at the peak of freshness. So when the consumer bites into an apple or cuts open a papaya, little do they know that there is a highly complex and efficient retail supply chain proudly standing behind them, ready to make freshness possible every day. In April, at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show, our industry will come together in Montréal to network, learn, and discuss the daily challenges faced by the fresh produce industry. Join us and learn how we make the impossible possible.


March | April 2015


Produce Manager



Canadians are keen to eat their daily quota of fruits and veggies but often cite preparation time as a barrier. This creates a major opportunity for retailers to become solution providers. Consumers are hungry for meal prep ideas while they are shopping in your stores. So why not provide some of these creative solutions?


Value-added Packs a Punch

Recipes inspire experimentation and can drive purchases of other ingredients, which can be made more accessible through cross-merchandising. Customers have more reasons to buy when you provide: • Clearly signed POS materials with easy meal solution ideas • A well-trained staff that will add value when approached by customers • Mobile apps with recipe and food pairing suggestions


Easy and Creative Meal Solutions

Retailers can be more than just purveyors of produce. Make it easy for customers to choose more fruits and vegetables, and in the process, become a trusted mealtime partner in a healthy relationship. Value-added produce in no-prep meal kits solves a problem for consumers, and will entice them to trade up. • Canada’s EarthFresh Foods has developed creative ways to elevate the lowly potato. Its eye-catching foil bags (with light-blocking technology to increase shelf life) market potatoes according to usage – from roasting to baking, mashing and boiling – which helps shoppers select the best potato for the job.


March | April 2015


Trendspotting = A Larger Basket Size

Beets and radishes are showing up on restaurant menus everywhere, but for consumers they are a chore to prepare. Solution: Retailers can provide a healthy and easy alternative by merchandising cleaned and ready-to-eat, vacuum-packed versions of these trendy veggies. Healthy convenience looms large for the time-strapped mom. Solution: Mini is big and makes produce more snackable. New products, such as CuteCumbers from Mucci Farms and kid-sized apples, target moms looking for easy-to-eat and healthy snacks for children. Consumer interest in trying a wide variety of foods has never been higher. Retailers should be cutting-edge when it comes to offering an array of enticing fresh items. Solution: Vineland Research in Niagara, Ont., is adapting world crops such as okra, bottle gourd and sweet potatoes, so that these in-demand products can be grown locally.

Birgit Blain is president of Birgit Blain & Associates Inc., a packaged foods consultantcy specializing in strategy, brand and packaging development.

Produce Manager


POINT-OF-VIEW Viva Veggies!

The Low-Hanging Fruit

By Virginia Zimm

By Kim Rapagna

Have you noticed what is being featured on your restaurant menu these days? Kohlrabi, collards, cauliflower and radishes are stars, and there’s good reason. To meet consumer demand, restaurateurs are experimenting with vegetables in new and interesting ways. Once thought of as a side dish, veggies are taking centre stage. We in the industry might assume that everyone knows how to prepare the familiar vegetables that have graced our shelves for years – but not so. It is wrong to assume that everyone knows to remove the stems/ spines from kale and massage the leaves; how to make noodles from zucchini, beets and carrots for an incredibly guilt-free eating experience; how to create couscous with cauliflower for a gluten-free option; or that you can sauté your radishes. It can be a challenge in a retail environment to provide this added information. However, if retailers are not offering these tips, tricks and cooking instructions at store level, where can consumers find out how to create the best eating experience with all of the different vegetables available today? The Ontario Produce Marketing Association has stepped up with its vegetable information portal. Created for consumers, it features Produce 101 knowledge that they need to relish every vegetable SKU in the produce department.

Roughly 40 per cent of all food produced in Canada is wasted, according to a recent study by VCM International. In dollar terms, VCM has pegged quantifiable food waste in Canada at $31 billion annually. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimated that the cumulative cost of associated wastes (energy, water, land, labour, capital investment, infrastructure, machinery, transport, etc.) is approximately two and a half times greater than the “face value” of wasted food. Using this formula, the overall cost of annual food waste in Canada exceeds $100 billion.

Kim Rapagna is a CSR and sustainability professional

Ironically, Canadians have never spent less on food as a percentage of their household budget – eight per cent today versus 19 per cent in the 1970s. This can’t last. With wages stagnant and food prices slated to rise in response to the dropping dollar and climate-induced shortages, the University of Guelph predicts that the cost of food will outpace inflation for the second year in a row. With this in mind, a focus on the reduction of food waste is imperative. From farm to fork: food waste is the “low-hanging fruit” opportunity for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Virginia Zimm President, Faye Clack Communications Inc.

March | April 2015


Produce Manager


Latest 52 Weeks Category $ (000’S)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Salad - Bagged Tangerines/Clementines/Mandarins Avocados Lemons Limes Kale Ginger Root Beets Tangelos Dates

473,889 201,692 181,794 101,920 35,666 30,294 22,473 20,230 9,320 1,216

$ Vol % Chg

+24 +14 +14 +29 +23 +36 +82 +26 +24 +21

Source: Fresh Categories Report Nielsen MarketTrack - National All Channels 52 weeks to January 10, 2015


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 90th Annual Convention and Trade Show.

CHAIRMAN’S CLUB Canadian Grocer Chiquita Brands North America Robinson Fresh Stemilt Growers Sunkist Growers The Oppenheimer Group The Packer Washington Apple Commission


Courchesne Larose / Aliments Bercy Foods / Bar Imex International Domex Superfresh Growers Fresh Del Monte Produce (Canada) Mucci Farms Windset Farms

GOLD Association québécoise de la distribution de fruits et légumes • BC Tree Fruits • California Strawberry Commission • Canadawide Fruit Wholesalers / Frescadel International • Centre Maraîcher Eugène Guinois Jr. • Dole Food Company • FirstFruits Marketing of WA • Florida Tomato Committee • Giumarra Companies • Highline Mushrooms • Ippolito Fruit & Produce • JAD Produce • Jardins Paul Cousineau & Fils Inc. • Krown Produce / The Lid • Company • Loblaw • Mastronardi Produce • Metro • Patates Dolbec • Pear Bureau Northwest • Rainier Fruit Company • Red Sun Farms • Sobeys • Trinity Fruit Sales Co. • Vineland Growers Co-operative • VLAM • William H. Kopke Jr.

Foreign Agricultural Service 2015


Strength in

Partnership A trusted trade partner, the United States steps up to the plate as a reliable source of fresh produce and high-value-added foods. The United States and Canada enjoy one of the most enviable trading relationships in the world, and it’s not just because of a shared border. Canadians have developed a taste for delicious, fresh and safe U.S. produce and high-valueadded foods. Canadians are demanding unique products with sophisticated flavour profiles, and U.S. producers are renowned for meeting those expectations. Always on trend, U.S. producers have an unmatched track record for offering a vast selection of high-quality foods. That’s important to Canadian retailers: having ongoing and reliable

access to a wide assortment of staple and truly unique foods helps grocers differentiate their offering in a highly competitive market. The numbers tell the story: 71 per cent of Canadians are confident in U.S. food safety, and 52 per cent prefer food from the U.S. over any other country, according to a recent BrandSpark study. The two countries share common values, robust product safety requirements, and related tastes and values. It’s no wonder that Canada is the biggest market for U.S. agricultural exports.

By Angela Kryhul

March | April 2015


Florida field-grown stacks up nice Nearly seven in ten Canadian shoppers believe that there is a difference in taste between hothouse and field-grown tomatoes, and of that group, the majority believe that Florida field-grown are superior. Give your customers what they are asking for; safe, trusted, field-grown tomatoes from Florida. Our stringent food safety program will keep you happy, and our field-fresh flavour will keep your customers even happier.

Leger Marketing, Canadian Consumer Survey (Online) July 10th, 2012

Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT



An Enviable Alliance

Annual two-way agricultural trade between the U.S. and Canada

U.S. producers have an unmatched track record as reliable suppliers to Canadian retailers. Jeff Zimmerman, Agricultural Attaché, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), explains what Canada means to U.S. growers and producers. Describe the importance of the Canada-U.S. trade relationship. Two-way agricultural Jeff Zimmerman trade between the United States and Canada reaches over US$45 billion per year and is balanced, with each country importing over $22 billion in agricultural products from its neighbour. The vast majority of Canada’s imports are high-value-added consumer foods, which include fruits, vegetables and processed foods, and total $17 billion. This represents more value-added products than what U.S. producers sell to Mexico, South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom combined. Canada and the U.S. have one of the most enviable trading relationships in the world. It is based on a shared border, common values, robust product safety requirements, and related tastes and values. For these many reasons, Canadian buyers remain our number one customer base in the world; one that we value.

How are the Canadian and U.S. governments working to find synergies in areas such as Nutrition Facts Table labelling, and food safety standards? We recognize that close to 70 per cent of the processed foods sold in the grocery retail trade are imported from around the world. Consumers want clear information to make informed decisions on the foods they eat. Hence, on both sides of the border, it was understood that each jurisdiction needed to simply make the information – particularly on nutrition labels – more readable. For this reason, some of the proposed changes include making the calorie count more prominent, and providing consistency on serving sizes among similar products on the nutrition label.

How do you see FAS/Canada and the tasteUS! producers/partners helping Canadian retailers and businesses? The integration of our two countries’ supply chains helps to provide cost-effective sourcing opportunities for Canadian retailers, while ensuring products arrive in timely fashion to their store shelves. The tasteUS! partners not only help to provide fresh, safe, non-organic and organic products all year round to Canadian retailers, but also help to educate shoppers on the value of buying U.S. origin through selected promotions. Far-reaching promotions this year featuring tasteUS! products are being sampled across Canada through some of our valued partners, including Walmart, Sobeys, and Overwaitea stores.

THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides information and services to Canadian buyers for the purchasing of foods and other agricultural products. Find out more about the variety of products available through 40 U.S. cooperators at March | April 2015


Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

l u f t n E ve Very

tasteUS! is an initiative designed to increase the awareness of cooperative promotions, with a strong focus on commodities. tasteUS! works with over 40 U.S. cooperators to bring quality and nutritious food, beverage and pre-packaged goods to Canadians. taste tasteUS! kicked off its ambitious new Canadian retail initiative in January with a series of Organic Trade Association (OTA) sampling opportunities in select Save-On Foods stores in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as demos in Sobeys stores in Ontario. A passion for promotion During the first weekend of January, Save-On stores, in cooperation with OTA, sampled a combination of organic mixed greens, organic broccoli, and organic naval oranges. Mid-January, select Sobeys stores in Ontario sampled an organic fruit salad consisting of OTA apples, pears and oranges. February was a power-packed month for the tasteUS! program due to celebrations surrounding Super Bowl Sunday, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and Family Day weekend. “Our goal is to showcase the huge assortment of agricultural partners from


March | April 2015

the U.S. that are active in Canada,” says Ken Berger, Canadian representative for tasteUS! “It’s a collaborative effort, and by combining different produce in the demos, we’re showing their versatility.” Customers at 50 Walmart stores in Ontario and Western Canada were treated to sampling promotions with tasteUS! partners: • During the February 1 Super Bowl weekend, Walmart stores offered samples of U.S. Pecans and Bard Valley Fresh Natural Delights Medjool Dates. • For Valentine’s Day and the lead-in to Mardi Gras, Walmart enticed customers with a taste of the American south by sampling a dish featuring USA Rice, fresh U.S. kale and Swiss chard. • Healthy breakfast ideas were served up with a demo event featuring pancakes

plus Florida Department of Citrus 100 per cent orange and grapefruit juice. • Walmart ended the month with a healthy smoothie promotion and demo featuring USA Pears and Washington Apples. • The Walmart in-store program featured a special demo cart outfitted with plenty of space for preparation, as well as signage promoting tasteUS! and its participating partners. Walmart shoppers took away recipes of the featured dishes, as well as tips on fresh produce storage, and health and nutritional information. As for the remainder of 2015: “We are going to carry on the tasteUS! program at the retail level with an assortment of cooperators, based on [U.S. product] seasonality,” says Berger.

Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

CALIFORNIA WINES WIN THE WEST Canadians can’t seem to get enough of California wine. This year, California Wine / The Wine Institute is expected to participate in a food and wine sampling event with a major retail chain in Calgary, according to Ken Berger. “The retailer has several stores that are in close proximity to liquor and wine stores, which makes cross-sampling and cross-merchandising easier and more effective.”

Cooperator Connections A cooperator is an organization representing growers and producers of a particular agricultural commodity. The U.S. cooperators that tasteUS! works with help to ensure that all the foods coming from their producers adhere to the highest standards in terms of health and safety.


Helping Canadians beat the winter blues This past winter, Sunkist brought a bit of sunshine from its growers’ farms in California and Arizona to help warm up the frigid Canadian climate. For the past 10 years, Sunkist has capitalized on Canadians’ love of hockey by offering themed Navel orange packaging and point-of-sale materials through the winter months. This season, the promotion included a variable-weight Giro bag, a 10-pound carton, net header bags in four- or five-pound sizes, and a display bin. On the consumer marketing side, Sunkist Growers partnered with the Park Hyatt Toronto Yorkville hotel

and its Stillwater Spa to create recipes for delicious, light meals, as well as DIY treatments, so that consumers can create a citrus spa experience at home. The at-home spa treatments were promoted through traditional and social media outreach. “Citrus has a unique ability to create a calming atmosphere with its essential oils, while at the same time boost energy with its refreshing scents and bright colours – a perfect combination to get through the dreary winter months,” says Joan Wickham, advertising and PR manager. March | April 2015


To squeeze the most out of citrus sales opportunities, contact Sunkist sales: Sunkist is a registered trademark of Sunkist Growers Inc., USA. Š2015

Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

Cooperator Connections


Did you know that, just because peanuts are labelled “Virginia” doesn’t mean they’re actually U.S. Virginia-grown? That’s because Virginia is a type of peanut, not the state of origin, although the state of Virginia does produce this crunchy favourite, as do other states in the southern U.S. USA-grown peanuts – which adhere to rigorous food safety standards – come in packages that clearly state “Product of USA” and/or include the Quality USA Peanut logo. The U.S. exports more peanuts and peanut butter to Canada than anywhere else in the world, according to the American Peanut Council (APC). The APC provides support to retailers and manufacturers of peanut butter through such activities as in-store demos and trade advertising, as well as online. This year, APC will highlight the versatility of peanuts as an ingredient in cooking and baking via new recipes, media and blogger outreach programs and online digital videos.



Fresh Florida tomatoes? 4 Fresh Florida tomatoes remain Canadians’ #1, most trusted source for late fall, winter and spring field-grown tomatoes. 4 Florida tomatoes are renowned for their great taste, firm and meaty texture, low gel content and extremely shallow calyx that maximizes yield and minimizes the waste that flatter, wagon-wheel/deep-calyx tomatoes exhibit. 4 T wo-thirds of Canadian shoppers believe there are distinct taste, flavour and texture differences between outdoor-grown field tomatoes versus indoor-grown tomatoes. (Source: Leger 2014 Canadian Consumer Study)

of Canadians

have peanuts and/or peanut butter in their homes Source: Erikson Research

Why do Canadians prefer


metric tonnes of kernel, in-shell, peanut butter and processed peanuts exported from the U.S. to Canada

FLORIDA TOMATO INDUSTRY PUTS FOOD SAFETY FIRST Florida was the first state to adopt a comprehensive food safety program with mandatory government inspection and auditing for tomato handling, production and packing, with regulatory inspections and audits conducted by FDACS state inspectors. Florida tomatoes... quality you can trust. Every Florida field-grown tomato shipped out of state is regulated by a Federal Marketing Order that controls grade, size, quality and maturity. The standards are the toughest in the world and ensure that Florida tomatoes ARE the best.



March | April 2015


Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

Champions at the Checkout As health-conscious Canadians put more fruits and vegetables in their shopping carts, the opportunities for retailers have never been greater. Canadians are eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and exercising to minimize potential future health problems. They’re putting more fresh produce into their shopping carts – both organic and non-organic – and that means significantly higher totals at the checkout, according to a new report by Nielsen.* In September 2014, Nielsen presented a report to the Foreign Agricultural Service, Ottawa Embassy, U.S. Department of Agriculture about the Canadian trends in retail, health and wellness, fresh produce, and consumer purchasing behaviour. The report suggests there are great opportunities to keep growing fruit and vegetable consumption.

An organic produce basket is

88% higher with organic produce


without organic produce

Among the study’s findings:


$ 85.50


vs $ 45.60


of households are consuming organic products*

Safety on their Minds Food safety is of utmost importance to Canadian shoppers, and U.S. produce fits the bill due to high American food safety standards.

71% of Canadians

52% of Canadians

are confident in the safety of U.S. food

prefer food imported from the U.S. over food imported from other countries

2014 BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study

LOTS OF OPPORTUNITY! Organics represent only


of total produce sales* *

© The Nielsen Company, Prepared for USDA.

March | April 2015


GET TO KNOW: STATE REGIONAL TRADE GROUPS The U.S. is sectioned into four State Regional Trade Groups (SRTG) whose members include producers of high-value food and agricultural products: • Food Export USA–Northeast • Food Export Association of the Midwest USA • Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) • Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)

All the Right


State Regional Trade Groups are on a mission to connect Canadians with U.S. suppliers of innovative, high-value food and agricultural products. It’s a lot of work to connect Canadian buyers, brokers and distributors with U.S. food companies offering unique, innovative or hard-to-find products. Luckily, representatives of the four State Regional Trade Groups (SRTG) do much of the legwork. The mandate of the SRTGs is to identify U.S. companies that not only have interesting products to offer, but also have wellestablished domestic distribution and the capacity to grow their businesses through exports.

Let’s Talk Meet us at SIAL Canada and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association show – two excellent opportunities to get to know the many dedicated people representing innovative food products from the U.S.


April 28-30, 2015 Direct Energy Centre Toronto A listing of USA Pavilion Exhibitors Foreign Agricultural Service/ USDA; U.S. Embassy Ottawa Al Dente Pasta Bar Harbor Bone Doctors’ BBQ, LLC BTE Import-Export Cordoba Foods LLC

Crepini LLC

J&J Group LLC – Rufus Teague

Paradise Fruit Co.

Daniele Inc.

Kontos Foods Inc.

Pereg Natural Gourmet Food

Far West Rice, Inc.

LorAnn Oils

Poindexter Nut Company

Food Export - Midwest & Northeast

Montebello Kitchen

Rob Salamida Co.

New York State

Routin 1883 (Maison Routin)

Tillen Farms (Metzger Specialty Brand)

Nielsen Massey Vanillas

Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc.

Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Smithfield Specialty Food Group – The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg

Voss Water

Ford’s Gourmet Foods Garon Foods Hometown Bagel Inc. Imagilin Technology, LLC International Delicacies

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Nurture, Inc. – Happy Family Brands

Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) Steuben Foods, Inc. Stonewall Kitchen

Windy Bay Holdings LLC Zing Zang Inc.

Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

SRTGs support U.S. food producers by explaining the nuances of the Canadian market, introducing them to retail buyers, distributors and brokers; and providing education about food regulations, packaging and labelling north of the border. It’s a highly personalized approach. “We counsel companies that are considering coming into Canada… [and tell them] they’ve got to offer something that is different, better and unique,” says Alison George, senior vice-president, Argyle Communications, the in-country representative for the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA). Like George and her team, marketing/trade specialist Kathy Boyce of Boyce Strategic Marketing Inc., who represents Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast, possesses deep market knowledge, and works to ensure U.S. suppliers are talking to the right people in Canada. “Relationships are formed. It’s not just that a buyer or distributor is looking for a particular product; you also have to have that communication,” Boyce explains. “When you’re on the same wavelength, you know you can work together.” Nothing beats that face-to-face rapport. Working on behalf of their respective SRTGs, Boyce and George organize inbound and outbound trade missions that focus on high-value-added foods, produce, horticulture or seafood. They also participate in trade shows and conduct market research and viability studies.

A listing of U.S. cooperators, firms and organizations affiliated with tasteUS!

California Blueberry Commission* (Booth #804)

* An exhibitor at CPMA 2015, Montreal

California Cherry Marketing Research Board

American Peanut Council* (Booth #1317)

California Cling Peach Growers Advisory Board

American Sweet Potato Marketing California Pear Advisory Board* (Booth #802) Association Bard Valley Medjool Date Florida Department of Citrus Growers’ Association* (Booth #804) Florida Tomato Committee* (Booth #1319) Blue Diamond®Growers CAEC/California Fig Advisory Board

Organic Trade Association National Pecan Growers Council

U.S. producers also find support in programs offered by the Foreign Agricultural Service. (See the “Tap Into Resources” article.) Industry trade shows present plenty of opportunities to make connections, both on and off the trade show floor. Days are crammed with introductions, meetings, market briefings and tours of local stores. George, on behalf of SUSTA, will bring buyers and brokers to the Fancy Food Shows, the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, and The Private Label Show. Likewise, Food Export has a presence at the U.S. shows, as well as Canadian gatherings such as the Restaurants Canada Show, says Boyce. Both SUSTA and Food Export will be at SIAL Canada in Toronto this year.

Making Contact

KATHY BOYCE Canadian representative – Food Export Midwest and Northeast 416.523.1470

National Sunflower Association National Watermelon Promotion Board* (Booth #805) Northwest Cherries* (Booth #2115) Paramount Farms/POM Wonderful* (Booth #1121) Pear Bureau Northwest* (Booth #1308) Sunkist Growers, Inc.* (Booth #1005)

ALISON GEORGE Canadian representative – SUSTA 416-968-7311 ext 230

Synergistic Hawaii Agricultural Council Hawaii Coffee Association – Hawaii Papaya Industry Association – Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association –

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

U.S. Apple Export Council

New Jersey Department of Agriculture* (Booth #2005)

U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council USA Rice Federation Washington Apple Commission Washington State Fruit Commission* (Booth #2115)

Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention & Trade Show

State members of NASDA: Florida Department of Agriculture* (Booth #1807)

North Carolina Department of Agriculture* (Booth #1716) Virginia Department of Agriculture* (Booth #2410) USDA/ tasteUS!* (Booth #804)

April 15-17, 2015 Palais des congrès de Montréal

A Timeless Tradition For millennia Muslims have broken their daily Ramadan fast with dates. And because Canada is home to over 1 million Muslims, it’s no wonder that one-third of all Natural Delights Medjool Dates shipped here arrive in the summer months coinciding with this religious observation.


Ramadan runs from June 18 to July 17 and demand rises sharply. Stock up on Natural Delights and be ready to promote starting June 1. |

For orders contact Ken Berger at 416.200.7207 or

This is

Foreign Agricultural Service

my Vision.


Great restaurant sensibility

United We Grow NASDA is dedicated to expanding international markets for U.S. agriculture. If you had only three words to describe the mission of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), Barbara Glenn they might simply be to “bring people together,” according to CEO Barbara Glenn. Of course, there’s so much more to this non-partisan, non-profit organization. NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. Besides the organization’s heavy focus on public policy, NASDA’s programs help expand international markets for U.S. agricultural products. “We have a very strong partnership in agriculture with Canada,” explains Glenn, an experienced policy researcher and advocate for agriculture who took the top job at NASDA last summer. In Canada, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) sponsors, through NASDA, a U.S. Pavilion at SIAL Canada. Besides the trade show program, NASDA works with individual U.S. states to support trade missions that bring in Canadian distributors and brokers so they can meet

with U.S. producers, learn about new products, tour farms, and more. Likewise, U.S. companies that wish to become export ready have access to funding, customized export coaching, as well as feedback on how their products might stack up in markets outside the U.S., Glenn says. The end result, says Glenn, is a stronger agricultural partnership with Canada: “There’s a robust partnership here, almost an integration of the movement of agricultural and food products between the two countries.”

NASDA’s trade show department provides logistical and other support to U.S. producers of food products to support their exhibits at these must-attend trade shows:

4 USA Pavilion at the Americas Food & Beverage Show, Miami, Fla. (October 26-27, 2015)

4 American Food Fair Pavilion at the National Restaurant Show, Chicago (May 16-19, 2015)

4 U.S. Food Showcase, in conjunction with FMI Connect, Chicago (June 9-11, 2015)

translates to revolutionary

grocery store foodservice.

Around every corner at NRA Show I find new products, familiar faces, and unexpected ideas that inspire me to keep pushing the envelope. This is my roadmap.

This is

my show. gary Zickel | Chicago, IL Manager of Food Operations


Attendee since 2001

And if you’re in retail foodservice, this is your Show too. For 96 years, NRA Show is where the restaurant and foodservice industry has gathered to discover the latest advancements, ingredients, concepts and know-how that keep operations profitable and keep customers coming back for more. And these days our industry has grown to include grocery store operators like you. Food safety, inventory management, culinary techniques, commercial equipment and supplies—you’re in the restaurant business now. Welcome to your Show.

RegiSteR todAy at

Canada is the top agricultural export market for 27 U.S. states, and is one of the top five agricultural export markets for 48 states, according to Glenn. ©2015 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

The Family Tree California pears are special. And maybe that’s because both the pear trees—and the families that lovingly care for them—took root here generations ago. Our growers can pass the tradition on to the next generation knowing that their love of this land, and its harvest, will always endure.

Learn more about sustainably-grown California pears and the families that grow them at or visit CPMA booth 800.

Foreign Agricultural Service



Some Like it Hot How Buckstone Gifts found success in gourmet foods. Got a hankering for some sriracha chili Beauchamp helps to communicate dust? How about hot horseradish jelly, the nuances of the Canadian palate to lime-flavoured beer salt, or habanero American specialty food manufacturers. peanut butter? If so, Ken Beauchamp is the While Canadians aren’t big fans of mustardman to see. based barbecue sauces, for It was a softening in the giftware example, he’s found that retail market almost a decade ago buyers just can’t seem to get that prompted Buckstone Gifts enough of products like Bone and Gourmet Food, where Suckin’ Sauce – Beauchamp’s Beauchamp is general manager, best-selling barbecue product. to switch gears away from Beauchamp works with about giftware and devote almost all of 45 different manufacturers, and its energy to importing and Buckstone primarily sells to Ken Beauchamp distributing unique specialty food specialty stores – gourmet products. Today, specialty gourmet food shops, produce stores, butchers and the represents 85 per cent of the company’s like, including, in Ontario, Denninger’s, the business, and almost all of the products are Farm Boy chain, and Herma’s Fine Foods & sourced from U.S. producers, according to Gifts, near Port Hope. Beauchamp. “There’s a big market in gift stores that I “The strategy from the beginning was to think a lot of distributors don’t really pay offer a really good selection of hot sauces, attention to,” Beauchamp says. “Gift stores sriracha sauces, barbecue sauces and now carry lines of jams and hot sauces. It’s seasonings,” Beauchamp explains. a great way to get people through their front As Buckstone’s gourmet food importing door, and they use them in their gift baskets and distribution business has grown, so too at Christmas time.” has the selection it offers to Canadian retailers – everything from pasta sauces, oils and vinegars, salsas, dips and condiments, to seasonings, rubs, soup mixes and pickles. The company also sources a wide selection of organic and gluten-free foods. Beauchamp’s hunt for the new and unique takes him to a number of key American Beauchamp says the Canadian trade shows, including the Specialty Food appetite for spicy foods is still Association’s Summer and Winter Fancy

Tasty Trends

Food Shows. Beauchamp also travels south on food missions to the U.S. that are organized by the Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA), Food Export USA Northeast, and Food Export Association of the Midwest USA.

Show & Conference

October 26-27, 2015

Miami Beach Convention Center, Hall C Miami Beach, Florida U.S.A • 11 Country Pavilions! • Register now for FREE until June 30st! • 25 countries will be represented • Discover a world of new and creative products! • Network with more than 10,000 food and beverage professionals • Attend a variety of Educational Seminars conducted by subject matter experts! • Meet with more than 500 global exhibitors featuring specialty food and beverages!

Exhibiting – Reserve Your Booth Visiting – Register



going strong. He’s also seeing increasing demand for smoky flavours, Asian and Korean barbecue sauces, and sriracha pepper flavoured sauces.

Contact: Raul Morales - Sales Director Phone: 305-871-7910 x221

Foreign Agricultural Service SPECIAL REPORT

U.S. Showcase

McClure’s Pickles

Carrying on a family tradition Armed with their great-grandmother Lala’s original recipe, the McClure brothers – Joe and Bob – started McClure’s Pickles nine years ago. Today, the Detroitbased company produces a selection of pickles, relishes, Bloody Mary mix, brine and kettle-cooked potato chips.

Al Dente Pasta

On-trend flavours, finest ingredients Famous for fresh taste and homemade texture, Al Dente Pasta recently debuted Gluten-Free Pastas made with Michigan navy beans and brown rice, and Vegan BonaChia Pasta, which is made with flour ground from super nutritious chia seeds.

Happy Family Brands

An enlightened nutrition philosophy Happy Family offers a comprehensive line of products for the whole family, including organic foods for babies, toddlers and children. The company’s “enlightened nutrition” approach means including the extra nutrition of super foods, such as amaranth, quinoa and kale.

Tap into Resources The Branded Program – made possible through the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and administered by each of the State Regional Trade Groups – is a program that helps ease marketing costs for U.S. food producers. While the program is primarily designed to reimburse small U.S. food and agricultural businesses for eligible costs, it is also valuable for Canadian importers and distributors who are working with U.S. principals that qualify for the program, as some of their eligible expenses may be reimbursed. 42

March | April 2015

In addition to the SRTG buyer programs into the U.S. that take place at various food shows throughout the year, FAS will be supporting the U.S. Commercial Service’s International Buyer Program (IBP) at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City by providing one-on-one consultations to Canadian trade visitors. IBP covers trade show entrance fees to qualified Canadian food buyers, as well as provides access to its business centre. Further inquiries may be directed to:


Putting Target Canada’s Exit into Perspective John F.T. Scott

By John F.T. Scott

The day after the release of my Perspectives 6 publication, Target announced its withdrawal from the Canadian market. Since its imminent departure had been predicted in my latest treatise on the retail food industry, a number of people asked me how I had arrived at that conclusion. Admittedly, I did have a quick gander at some unflattering numbers that would have made anyone in this game very squeamish, and no doubt infused spirited debate into the affected boardroom. Much more capable analysts than I have held court on the multitude of mistakes this giant made, and I’m not inclined to hash about the coals to assess the validity of their arguments. Having reviewed a ton of post-mortem material, I do think these sage pundits have missed the very significant notion that maybe, just maybe, Canadian retailers were a much more formidable force than Target expected. I arrived at my prediction through consideration of another facet that is embodied in the great learning from the debacles of every retailer and supplier regardless of product or market served. The lesson lies in the two essential “E”s: Consumer Expectation and Customer

Experience. Great retailers develop their offering around a reality designed to meet the expectations of its consumers, and then set out to ensure that the actual shopping experience at least meets or (in amazing retailers) exceeds those expectations at every interface. We have so many terrific examples of the effective execution of these two principles in both retail and foodservice that I need not single out any in this limited space. Target’s legendary Consumer Expectation was established by its U.S. reputation, and should have been designed to be fully replicated in Canada. Indeed, prior to its opening, the Canadian media were so enthralled that they seemingly couldn’t resist writing gushingly about “Tar-jay” and the mystique the entry would bring to our market. Frankly, I’m not sure any company could have lived up to such lofty expectations. Target certainly didn’t; the customer experience was horrible and the die was cast! Sure, there were a few uptick months in the past year, but those were purchased by deals. Once consumers’ expectations were dashed and their experience proved to be marginal, recovery became virtually impossible. As Canadians, we might like

underachievers in sports but we are totally unmerciful in business. There is a footnote to the Target exit in a note sent to me by the CEO of a respected supplier and loyal reader of Perspectives. He reminded me that when Steve Stavro closed Knob Hill Farms, he ensured that all suppliers were fully accommodated. It was a classy, high-road exit by a respected retailer. Not so Target – it took the route of creditor protection. Really, in light of the multibilliondollar losses, what difference would it have made to look after those who had provided product and services in good faith? Simply an emphatic exclamation mark on why Target was never suited for this country!

JOHN F.T. SCOTT speaks, writes and consults on the food distribution sector. He is the author of Perspectives on the Retail Food Industry, an itinerant publication that explores various aspects of the industry.

March | April 2015



yOuR fOOd busiNess capiTal

April 28 to 30, 2015

Direct Energy Centre, Toronto

shOp fOR iNNOvaTive, lOcal & iNTeRNaTiONal pROducTs! TeR TOda gis y! e R

ONliNe RegisTRaTiON special OffeR


Use the code gb15 to register

Visit the largest international food & beverage products and equipment show in Canada.

an event by an event by

SIAL, a subsidiary of Comexposium Group


Be Prepared


UNIQUE? By Rich Rotzang

Today’s consumer has a staggering number of options when it comes to grocery shopping. From big-box retailers to artisanal specialty shops to online delivery services, there is literally something for everyone. And so it’s no surprise that supermarkets are always looking for new ways to attract shoppers. But what is it that draws a consumer into a particular supermarket? Why does someone choose one store over another? Pricing is certainly one of the most significant factors, and it separates the higher-end from the discount segments of the market. For the more discerning consumer, décor, style and layout are important factors. But what really matters to a discriminating consumer is the food a store sells. So how does a supermarket differentiate itself when most stores generally carry very similar products? The quality and freshness of the produce, meat and seafood are very important, but most major players are already doing an excellent job in these departments.

One way a supermarket can show its unique personality is through the Home Meal Replacement (HMR) department. HMR can really shine through as unique to a specific banner, and can serve as a reminder of what is important to that store. Whether it’s trendy superfood salads in an upscale urban marketplace, or ethnic prepared foods in a suburb, an HMR department is one of the best areas of a store to showcase its uniqueness and market awareness. Working with an experienced and specialized HMR supplier that understands this category can help retailers anticipate food trends and supply the products that reflect the demographics of a neighbourhood. They can then offer specific, targeted HMR options that resonate with local consumers. An HMR supplier must be willing and able to provide comprehensive product development services, as well as training for the staff, and a merchandising program to support the store’s market share and financial objectives. By making HMR central to the in-store experience, retailers can transform an ordinary store visit into an opportunity to interact with their customers, learn about

what they enjoy eating, conduct product sampling, and capture additional revenue. And just like a restaurant that a consumer would visit to enjoy a specific dish, the same is true for an HMR with one-of-a-kind salads and prepared foods. A consumer can buy detergent almost anywhere, but an amazing prepared salad or entree that is available only in your store will have your customer returning over and over again for more.

Rich Rotzang is senior director, marketing and communications, Tiffany Gate Foods. Contact Rich at

Tiffany Gate Foods designs and manufactures fresh gourmet salads, prepared foods, soups, dressings and other Home Meal Replacement solutions in complete kits or as individual components.

March | April 2015


Spread the word. 180,000 tempting ideas are on their way to New York City.

Discover the Craft, Care, and Joy behind 180,000 specialty foods and beverages. Meet 2,400 exhibitors from all over the world. Enjoy the most delicious business trip of your life.

Be there June 28 – 30. Register at



Every day, millions of your potential customers are typing and swiping online, potentially interacting with your brand dozens of times. More and more CPG industry leaders are focusing on these interactions, and are rapidly shifting their definition of e-commerce from measuring straight sales to examining the impact on the brand holistically. They are investing in their team, their pool of talent and suite of tools to measure success for long-term gain. Given the serious economic challenges in today’s marketplace, investing in this space can be a tough decision. But, as many experts warned at a Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) forum I recently hosted, not acting might make you vulnerable for others to define your brand’s online presence – or worse, make you non-existent in the conversation. “You have to be prepared to adapt; don’t be slow; don’t be hesitant,” said Eric Ashworth, president of SGK Inc. "The challenge will be for CPGs to adapt different ways to connect with consumers, creating a deeper, more intimate relationship.”

Customers are hungry for information about brands, and they want to be able to find it easily. If they can’t, they will likely go elsewhere. The Canadian e-commerce market lags behind other countries, hovering around 1.5 per cent of total retail sales (versus the U.S. at roughly five per cent). However, Canadians are also more likely to use the Internet than residents of any other G20 nation, so there is opportunity to engage with this audience. The larger Canadian retailers are seizing this opportunity and moving fast to beef up their offering. Walmart, for example, is making huge investments in its online offering. In fact, it is now looking to sell a vendor’s entire catalogue, not just the items found on Walmart shelves. Meanwhile, Amazon is rapidly expanding its product listings in Canada. These sites and others are extremely popular with consumers, who are not just buying products from these e-tailers but are using them as a platform to search for product information. We heard at the FCPC forum that site search is one of the most important features on any e-commerce site, and that most e-tailers have “search and sort by brand” functionality.

Lino Casalino, PwC Canada Todd Fisher, Kimberly-Clark Canada Jessica Armstrong, Unilever Canada Albert Pho, PwC Canada

82% 68%

of Canadian Internet users have purchased online in the past year.

of online shoppers’ purchases were from retailers outside Canada.

of the consumers who purchased internationally said they couldn’t find what they were looking for from Canadian e-tailers.


Source: Food and Consumer Products of Canada

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? Exploring and measuring the impact of e-commerce on a company’s brand is a trend in which businesses should invest. In a few years, the teens of today will be your target demographic. Their ability to search for and find information is wizard-like, and you want to be sure your brand is an influential part of their typing and swiping action.

Errol Cerit is vice-president, industry affairs, Food & Consumer Products of Canada.

March | April 2015




81 ST

Don’t Miss This Food Industry Tradition! FRIDAY, JUNE 5TH, 2015







• Eagles Nest Golf Club • Copper Creek Golf Club • The Country Club

In Support of

Tony Morello, President, Aurora Importing and Distributing

Focus on the Future

As Tony Morello takes the reins at Aurora Importing and Distributing, he reflects on the legacy of the company founder, and future successes built on strong industry partnerships.

From my vantage point, as an industry veteran whose career began at age 12 when I started a part-time job at an independent grocer in Concord, Ont., market changes can challenge even the most entrenched players. Perhaps it’s this perspective that gives me such a great appreciation for the company I was privileged to join two years ago, and which I recently acquired from the Tumino family.

Aurora Importing and Distribution marks 60 years of success this year. As we observe this milestone, we’re doing more than celebrating a business and brand that have become beloved by retailers and consumers. We’re also paying tribute to its founder, Nunzio Tumino, his family and all the other members of the Aurora Importing team who have worked so hard to make the company what it is today. Continued on page 51

P H O T O S : R O D N E Y D AW

March | April 2015



Focus on the Future Continued from page 49 From the start, Aurora Importing was driven by a clear vision: to bring some of the world’s best foods and ingredients into Canadian homes. These products had to deliver consistently high quality, and they needed to bring a sense of excitement and novelty into Canadian kitchens by leading or shaping culinary trends. At the same time, the products had to be backed by service and merchandising support that would help retailers engage with their customers. Today, Aurora Importing delivers on all of these goals and more – we are now among the world’s leading importers and wholesalers of Italian food and houseware items, and many of our products are leaders in their categories. As we’ve grown, Aurora Importing has expanded into food manufacturing, processing and packaging. And the strategic composition of our product lines has evolved in a way that allows us to offer retailers and consumer products built around complete solutions. Our vision today remains as strong and clear as it was when Mr. Tumino founded the company six decades ago, but now we are widening our lens. From an operation that has focused mostly in Ontario, Aurora Importing is now embarking on a strategy to expand our reach to Western Canada and portions of the United States. For consumers, this means access to our high-quality products wherever they are in Canada. For retailers, our national reach will mean a greater competitive advantage. As we look ahead to a future of coast-tocoast growth, we also look forward to working with our retail partners and to sharing the foods we love with tens of thousands of Canadians. Tony Morello, president

Aurora Importing offers an extensive line of Italian and other European products.

Help at hand

for retailers Markets change and trends come and go in the fast-paced and alwaysevolving world of food retail. It’s an industry fact of life that keeps grocers, suppliers and distributors in a constant state of alertness.

A WINNING PORTFOLIO OF BRANDS From pasta, olive oil and tomato sauce to chocolates, panini grills and pizza ovens, Aurora Importing boasts thousands of carefully chosen items in its product portfolio.

by Marjo Johne

With its extensive offering of Italian and European products, high-value merchandising services, and various programs to connect and engage with consumers, Aurora Importing has a solid history of helping retailers succeed in their markets. Buying from Aurora Importing means doing business with a partner focused on: 4 D  elivering unique, high-quality products backed by innovative retail and merchandising solutions; 4 B  eing on the leading edge of the market, thanks to a keen eye for global consumer trends and the ability to quickly bring these trends to Canada.

“Aurora is expanding its operations into Western canada and parts of the U.S.” Tony Morello

March | April 2015



to all our retail partners, our business partners and entire Aurora family for 60 wonderful years.

Anybody can import products today, but Mr. Tumino led the way. Aurora Importing founder, Nunzio Tumino, with Rina Tumino Imbrogno, general manager.

The Dawn of Aurora It takes vision to build a company, but sometimes it takes a mishap to kick-start it. That’s how it was with Aurora Importing. In 1955, a fog in Milan left Nunzio Tumino with 450 bags of chestnuts imported from Italy and no buyer to take them. Tumino, who at the time owned a small grocery store with his wife, had agreed to buy the chestnuts on behalf of another Toronto retailer who had intended to sell them for Thanksgiving. “But then he tells me he doesn’t want the chestnuts anymore because they’re going to arrive after Thanksgiving,” recalls Tumino, who had immigrated to Canada from Sicily just five years earlier with only $22 in his pocket. “That was my first experience with importing.” As it turned out, that challenge created a windfall for Tumino, who managed to sell every last bag – for $9 more each bag than what the Toronto retailer would have paid him. That success encouraged Tumino to bring in more products from Italy. With a rapidly growing community of Italian immigrants in Canada, he had a ready market. There was also strong interest outside the Italian community in the Mediterranean diet, and Tumino knew his products could satisfy this intensifying appetite for Italian cuisine. His import business grew so quickly that he soon shifted his focus away from his store and founded Aurora Importing and Distribution. Today, Aurora is a recognized leader in global food importing, and Tumino’s story is legend in many circles. “Anybody can import products today, but Mr. Tumino led the way,” says Tony Morello, Aurora Importing’s president and one of the new owners. “He really is a pioneer, an incredibly determined person with a keen sense about what consumers want.”

From that foggy day in Milan, with those 450 bags of stranded chestnuts, Tumino began a venture that, 60 years later, is going strong and picking up fresh momentum as it starts a new era under a new owner.

March | April 2015


The Best Expands West As Aurora Importing continues to grow, it has set its sights westward. A new office scheduled to open this fall in Vancouver will allow the company to develop sales representation and build relationships with third-party logistics providers in Western Canada, says Morello. “We’ve done a great job in Ontario and Quebec, where we’ve built a well-balanced customer base consisting of about 50 per cent independents and 50 per cent national players,” he says. “It’s only natural

for us to grow as our customers grow, and ensure that we can continue to deliver our products to them as they expand to other parts of Canada. “We’re looking to set up an arrangement that’s similar to what we have in Quebec, where we have a warehouse and a full office,” he says of the Vancouver site. Canada isn’t the only market where Aurora Importing is casting a wider net. Morello says the company wants to grow its presence in the United States, where it currently

distributes to retailers in the northern states and Florida. Channel expansion is also on the agenda as Aurora Importing looks to be more active in mass-market retail, pharmacies and big-box clubs. Last year, the company launched the Aurora Online Store, which includes a wholesale section. “There are a lot of exciting developments to look forward to,” says Morello. “Aurora has evolved continually over the last 60 years, and we’re still a work in progress.”

Products of Powerful Relationships

Retailers also benefit from Aurora Importing’s solutions-based approach. The company’s comprehensive oil program, for instance, gives grocers the convenience of buying a wide variety of oils, ranging from canola and corn to sunflower and olive oil, at a single price point from a single source.

About six years before he joined Aurora Importing, Tony Morello travelled to Italy with the company’s founder, Nunzio Tumino. Walking through a trade show with Tumino, Morello felt as though he was in the company of a superstar. “Everybody stopped everything they were doing to say hello to him,” recalls Morello. “It was incredible, but that’s how it is with Mr. Tumino. Over 60 years, he’s built these great relationships with all these suppliers in Europe, and at the trade show, I saw just how much respect, trust and affection they had for each other.” These relationships are the foundation on which Aurora Importing has built its success, says Morello. The company’s supply-side partners include heritage brands that are over a century old: wafer maker Loacker is almost 90 years old, Baci Perugina is 107, and olive oil producer Frantoi Cutrera goes back 108 years. “In these companies, we’re dealing with third- or fourth-generation owners,” says

Morello. “These are businesses that align with our belief in continuity, authenticity and integrity, and our relationships with them are very deep and strong.” Aurora Importing continues to forge new ties with suppliers in Europe and other parts of the world. But not everyone makes the grade: the company looks for partners with a proven record for making great products with clean ingredients, following strict and well-documented quality standards. “We set very precise specifications for our products, and require certificates of authenticity from our suppliers,” says Morello. “We also choose to source each type of product from a single vendor. For example, our passata is sourced from one packer in Italy. The result is a superior product that is consistent in taste and overall quality. “Europe is usually a couple of years ahead of North America when it comes to trends,” he says. “And when there’s something new, our partners in Europe come to us first.”

March | April 2015


Congratulation On Celebrating 60 Years of Success Fiasconaro produces exquisite artisan Panettone a "Traditional Italian Christmas Cake“. All products are made with natural ingredients and leavening baked to perfection. A true Sicilian authentic recipe.

60 Years and Counting, Let’s Hear It For Aurora From humble beginnings to great success, Blaze Marketing would like to congratulate Aurora on 60 years in business. Blaze offers national third party merchandising with fast, professional, results orientated, service and best-in-class technology. Here’s to Aurora and here’s to the future.

9” x 2.625”

Congratulations Aurora Importing & Distributing on 60 years in business! We have had a wonderful partnership with you for 30 years and are proud to be an ingredient in your success.


March | April 2015

Selling Solutions Morello says the company is increasingly focused on creating products that provide consumer solutions. As examples, he cites Aurora Importing’s risotto, zuppa and polenta products under the Allessia brand. “With these products, the consumer has almost everything they need to make an authentic, homemade risotto, soup or polenta dish from start to finish,” says Morello. “These are complete solutions. All you need to do is add water and turn on the stove.” “We try to cover the range to give retailers a one-stop solution that they can offer to their customers,” says Morello. “Instead of simply offering our customers products, we’re asking the question: ‘What are your challenges, and how can we help you solve them?’ It’s a big point of differentiation for us, and it’s ultimately what’s allowing us to help our retail partners succeed today and in the future.”

Aurora Importing hosts a cooking event with Longo’s staff. Pictured (l-r): Stacey Jablonski, Longo Bros.; Rina Tumino Imbrogno, Aurora Importing; and Jenny Longo, Longo Bros.

Celebrating 60 Years of Success How do you celebrate six decades that saw a company grow from a small family-owned grocery to a leading global importer with about 100 employees in two locations, and more than 4,000 products sold through retailers across Ontario and Quebec? This year, Aurora Importing marks its 60th anniversary by sharing its story, wisdom and products. Some of the highlights: 4 A broad marketing campaign, including print and TV ads; 4 A  curated collection of 60 recipes, printed on cards and packaged in a vintage-style recipe tin; 4 Sixty espresso machines, to be given away over 60 weeks.


CLEAR THE DECK “If you look at the ingredient decks of Aurora products, you’ll find that they’re extremely clean, with no artificial ingredients,” says Morello. “It’s good, wholesome food. Consumers recognize this, and that’s why they have stayed loyal to our products, and to the retailers carrying our products.”


for success At the heart of Aurora Importing’s success is an authentic passion for good food – the kind that mamma or nonna made using fresh, high-quality ingredients. In November 2011, Aurora Importing launched Recipideos, a concept that captures this passion and shares it with consumers through instructional cooking videos. The twist: No cooking-show host and constant chatter — just close-up shots of the food as it’s prepared, with on-screen text guiding viewers through the recipe. The videos, which are posted on Aurora Importing’s website and on YouTube, each run about four minutes or less. “A growing segment of our customers are younger Canadians juggling responsibilities at work and at home,” says Rina Tumino Imbrogno, Aurora Importing’s general manager. “With Recipideos, they can learn and visualize in just a few minutes how to prepare a wholesome and delicious meal.”

March | April 2015


Homegrown excellence Aurora Importing’s story is built on the pioneering efforts of its founder Nunzio Tumino, who saw an opportunity to satisfy a growing appetite for food products from Italy. Today, imports continue to be a main driver of revenue and growth at Aurora Importing, but the company is also manufacturing success on Canadian soil. Aurora currently has two warehouses: a 50,000-sq.-ft. facility appended to its head office in Mississauga, Ont., and a 35,000-sq.-ft. space in Montreal, where it has a second office. The company also has a Mississauga-based manufacturing, processing and packaging plant where it makes its much-lauded Aurora bouillons and polenta, as well as its Allessia private-label brand. There is also a roasting and packaging site for Aurora’s Barocco coffee, an artisanal brand that in 2013 won gold and silver medals in the

blend category at the Coffee Cup by SIAL international coffee contest. “Having a manufacturing facility in Canada allows us to make products close to market so they are as fresh as possible,” says Morello. “We can guarantee retailers that, within 48 hours of ordering, you’ll have fresh coffee – which we roast in small batches.” Aurora’s on-the-ground manufacturing capability also gives retailers the ability to respond and adapt quickly to market trends, says Morello. “If we see a market development where there’s an emerging interest in a particular product, we can look at the possibility of manufacturing or processing it in our facility,” he says. “This definitely gives us an advantage but the real winners in the end are our retail partners and their customers, because we are able to give them what they want.”

A winning portfolio of products

Congratulations Aurora Importing & Distributing! The Barocco Coffee Company is honoured to congratulate Aurora Importing for 60 successful years of bringing the authentic Italian food experience to Canada. Our philosophy dictates creating special experiences and as a local roaster of fresh “aritigianale” coffee beans, we fuse the traditional methods from the Old World with the dynamic innovations from the New World. We invite everyone to come and experience Barocco’s passion.

From pasta, olive oil and tomato sauce to panini grills and pizza ovens, Aurora Importing boasts thousands of carefully chosen items in its product portfolio. TOP SELLERS

Tomato products

Bread crumbs

Figs 58

March | April 2015


The Aurora advantage: master merchandisers How do you make great products better? At Aurora Importing, the answer can be summed up in two words: innovative merchandising. From eye-catching displays and strategic pricing to a full-scale store that showcases a virtual portfolio of merchandising executions, Aurora Importing backs its products with high-value services that drive sales for its retail partners. “We want our suppliers and retail partners to succeed,” says Morello. “That’s why we offer creative merchandising solutions that we’re able to collaborate on, based on product, variety and the deal of the week.” Over the years, Aurora Importing has helped its partners execute successful displays for a

wide variety of products ranging from tomatoes to its Loacker and Perugina branded items. Aurora Importing has also taken merchandising online. At, engaging blog posts weave colourful stories around products and entice consumers to visit their favourite retailer for a taste of the real thing. Some of the posts even include maps that show readers which stores carry the products featured in the blog. Recognizing the power of real-life examples, Aurora Importing recently renovated its 2,400-sq.-ft. Cash & Carry store, located at its Mississauga headquarters, and set it up to do double duty as a merchandising

showroom. Retailers shopping or touring the Cash & Carry get to experience various merchandising concepts from the customers’ perspective. “You can get some great ideas as you’re going through the store,” says Morello. “And to keep things fresh, we change the displays regularly. We’ll also adjust and customize our displays based on whichever customer is visiting us on a particular day. “It’s really a great way to demonstrate to customers that if we can make our products come to life in this space, we can make it come to life in your store.”

Hitting the sweet spot If the goal of merchandising is to make a product irresistible to consumers, then Aurora Importing’s joint programs with Perugina have most certainly hit the sweet spot.

And Pritchard doesn’t just show up at the stores; he arrives in eye-catching style.

In 2011, the two companies partnered to bring Baci chocolate-making demos to food retailers in the Greater Toronto Area. The first demo was led by Baci’s master chocolatier Vivien Reimbelli. Since 2012, Toronto-based Christian Pritchard has been doing the demos, which tour participating retailers from October to February.

“We have this little Baci Fiat that he drives around in,” explains Aurora Importing general manager Rina Tumino Imbrogno, referring to a blue Fiat 500 decorated with the Baci stars and logo. “It gets a lot of attention.”

Agromonte cherry tomato sauce. There is no better way to dress pasta. Passion for good things




March | April 2015


AWARE How plunging pollinator populations affect food prices.


By Sarah Feldman

For decades, wild and managed bee populations across North America have been stuck in a downward spiral. If pollinator populations continue to fall, grocers will feel the impact on their bottom lines. Bees are the most efficient animal pollinators on earth, and their long decline puts the underpinnings of an already precariously balanced global ecosystem at risk. “In Canada, more than 80 per cent of our flowering plants – plants that support ecosystems, provide us with food, feed wildlife, and make our landscape unique – require pollinators to reproduce,” explains Victoria MacPhail, pollinators at risk initiative biologist at Wildlife Preservation Canada.

PAYING THE PRICE If supply and demand is any indication of the effect bee decline might have on grocers’ margins, fewer bees and lower pollination levels are likely to correlate with less bountiful harvests and sticker shock on store shelves. Consider the aftershock of the recent apple crisis in Ontario, when an unseasonably chilly April in 2012 decimated more than 80 per cent of the province’s apple yield. Some varieties of apple became nearly impossible

to find. Only two per cent of Ontario’s Empire crop, for example, and less than 10 per cent of its MacIntosh crop made the journey from farm to store to table unaffected. Between 25 and 30 per cent of global food crops rely on bees to, well, be fruitful and multiply. “One of out every three bites of food humans eat is the result of animal pollination,” says Vicki Wojcik, research director of Pollinator Partnership Canada, a not-forprofit organization dedicated to supporting pollinator health across the country. All it takes is a trip down the produce aisle to better understand the impact that bees have on food production. In Ontario alone, they are responsible for pollinating the vast majority of fruits and vegetables, including apples, peaches, cucumbers, asparagus, pumpkins and melons. When it comes to pollinating the world’s food supply, an important distinction must be drawn between wild and managed bee species. In 2013, the University of Calgary published a study that analyzed crop yields from more than 40 crop systems around the world, and found that wild pollinator bees are far more effective pollinators than their managed cousins. Continued on page 63

$1Billion Worth of pollination services

Source: Wildlife Preservation Canada

POLLINATOR WEEK: June 15-21, 2015 Learn more at: March | April 2015



Bees pollinate more than 80% of all flowering fruits and vegetables.

Bees contribute more than $1 BILLION annually to the Canadian agriculture industry.

WILD FOR BEES DISPLAYS Displays available in mixed 48 ct floorstand, 12 ct POS box and 12 ct Clipstrip. Burt’s Bees will DONATE $24 from the sale of a WILD FOR BEES™ floor stand display

In partnership with:

$24 DONATION to Pollinator Partnership with display purchase.

$350 million to $400 million In lost apple crop revenue in Ontario Continued from page 61

Wild pollinator bees might fly under the radar, but they make up 90% of the global bee population, and are essential to keeping our ecosystem in check.

Because of this distinction, a strategy of farming more honeybees wouldn’t help the situation, and wild bees, by their very nature, cannot be managed by traditional methods. Solitary wild bees are particularly difficult to quantify, as they neither live nor nest in groups, but travel from flower to flower, plant to plant independently. As bee populations continue to plunge, farmers must find creative – and costly – solutions to their pollination problems. For instance, the devastating decline of wild bees in some parts of China has forced farmers to adopt hand-pollination techniques.

PROTECTION FOR POLLINATORS The status of pollinators in Canada, thankfully, is not yet as dire. Nonetheless, a number of key players – from corporations to governmental organizations – have signified their interest in keeping bees buzzing. In November 2014, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change announced its plan to “strengthen bird, bee, butterfly and other pollinator health” by pledging – among other goals – to reduce by 80 per cent the number of acres planted with neonicotinoidtreated corn and soybean seed by 2017. Neonicotinoid is a pesticide that kills insects by attacking nerve receptors. Each year, Ontario produces 68 per cent of Canadian corn and 70 per cent of the country’s soybean supply, so the province’s dedication to cutting back on farmers’ use of harmful pesticides,

in addition to its vow to establish a Pollinator Health Action Plan, is a major step in the direction of pollinator protection. While Ontario’s pledge is significant, it does little to address the primary cause of bee decline: loss and fragmentation of habitat. For the past three years, Burt’s Bees Canada has partnered with Pollinator Partnership Canada to raise money for pollinator research programs and save-the-bees initiatives. In the first three years of the program, Burt’s Bees Canada dedicated over $50,000 to pollinator health. Last year, as part of its annual Wild for Bees campaign, the company funded the custom creation and installation of five sustainable bee hotels across southern Ontario, where bee populations have been hit the hardest. “A bee hotel is a sustainable nesting space for solitary pollinator bees,” explains Carolyn Hungate, marketing manager at Burt’s Bees Canada. “At Burt’s Bees, we know just how essential bees are to our ecosystem and the food chain, so we are proud to provide free room and board to hardworking bees across Ontario. In spring 2015, we look forward to making an even greater impact by building bee hotels across the country.” Pollinator population trends might be pointed downwards, but global interest in saving the bees is growing stronger by the year. For economists and environmentalists, grocers and guests, one thing is clear: The more bees, the better. March | April 2015













CLUB HOUSE LA GRILLE SEASONINGS AND RUB MARINADES QUARTER PALLET: 901052374 Display must be ordered in quantities of 4.



Media is subject to change

Nielsen Homescan Market Summary, National, L52 Wks Ending Jan 10, 2015; Tl BBQ = BBQ Seasonings+Rubs+Wet Marinades+BBQ Sauce * Reg. TM/MD McCormick Canada


When that first warm weekend finally arrives, consumers will be eager to break out the barbeque to celebrate. But consumer tastes have evolved, impacting even traditional meal occasions like barbequing. We asked David Holman, product manager with McCormick Canada, to tell us about the trends that are driving the barbeque category. What are the key barbequing trends you’re seeing?

What barbeque flavours are most popular?

More than ever, consumers are looking for new flavours and foods to try. For instance, beyond meat options, vegetables are now the meal hero. Interesting grilling techniques are elevating vegetables to much more than a side dish. Plus, the focus is definitely shifting towards barbequing a wider range of foods, like pizza and even desserts. Another trend we’re seeing is the emergence of flavoured salts that can be added to food right before and after grilling.

Staples such as Club House La Grille Montreal Steak Spice are essential but increasingly, we see that consumers are looking for inspiration from international flavours. We call this trend “Global Blends on the Move.” Canadian grillers are actively seeking cuisine-inspired flavours such as Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American. As well, there is a noticeable shift towards the grilling of umami-rich foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and Chinese cabbage. Umami, the “fifth sense,” is used to describe savoury foods with depth of flavour, and grilling offers another way to highlight the umami factor of these foods.

What cross-merchandising tips will help grow add-on sales? Increased sales during the barbeque season are driven by secondary displays, and by helping the consumer create flavourful meal solutions that vary from week to week. Think about the accompaniments to a great barbeque meal experience, and then position those summer side dishes and table accessories near the meat bunker for convenient shopping.

TIP Education is the key to drawing in barbeque novices, so it’s important to showcase recipe suggestions and food combinations.

Beyond barbeque, you have only one opportunity to engage your customers when it’s time for the annual cottage season kick-off stock-up. March | April 2015


health & beauty sports nutrition nutraceuticals



natural health products specialty food organic food


april 9 & 10 trade show:

vancouver convention centre, west building

april 11 & 12

Retailers attend for free when you register using the Grocery Business code W15G6

CHFA is dedicated to offering practical and informative business education that will help you improve your bottom line. Plan to attend for the full day and bring your team. You won’t be disappointed.

Friday, April 10 Opening Keynote Breakfast Am I Ever Busy! Changing Your Culture from Chaos to Calm Busy has become the new norm and wound us into the most unproductive and basically unhappy demographic in the past 30 years. Linda Edgecombe shares her humorous approach, stacked with relevant and easy solutions, to help get you on track with clear vision and tools to take back the work day and your personal life. Get down to business with this comprehensive, full day conference program Combatting "Mass Slippage"– How not to lose your customers to drug, grocery & club retailers

Secrets of Success Tips from Successful Health Food Stores Bruce Cole, CNHR Magazine

Robert Craven, CEO MegaFoods Retailer Round Table – The Idea Exchange Retailers sharing their experiences, pitfalls and successes.

Five things you can do on Monday morning to start a culture of sustainability in your organization Sponsored by:

Frenemies - Organic vs Non-GMO Which brand has the higher value proposition? Product Education 45-minute information sessions presented by the exhibitors.

How Content Marketing Can Help Increase Sales Michelle Book, Director of Communications CHFA

Complete details and speaker bios are available on the CHFA West website

No other trade show provides the variety of companies dedicated to natural health and organic products that CHFA West delivers. With thousands of products at your fingertips, this truly is one stop shopping for all of your inventory needs. 323 MicroCare Inc. A _____________________________ Absorb Science Inc. Abundance Naturally Ltd. Advantage Health Matters Inc. AEA Foods Ltd. alive Publishing Group Alpha Health Products Ltd. Altramed Health Products Inc. AOR - Advanced Orthomolecular Research Ascenta Associated Labels Atlas Brand Management Auto-Star Compusystems Inc. Avafina Commodities Axel Kraft International Limited B _____________________________ Back to Earth Enviro Products Inc. Barlean's Organic Oils Béland Organic Foods Best Brands Marketing Inc. Best Health Magazine Bioforce Canada/ A.Vogel Bio-K Plus International Inc. BioResource Inc. BlueRiver Trading Ltd. Body Plus Inc. Bosa Foods Bremner Foods Ltd. Bullfrog Power Inc. C _____________________________ Canadian Choice Wholesalers Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Canadian Organic Spice & Herb Co. Inc. CanPrev Natural Health Products Ltd. Carina Organics Inc. Chia Bia North America Chorus Global Supernatural Chosen Foods Inc. CLM Health Group Inc. CNHR Magazine Inc. D _____________________________ David Health International dicentra Distripharm Inc. Divine Essence / Union Nature Doi Chaang Coffee Company DOM International Limited Dovre Import & Export Ltd. E _____________________________ Earth's Own Food Company Eclectic Echinacea Inc.

Ecoideas EcoTrend Ecologics Ltd. Ed Core Marketing, Ltd. Eden Foods Elite Organic Nutrition Ltd. Empire Health Distribution Enerex Botanicals Ltd. Erlendson Health Products dba Renewal Wellness Essential Nature Inc. Ethico Solutions Inc. F _____________________________ Fairtrade Canada Ferlow Botanicals Fitness Performance Inc. Flora Manufacturing & Distributing Ltd. FreeYumm Foods Ltd. G _____________________________ GAB Innovations Inc. Genuine Health Giddy Yoyo Inc. Global Health Brokerage Grain-Free JK Gourmet Inc. Grainworks, Inc. Green Sisters Natural Health & Beauty GreenSpace Brands GS1 Canada H _____________________________ Hain Celestial Hair Grow Technology Inc. Hanes Hummus Happy Planet Foods, Inc. HC Distribution Ltd. Health & Wellness Retailer Magazine Health Canada Healthy Body Services Hedley Enterprises Ltd. Herbalex Canada Limited Herbamax Inc. Herbasanté Higgins Cohn Brand Management Hofstetter Marketing Services Horizon Distributors Huer Foods Inc. I ______________________________ ibox Packaging Ltd. Ideon Packaging LLP iLevel Management Inc. Indianlife Food Corporation Indigo Natural Products Management InnerJ Innotech Nutrition Innovite Health

Ipanema Valley Inc. Island Abbey Foods Science Ltd. ITO EN (North America) Inc. J______________________________ Janus Foods Inc. Japak Industries Inc. Jiva Organics Manufacturing & Distributing Inc. Joy of the Mountains | OregaPet L _____________________________ LabelPak Printing Inc. Labs-Mart Inc. Lavigne Organic Skincare LeBeau Excel Left Coast Naturals Life Choice Ltd. LOFCO Canada Inc. Lorna Vanderhaeghe Health Solutions, Inc. Love Grown Foods Luvo Inc. Lyndhurst Naturals Lyo-San Inc. M ____________________________ M.N.R Distributors Mag Pro Consulting Vista Magazine Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods Marsham International Food Brokers Inc. Mason Vitamins Matraea Trading Ltd. MCS Associates Inc. Medicine Flower Micronutrient Initiative Monnol Inc. MTB ( A Division of Cyba Stevens Management Group) Mum's Original Inc. Muscle Plus Labs MusclePharm Canada N _____________________________ Nanton Nutraceuticals Ltd. National Research Council NHP Program Nationwide Natural Foods (2000) Inc. Natural Factors Natural Health Products Canada Natural Health Show, The Nature Zen Nature's Aid Nature's Path Nature's Way Canada Ltd. New Age Marketing & Brand

Management Inc. New Chapter Canada New Roots Herbal Inc. Newco Natural Technology NHP Assist (ND Assist Inc.) Nikkei (Canada) Marketing Limited Nova Probiotics NuEra Nutraceutical Inc. NuStart Marketing Ltd. Nutrition Club Canada O _____________________________ Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. Omega Nutrition Organika Health Products Inc. Orion Sales and Marketing Outside The Box Distributors Ltd. OxyLift P _____________________________ Pacific Bottleworks Company Ltd. Park's Bread 'N' Buns Factory Ltd Pascoe Canada PatsyPie Peak Performance Products Inc. Peanut Butter & Co. PerfectShakers Planet Foods Platinum Naturals Ltd. PNP Pharmaceuticals Inc. Prairie Naturals Health Products Pranin Organic Inc Preferred Nutrition Prime Health Ltd. Private Label Nutraceuticals Pro Ecuador Pro Line Advanced Nutrition Ltd. Pro Natural Distribution Inc. Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. Prosnack Natural Foods Inc. Provincial Natural Food Distribution Inc. Pure Anada Inc. Puresource Inc. Purica Purity Life Health Products LP Q _____________________________ Quench Essentials Quicklabel Systems R _____________________________ Renew Life Canada Rivalus Nutrition Ropack Inc. routine inc. S _____________________________ Salba Smart Natural Products, LLC

Salome Naturals Inc. Serenity 2000 - It's Magnetic SISU Inc. Source of Life Products Sow Good (Belcam) SportsFleets Ventures St Francis Herb Farm Inc. Stephano Group Ltd. Summit Specialty Foods SunForce Health & Organics Inc. Sunshine Pickles Sunshine Produce Limited T _____________________________ Taipak Enterprises Ltd. TallGrass Tasly International (Canada) Limited Tasty Treat Foods Ltd. Temple Lifestyle Terra International Food Inc. Titan Distribution Tony Waters Agencies Inc. Tootsi Impex Inc. Tree of Life Canada Trophic Canada Tropical Link Canada Ltd. True Earth Paper Corporation True Nature Group True North Nutrition Truehope Nutritionals Support U _____________________________ Ultimate Superfoods UNFI Canada, Inc. Unique Foods (Canada) Inc. V _____________________________ Vega Villa Anna Sales & Brand Management Inc. Vitalité Québec Mag Inc. Vitality Vitaplus Lifeline USA Inc. Vitargo Global Sciences, LLC. Viva Health Products Ltd. W ____________________________ Wedderspoon Organic Inc. Westpoint Naturals Wholesale Medical Network Wholly Noggin Foods Ltd. Winning Combination Inc., The Z _____________________________ Zemas Madhouse Foods Zero Xeno Enterprises Inc. Zorah Biocosmétiques

This list represents companies contracted as of Feb. 9, 2015. Visit our website for the most up-to-date information.

Attend CHFA West and gain access to thousands of products – some never before seen in Canada.


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growth vancouver convention cen west building tre, conference: april 9 & 10 trade show: april 11 & 12

Free trade show registration for CNHR retailer subscribers! Visit and use your Grocery Business code W15G6


New & now discoveries

Gluten-free breaded filets Toppits Foods’ new gluten-free breaded fish fillets contain no additives and are available in the following varieties: Black Pepper Cod, Lightly Seasoned Haddock, and Savoury Lemon Sole. All three are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Program and are Marine Stewardship Council certified as sustainable.

Classic shortbread, without the gluten For the first time in 116 years, Walkers Shortbread has adapted its traditional shortbread recipe to offer gluten-free shortbread. Walkers has replaced wheat flour with a blend of rice flour, maize flour and potato starch. The new cookie comes in three varieties – Gluten Free Pure Butter Shortbread, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread, and Gluten Free Ginger & Lemon Shortbread.


March | April 2015

Fruit juice-based meal replacement Oasis NutriSolution is a fruit juice-based meal replacement with no added sugar, artificial colours or flavours. One serving contains 10 grams of protein along with 26 vitamins and minerals. Available in three delicious flavours: Strawberry-Banana, Tropical and Wild Berries.

Ready-to-eat fruit snack packs Naturipe Farms has added two new products to its Ready to Eat fresh fruit snack pack line: Mango & Blueberry blend, and Grape & Blueberry blend. Each new blend pack contains 1.5 ounces of fresh fruit, while the original 100 per cent blueberry pack contains 1.25 ounces. Redesigned packaging allows more product visibility and clear messaging to the consumer.

Get smart with Smart Soup Smart Soup is a new line of seven extraordinary soups made with healthy lifestyles in mind – without sacrificing taste or quality. Created by industry veteran and grandmother, Anne Chong Hill, the soups are made with real, and pronounceable, ingredients.

March | April 2015


NIGHT TO NURTURE GALA Celebrating its 36th year and with almost 4,000 guests in attendance, the Night to Nurture Gala took place January 31, 2015 in Toronto, and raised thousands of dollars in support of The Grocery Foundation and Kids Help Phone. 01


02 04



March | April 2015


Night to Nurture Gala

01 Michelle Scott, executive director, The Grocery Foundation (left), and Sharon Wood, president & CEO, Kids Help Phone 02 Singer Kelly Clarkson entertained the guests 03 Tim and Janet Dean, A.S. May Powell 04 Doug and Helen Ohori, Clover Leaf Seafoods 05 Art and Lucy Smith, GS1 Canada 06 Scott Lindsay, Coca-Cola; Steve Fox, NestlĂŠ Canada; Joe Weber, Saputo Inc. 07 Michael and Lindsay Forgione, Longo Brothers Fruit Market



08 1950s-themed silent auction 09 Ben Mulroney, John and Michelle Scott 10 Amy and Craig Vendramin, Kraft Foods 11 Gisela and Norbert Koehl, Stonemill Bakehouse 12 Beach-themed selfie station 13 Cheryl Smith, Parmalat, and Ben Mulroney 14 Ben Mulroney interviewing Mary, Evelyn, Kate and Jake, whose parents work in the grocery industry Lori Carter was the lucky winner of the evening’s grand prize, a 2015 Lexus courtesy of Don Valley North Lexus







P H O T O S : R O D N E Y D AW

March | April 2015


it figures

Deliver on

Delicious 56% of Canadians are

choosing to eat smaller portions as a weight-loss strategy


of Canadians believe they are overweight



Takeaway While diet fads come and go, you’ll find staying power with innovative, great-tasting foods that are easy to prepare and provide healthful benefits.

52% are trying to lose weight

of consumers are willing to pay a premium for food with health benefits Takeaway Your product should deliver on taste and be genuine when communicating healthy attributes. Don’t just be it; show it!


March | April 2015

Takeaway Innovation around health and wellness trends will be a key motivator for consumers and a huge opportunity for grocers.

62% OF CONSUMERS ARE CHANGING THEIR DIETS TO INCLUDE MORE FRESH FOODS Takeaway Retailers can provide guidance to consumers aspiring to eat well by: » Offering healthy eating ideas and meal-planning assistance » Showcasing healthy offerings, particularly fresh products » Educating with in-store signage, displays and demonstrations » Incorporating loyalty program rewards into healthy lifestyle initiatives

74% of consumers

will postpone a purchase if they are unable to find what they are looking for Takeaway Is your merchandising strategy supporting consumers’ lifestyle choices?

What’s important to consumers?

50% 46%

say locally-sourced ingredients say organic, sustainably-sourced ingredients

Takeaway Environmental and socio-economic concerns also factor into purchase decisions.

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


March | April 2015


Perry’s Point of View

Old School

in a New World Because I could operate Lotus 1-2-3, the predecessor to Excel, Loblaw hired me into its head office. I was immediately deployed as a cheese analyst, and developed a category plan that was met with appropriate skepticism. On the strength of my ability to confuse my colleagues with spreadsheets, I was promoted to assistant category manager, and given responsibility for merchandising a range of grocery categories. I was given a target by my boss, and was surprised to find out that it consisted of only one number: the amount of supplier money I was expected to generate. So I went to work, using a wide variety of tools – co-op ads, listing fees, vendor allowances, special deals, rebates and anything else I could deploy, invent or copy. Suppliers were, of course, interested in volume, which was only of interest to me insofar as some volume target could be deployed as a strategy to obtain upfront money from vendors. If the volume target wasn’t hit – it rarely was – we would develop some make-good tactics until their bosses were appeased. Then it was back on the hamster wheel. Listing fees, for instance, were a great tool – toss something out of the planogram, and auction off the space.


March | April 2015

I was not sure what any of this had to do with developing categories that actually appealed to consumers and generated maximum gross margin dollars, but it worked and got me promoted. In reality, we didn’t need to think too much about selling, because we were making so much money buying. Calling this “old school” would be too generous – this was the school they tore down to build the old school. A few decades have gone by, and the tools, systems, analytics and data have improved dramatically. Buying practices, however, have not kept up. The methods and language have been modernized – “joint business planning,” for instance – but most large merchants still rely heavily on supplier funding to generate the majority of operating profit. This creates animosity and distrust, broken promises and inappropriate merchandising tactics. How often have we seen a weekly flyer that contained specials clearly intended to “make up” volume owed to a supplier? With the tools we have today, these practices should be long gone. However, despite all the brave talk about new analytics and innovative relationships, the sad fact is that the merchants generate the majority of their operating profit from the exact same tactics used decades ago.

Merchants who are truly focused on day-to-day consumer appeal (augmented by careful margin management through analytics) win where it counts – on the sales line. Suppliers will always line up to work with, fund and support grocers that truly understand their customers. These grocers know that the heart of the business is not the “buy,” but the “sell.” They understand that customer loyalty is not bought with points, or specials, or inconsistent supplier-driven promotions. The late Dave Nichol once said that the best supermarket program was “great products in great stores at great prices.” He did not mention “listing fees.”

Perry Caicco is the managing director for CIBC World Markets. His experience includes 15 years in the supermarket, general merchandise, and packaged goods industries with companies such as Coca-Cola, Consumers Distributing and Loblaw Companies Ltd. Perry is a founding member of the Grocery Business Advisory Board.

Jay Leno Entertainer

Martha Stewart Founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Walter Robb Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

Phil Lempert the Supermarket Guru

Harold Lloyd Founder, Harold Lloyd Presents

Youngme Moon Author and Professor, Harvard Business School

Arianna Huffington Co-founder & Editor-in-Chief The Huffington Post

Shaquille O’Neal NBA All-Star and Sports Analyst for TNT and NBATV


• Learn from renowned food safety speakers • Improve delis with IDDBA Food Safety research • Engage in Listeria food safety training in the new Show & Sell Theater • Get credentialed in a free ServSafe® Certification Class

New Initiative!

Protect your customer’s well-being and strengthen your food safety culture with IDDBA’s new Safe Food Matters!

Go to for more information.

The Evolution Continues

Hands-On Expo & Learning Opportunities

Grow with 8,500 other dairy, deli, bakery and foodservice professionals while you surround yourself with changing demographics and buying behaviors, increased emphasis on natural, and new convenient formats. See what it takes to increase store visits and have your products embraced by multi-generational buyers using digital strategies and omni-channel marketing. World-class presentations will expose you to many leaders and insightful business people and marketers in our industry.

Experience our jam-packed show floor with more than 1,800 booths filled with new products, services and new ideas that will move your business. Don’t miss our eye-opening New Product Showcase or our 10,000 sq. ft. Show & Sell Center. You’ll have plenty of networking opportunities while exploring the latest merchandising and new products – all in a retail setting that integrates actionable take-aways.

608.310.5000 •


®Registered trademarks of Kruger Products L.P. ©2015. ™Trademarks of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, used under licence.

Profile for Grocery Business

March/April 2015  

The year 2014 was a watershed for the retail food industry in many respects. The 2013 acquisitions of Safeway by Sobeys, and Shoppers Drug M...

March/April 2015  

The year 2014 was a watershed for the retail food industry in many respects. The 2013 acquisitions of Safeway by Sobeys, and Shoppers Drug M...