Why won’t consumers listen?

It happens at almost every farm meeting in Canada. Someone gets up from their chair, walks over to the podium and delivers a 30-minute talk about “the importance of social media.” The speaker typically uses words like “engagement” and then tells farmers how to use Twitter and Facebook to win friends and influence people. This […] Read more

One of the biggest challenges facing global food companies today is satisfying the demands of today’s consumers.
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Consumer influence steering food production

One of the biggest challenges facing global food companies today is satisfying the demands of today’s consumers. “(There) are the three key questions every consumer is asking…,” said Hans Johr, corporate head of agriculture at Nestle, one of the world’s largest food companies. “What is in my food? Where does it come from? … How […] Read more

Maple Leaf is re-launching all of its products under its main brand with the claim that they contain no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives to meet increasing consumer demands for healthier choices.  | Getty image

Maple Leaf overhauls its complete product lineup

Consumer demands are radically shifting, but Maple Leaf Foods isn’t going to introduce a new premium line to match the demands. Instead it’s overhauling every product it makes under the Maple Leaf logo. “It’s a very broad and extensive change,” said Maple Leaf Foods senior vice-president for marketing and innovation Adam Grogan. For about a […] Read more


Some consumers, particularly in European Union countries, want beef produced without the use of growth promotants. In the opinion of Fred Gorrell, an assistant deputy minister with Agriculture Canada, Canada's beef industry is

‘Leaving money on the table’

Canada’s beef industry has science on its side when it comes to the safety of using growth promotants, but it is of no help when it comes to selling beef overseas. “We can talk about science-based (practices), but at the end of the day, if the consumers don’t want to buy our products, I think […] Read more

Consumers are asking questions about their meat purchases and “are scared to hell about hormones” even if they don’t understand what they are, says a former meat buyer for Costco.  |  Getty image

Beef sector looks at how to satisfy shoppers

While social media implies consumers demand hormone and antibiotic-free meat, some meat buyers say it’s not an issue — yet

CALGARY — The rows of steaks, roasts and hamburger in the grocery store meat case are near the end of the beef food chain. But what does that final link, the consumer, want from the array? They want it free of added hormones, for one thing, says former Costco merchandising manager Claude Gravel. “Hormone-free beef, […] Read more


Cows that supply Dannon’s milk for the three flagship brands will be fed non-GM feed starting in 2017, which will require the conversion of 80,000 acres of farmland to non-GM crops.
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Dannon switches to non-GM

A food manufacturer’s pledge to make yogurt with non-genetically modified ingredients has raised the ire of U.S. farm groups and the eyebrows of a Canadian grain industry executive. Dannon is transforming its Danimals, Oikos and Dannon brands of yogurt to contain no GM ingredients. Those three brands account for half of the company’s sales. Cows […] Read more

Trust issues: consumers more apt to trust opinions of friends, family over scientists

Barb Glen reports from the farm & food care conference in Ottawa about public opinion and agricultural policy OTTAWA — Amid concerns about pesticide, antibiotic and hormone residues in food, there’s one additive the public embraces: adjectives. Organic, new season, free range, environmentally friendly, heritage — all these descriptors are used on food products to […] Read more

Food fads: what will be next?

The gluten-free diet was all the rage, but as consumer interest wanes, food makers brace for the next craze

The gluten-free fad is fading, but bakers and millers must keep their eyes peeled for the next trend, says Canada Bread’s Connie Morrison. Even if fads fade, new ones arise and breadmakers need to be ready with products to meet consumer demands. “Consumers are fickle. Consumers don’t necessarily listen to science. It’s anybody’s guess what’s […] Read more