The Food Professor

Canada's 2022 Food Price Report, Nourish 2022 Food Trend Report, and Trying Stuff with Cracker Barrel Signature Shredded Cheese!

Episode Summary

Well if it sounds a bit different, it certainly looks different on our YouTube site - we’re together, live, in person for the first time every on our podcast! And what an episode! Our special guest is Jo-Ann McArthur, President at Nourish Food Marketing back on the podcast to talk about her 2022 Trend Report, and on our Trying Stuff segment Cracker Barrel Signature shredded cheeses from our friends at Lactalis! But first, let’s get to it - fresh off out of the lab, a year in the making, the smartest minds in food economics from three universities coast to coast, Canada’s 2022 Food Price Report!

Episode Notes

Well if it sounds a bit different, it certainly looks different on our YouTube site - we’re together, live, in person for the first time every on our podcast!

And what an episode!  Our special guest is Jo-Ann McArthur, President at Nourish Food Marketing back on the podcast to talk about her 2022 Trend Report, and on our Trying Stuff segment Cracker Barrel Signature shredded cheeses from our friends at Lactalis!

But first, let’s get to it - fresh off out of the lab, a year in the making, the smartest minds in food economics from four universities coast to coast, Canada’s 2022 Food Price Report!  

Take us through the tradecraft, tell us how you did in terms of predicting 2021, and take us through the forecast for 2022

Next, Ontario government smackdown….Tim Hortons behind the scenes reveals concerns over staffing - Ontario Labour Minster says…just pay your people better….props to Ontario who eliminated what our guest last week Cory Mintz basically called the hold-over of a broken model - eliminating the sub-minimum wage rate for tip employees

Let's talk turkey - are you worried some Canadians might be deprived of their Holiday seasonal feast?


That’s a wrap - be sure and check out our YouTube channel for bonus content and to see us live here at the Clio Club in Toronto - smash that subscribe button, tell your friends and give us a review on your favourite podcast platform


We’ll be back next episode, our last of the year, with Trying Stuff featuring Just Egg and if all goes well our special guest will be the President of St. Hubert chicken to reveal whether he is a dunker or pourer of the gavy….


I’m Michael LeBlanc, president of Maven Media, host of the all new Last Request Barbecue YouTube show, and…


Episode Transcription

Michael LeBlanc  00:04

Alright, you're ready.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:05

I'm ready. 

Michael LeBlanc  00:06

All right, welcome to The Food Professor podcast, episode 38. I'm Michael LeBlanc.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:11

And I'm the Food Professor, Sylvain Charlebois.

Michael LeBlanc  00:13

And we are here live, in person. For the first time we've ever done this live in person, actually, first time in a podcast.  Great to see you.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:21

Well, we created the podcast.

Michael LeBlanc  00:23


Sylvain Charlebois  00:24

As we were facing each other back in March of 2020, at the RC Show.

Michael LeBlanc  00:28

That's right.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:28

We actually that's when we well, that's when this project kind of basically was born. 

Michael LeBlanc  00:34


Sylvain Charlebois  00:34

And we haven't seen each other since. I'm really happy to see you today, Michael.

Michael LeBlanc  00:38

Well, thank you for, for spending time. It's a busy week for you. We're going to get to that.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:42


Michael LeBlanc  00:42

And for the audience of course on YouTube, this looks a little different. I got a couple of cameras here. 

Sylvain Charlebois  00:46

That's right.

Michael LeBlanc  00:47

The sound may be a little different because I'm set up at, at the Clio Club in Toronto. So, things are going to sound and look a little bit different.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:54

Very cozy here, it's very nice. 

Michael LeBlanc  00:56

It's very nice. Now all that being different, what is the same is we've got a great special guest Jo-Ann McArthur 

Sylvain Charlebois  01:02


Michael LeBlanc  01:03

Who is the President of Nourish. 

Sylvain Charlebois  01:05

She's back.

Michael LeBlanc  01:06

She's back. She's actually as you pointed out, and I didn't realize she is our first repeat guest.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:10

That's right. 

Michael LeBlanc  01:11

And she's back with her, her 2022 Food Marketing (inaudible).

Sylvain Charlebois  01:14

She is probably will be our first tre-peat guest as well.

Michael LeBlanc  01:17

Yeah, it's a good.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:17


Michael LeBlanc  01:18

It's a good thing to make an annual.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:19


Michael LeBlanc  01:19

An annual appearance, we've also got our ‘Trying Stuff’.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:22

Their report is just amazing. 

Michael LeBlanc  01:23

There it is. 

Sylvain Charlebois  01:24


Michael LeBlanc  01:24

Check that out. It's a great report. And we'll put links in so they can go download the report. It's free, you just got to share a little bit about yourself and, and then you get that report for free. And our ‘Trying Stuff’ segment, now I was trying to be clever with our ‘Trying Stuff’ segment. So, our Trying Stuff segment in this episode is Cracker Barrel signature shredded cheese. 

Sylvain Charlebois  01:43


Michael LeBlanc  01:44

And I said, and, and that and a few other things had an expiry date. So, we actually filmed it already. And then I was gonna go, let's just wear what we wore when we filmed it. And we were gonna kind of but now it's very clear we filmed it on a different day. All still good.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:58


Michael LeBlanc  01:59

It's a great segment.

Sylvain Charlebois  01:59

So, we've been trying blue cheese today.

Michael LeBlanc  02:03

Unless we are trying blue cheese. We had a great, we actually had a great, great coffee and a great meal here. 

Sylvain Charlebois  02:06


Michael LeBlanc  02:07

At the club. So, ‘Trying Stuff’ is here, we got a great guest. 

And speaking of annual things, this episode is going to be dominated a little bit by your report, Canada's Food Price report. Now that's actually one of the first times you and I started talking together in Montreal even before I had you on The Voice of Retail, even before we had a podcast together.

Sylvain Charlebois  02:26

That's right. Yeah, forgot about that. Yeah.

Michael LeBlanc  02:29

And let's, I want to start that conversation the same way we started our conversation, which is I know, you look backwards so to speak, and you say okay how did we do predicting, in food inflation in 2021? And then we'll talk about the tradecraft of the report, because it's kind of coast to coast. It's a big, long project that a lot goes into, and then we'll talk about the results. But tell us a little bit, let's start at the beginning, so to speak. What and how did you think about the accuracy of your forecast, In this crazy time? Notwithstanding everything for the 2021 report.

Sylvain Charlebois  03:03

Yeah, no, accuracy is, is a result, we don't, of course, we look at our accuracy rate quite seriously. Because I mean, people why, why bother looking at the report if we're never accurate.

Michael LeBlanc  03:18


Sylvain Charlebois  03:18

So, the overall category, the food inflation rate that we predicted last year, we were again, accurate. So, we've been accurate 10 out of the last 11 years.

Michael LeBlanc  03:30

Now remind me, it was it between 4 and 6%, I think it was even more precise than that.

Sylvain Charlebois  03:34

It was 3 to 5.

Michael LeBlanc  03:35

3 to 5.

Sylvain Charlebois  03:36

Yeah, 3 to 5, and, and for people who aren't necessarily familiar with forecasting, forecasting is just not an easy thing to do. I mean, you basically have to look 12 months ahead, and you commit.

Michael LeBlanc  03:49


Sylvain Charlebois  03:49

With a report, a very public report, and so not everyone actually is comfortable doing that. Very rarely, banks or consulting groups will actually go back in time and say, well, are we, are we accurate or not? 

Michael LeBlanc  04:03


Sylvain Charlebois  04:03

So, overall, we're pretty much accurate when you look at specific food categories, things get choppy a little bit so.

Michael LeBlanc  04:11

Right, right.

Sylvain Charlebois  04:12

Our accuracy rate is probably around 60% over the years and this year, so we were accurate for a couple of categories, but we really missed on vegetables, vegetables.

Michael LeBlanc  04:23

(inaudible) interesting. 

Sylvain Charlebois  04:23

We were if you remember last year, we were expecting vegetables to go up by 5%, it went down this year, 

Michael LeBlanc  04:30


Sylvain Charlebois  04:30

They're cheaper. So, we missed out and we were expecting not a great harvest to be honest domestically we were expecting a weaker dollar, it didn't happen. And so, so that, that was a disappointment and, and, and the other categories we missed, we basically underestimated estimated the inflation rate. Dairy is one of them, fruits and, and also bakery.

Michael LeBlanc  04:57

So, when we say we estimated, these aren't exactly in any way shape, or form kind of wild ass guesses. This is like AI you collaborate, talk about the tradecraft about how you produced the report.

Sylvain Charlebois  05:08

So, the way it works is that with 4 universities, each university will have an opportunity to present their forecasts using whatever technology they want. Some will use econometrics; some will use machine learning. Now machine learning has started to dominate what, what universities are doing. That's been our method of Dal. Since, since the beginning, since the report transferred over to Dal about 5 years ago. And, and machine learning what it does, it learns it, it says in it, in what machine learning says it, it's learning with data, the more data you put into the machine, the more it becomes accurate. And so, the problem in Canada has always been the quality of the data. And you and I we spoke about Statistic Canada's accuracy and,

Michael LeBlanc  06:03

Well, you said you didn't even use Stats, you went down to the States and used statistics from the US.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:07

Yeah, for many years, we actually use the St. Louis Federal Reserve database, because and we still, we still have question marks related to Stats Canada, of course, but that's the only thing we have. And so, and when you, when you look at percentages, while you can still use Stats Canada, because you only look at an inflation rate.

Michael LeBlanc  06:27

Right, right.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:28

So, so that's what we did again this year.

Michael LeBlanc  06:31

Four universities so, Dal.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:33


Michael LeBlanc  06:33

UB, UBC. University of

Sylvain Charlebois  06:35

University of British Columbia and University of Saskatchewan and University of Guelph. 

Michael LeBlanc  06:38

Right. Right. Right. Right.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:39

So, and of course, when I was in Guelph that's when I started the,

Michael LeBlanc  06:39


Sylvain Charlebois  06:42

The, the Price Report with my good friend Francis Tapon, who's now retired. So, we basically wrote our first report as an email, really, because we didn't know it was gonna take off.

Michael LeBlanc  06:57

Right, how long was that ago? Like that first.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:59

Twelve years ago.

Michael LeBlanc  06:59


Sylvain Charlebois  07:00

Yeah. 12 years ago, and, and it just took off and,

Michael LeBlanc  07:03

And you had was a 100 million impressions from the last report? Like it's a media feeding frenzy.

Sylvain Charlebois  07:09

Yeah. So, last year was our record.

Michael LeBlanc  07:11


Sylvain Charlebois  07:11

And the media reach for the marketing reach for the report last year was 693 million.

Michael LeBlanc  07:11

Come on 693 million media impressions.

Sylvain Charlebois  07:22

According to our Meltwater report, I couldn't believe it. 

Michael LeBlanc  07:25


Sylvain Charlebois  07:25

And so, so our report is out this, this year. 

Michael LeBlanc  07:29

It's out today.

Sylvain Charlebois  07:30

It's out today. And so, we're very proud of our report. I have a very solid team and, and I'm going to, this year, I want the team to really play a larger role with media. So, you're not gonna see me a whole lot this year, in front of a camera. I want others,

Michael LeBlanc  07:46

Hard to believe, I'll see that when I believe,

Sylvain Charlebois  07:50

Well, I mean, seriously, I've done over 1100 interviews this year. 

Michael LeBlanc  07:53

1100 Interviews? 

Sylvain Charlebois  07:55

Yes. So, and most of it was about inflation. So, frankly it's time I,

Michael LeBlanc  08:00

It's hard to say something new about it after.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:03

That exactly. And I think on my team, on my team, we have some great, great people. 

Michael LeBlanc  08:09


Sylvain Charlebois  08:10

And, and they have a great story to tell. And so, I'm happy that, that they'll be able to tell that story over the next 24/48 hours. So, it's because it's, it is intense. Typically, we get about 100 to 100, 120 to 150 media requests.

Michael LeBlanc 08:15


Sylvain Charlebois  08:15

Within 48 hours.

Michael LeBlanc  08:27

Wow, wow, wow, all right. Well, let's talk about the 2020, 2022 report. What is, what, is, what's the forecast? What is the key? 

Sylvain Charlebois  08:34

Yeah, so. 

Michael LeBlanc  08:34

Follow the ball.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:35


Michael LeBlanc  08:36

Follow the chicken, I guess you could say or whatever.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:38

Yeah. So, so again, consistent what we've seen in the past years, we are expecting a, a, a higher inflation rate, 5 to 7%. So, a family of four, a family of four should expect to pay $966 more.

Michael LeBlanc  08:54


Sylvain Charlebois  08:56

Yeah, that's, that would be the highest. 

Michael LeBlanc  08:58

How does that compare to 2021?

Sylvain Charlebois  09:00

So, 2021 was what we were expecting was $675.

Michael LeBlanc  09:04


Sylvain Charlebois  09:04

And we missed that mark by $25 approximately so,

Michael LeBlanc  09:09

So, they were paying about $600 more in 2021 and 2020. But in 2022, you expect them to pay more like,

Sylvain Charlebois  09:16

$966 yeah and so we, we break it down in the last couple of pages of the report. Let's say you're, you live on your own or you live with one child.

Michael LeBlanc  09:25


Sylvain Charlebois  09:25

Or a couple with no child you can actually reconstruct,

Michael LeBlanc  09:29


Sylvain Charlebois  09:29

Your food budget. We actually added expecting and nursing moms as well.

Michael LeBlanc  09:35

That's great feature, its like a buffet to choose from.

Sylvain Charlebois  09:37


Michael LeBlanc  09:37

Because I you know, I love I always liked that about the report because it allows you to say, well, that's not my situation. I don't have a family of four. What does it mean to me? So you can kind of go down and choose, well, we're two plus one and.

Sylvain Charlebois  09:49

Yeah, I mean, ideally would be what, what would be nice is to actually provide a very granular scenario like including a vegan, how much does it cost?

Michael LeBlanc  10:00


Sylvain Charlebois  10:00

To feed yourself if you're vegan? If you're a non-gluten person? If I mean, there's lots of diets out there.

Michael LeBlanc  10:07

Sure, sure.

Sylvain Charlebois  10:07

Right? And so, every year, we get requests from people.

Michael LeBlanc  10:10


Sylvain Charlebois  10:10

Which is great. And so, every year we adapt, we make changes. But as we adapt, it's more work.

Michael LeBlanc  10:17

Yeah, yeah. The report gets longer and longer. 

Sylvain Charlebois  10:19

Yeah, exactly. 

Michael LeBlanc  10:20

And so, what are the key observations?  So, if I’m, is there any commodity that's going? We've talked about dairy a lot on this podcast.

Sylvain Charlebois  10:33


Michael LeBlanc  10:27

And I just saw the Quebec dairy group also talked about a 4 to 6% increase.

Sylvain Charlebois  10:27


Michael LeBlanc  10:33

Which I guess will wash out. I don't understand the difference between provincial and federal. One (inaudible).

Sylvain Charlebois  10:37

The federal level, at the federal.

Michael LeBlanc  10:38

The CDC and the federal level, right? 

Sylvain Charlebois  10:40

Yeah, and that's a recommendation. So, provincial boards will implement.

Michael LeBlanc  10:44

Oh, I see, okay, okay. 

Sylvain Charlebois  10:45

So each province will actually adjust. 

Michael LeBlanc  10:48


Sylvain Charlebois  10:49

And in Quebec, there is a push for higher prices. So, I mean the pressure on food processors is going to be immense in 2022. So, we are expecting that, you're right, dairy is that big category this year, 6 to 8%. So, the dairy sector, the dairy section of the grocery store, we are expecting higher prices. The other one is food service restaurants. And you know, this.

Michael LeBlanc  11:12


Sylvain Charlebois  11:12

We've talked about it, there's, there's going to be some catch up. Labor, we talked about it with Corey a few weeks ago. I mean, we're gonna see higher menu prices. I know that the sector doesn't want to talk about the great reset. But I think it's happening,

Michael LeBlanc  11:29

I tell you one of my, one of my upcoming questions, I call it the Ontario government smackdown. I don't know if you saw on BNN but the, the Ontario Minister of Labor was reacting to some I don't know what it was about Tim Hortons, but it was chitting and chatting about we can't find anybody. Oh, my God, he came on television said, "we’ll just pay them more". And I was thinking back exactly to it's such an unusual thing to do. But,

Sylvain Charlebois  11:52

I know. 

Sylvain Charlebois  11:53

I was thinking back to our interview with Corey who was saying, ‘listen the system is broken’. Like you can't possibly run a restaurant and kudos to the Ontario government they actually eliminated that.

Michael LeBlanc  12:03

That, that food service category.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:06

Food service category where you made $13 an hour if you were a server below the minimum wage, so kudos to the.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:12

People who earn tips. 

Michael LeBlanc  12:13

Yeah, yeah. Which that anyway.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:14

I think it's the first province to do that. 

Michael LeBlanc  12:17

You know, it's, it's, it's (inaudible)

Sylvain Charlebois  12:18

I think it may set a precedent for other.

Michael LeBlanc  12:20


Sylvain Charlebois  12:20

Other provinces? Absolutely, I think that it and it's a Conservative government in Ontario. It, it’s really I think it attracted a lot of attention outside the province.

Michael LeBlanc  12:30

Yeah. It's a Conservative government, they also passed the same week, the right to disconnect law. So, it's they're, they're an interesting group of cats, right? Because, you know, you typically wouldn't have a Conservative government come on and criticize an employer.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:42


Michael LeBlanc  12:43

The way, as I said, they kind of smacked them down a little bit. Anyway.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:47

But at the same time, $15 an hour in Ontario is, is a muted point.

Michael LeBlanc  12:52


Sylvain Charlebois  12:52

I think it because a lot of, I know a lot of owners, restaurant operators, there, they've been paying their staff more than $15 an hour for, for a long time.

Michael LeBlanc  13:03

Yeah, if you're still paying 15 and I'd imagine it's pretty hard to attract.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:07


Michael LeBlanc  13:07

Already, now.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:08

But it's an interesting signal but you're right, actually the no tip that getting rid of the tip category.

Michael LeBlanc  13:16


Sylvain Charlebois  13:16

With a minimum wage was really interesting.

Michael LeBlanc  13:19

We, we got a little bit off topic. I just want to get back for a minute or two back to the report. So, as a family we can expect to pay more, a little bit more for dairy.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:27


Michael LeBlanc  13:27

And any other things that we think.

Michael LeBlanc  13:28


Michael LeBlanc  13:30

You're going to see more expensive next year.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:31

At a grocery store, dairy is number 1, bakery and vegetables are number 2.

Michael LeBlanc  13:36

What's driving bakeries up? Flour and, and.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:39

Ingredients and you may recall Weston Bakery was sold. 

Michael LeBlanc  13:45

Oh yeah.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:45

So, more consolidation, with consolidation comes.

Michael LeBlanc  13:48


Sylvain Charlebois  13:48

Higher prices.

Michael LeBlanc  13:49

Yeah, yeah. Sold to a Canadian and, and sold the second piece of their business last week too.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:53

It was a very good company, and that company has been around for a while, is a good vendor of Loblaws. And so, they kind of kept it in the family. But again, less competition, it's a bakery that bought a, a nothing bakery.

Michael LeBlanc  14:08


Sylvain Charlebois  14:08

Which bought Weston so to me, at a very high level, it is consolidation. There's one less player, but I if, if there is one company I wanted, I wanted to buy Weston. it would be FB Brands.

Michael LeBlanc  14:26

Yeah absolutely. 

Sylvain Charlebois  14:27

It's a good company, very family oriented.

Michael LeBlanc  14:29

You know what, maybe we should get them on the podcast and talk about their ambitions for the, for the category at some point, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  14:34

That's a great idea.

Michael LeBlanc  14:35

Okay, so you're going to pay more for those commodities. Is there anything you're going to pay a bit less for next year? Is there anything going the other direction? Like you said in 2021 fruits and vegetables went down from where you thought?

Sylvain Charlebois  14:45

Well, a lot of, a lot of reporters are calling us about meat. Well, I mean, it's, it's not often that you see 2 years in a row of very higher, high prices at the meat counter. So, this year 2021 was a huge year for meat, we don't expect the same thing we are expected, we're expecting a very calm year in 2022 at the meat counter. In 2014, the same thing happened. 2014 was a stupid year with me products and 2015 was very calm. 

Michael LeBlanc  15:18

Very calm. Is there any we've had a couple of great plant based Zoglo's, for example, is there any dent that the plant based is it a niche? Or is it now actually kind of starting to cannibalize so to speak some of the meat.

Sylvain Charlebois  15:32

Not there's, there's still growth in that category. But what I'm concerned about is that, beyond meats current downfall, is, is making a lot of noise. And people may think, ‘oh, my goodness plant base was just a fad’. 

Michael LeBlanc  15:49


Sylvain Charlebois  15:49

I don't think it is, I actually think that plant base, that the category itself is only going to grow more in years to come.

Michael LeBlanc  15:58

Do you, do you see it putting pressure on red meat or chicken or the trifectas to keep the prices down because it now got competition outside of?

Sylvain Charlebois  16:07

Oh yeah.

Michael LeBlanc  16:07

The category

Sylvain Charlebois  16:07

The prices are dropping in plant base. The, the, the difference between animal proteins and plant basis is shrinking.

Michael LeBlanc  16:17

Was not always the point, right? I mean, I remember on an episode we were talking about Impossible, or one of the vendors and they were priced all over the map. It was really expensive, right? 

Sylvain Charlebois  16:24


Michael LeBlanc  16:24

It was, it was,

Sylvain Charlebois  16:25

Even with dairy alternatives.

Sylvain Charlebois  16:27

I mean some, some like oat milk for example it's getting really affordable. We just bought eggnog, plant-based eggnog with oat milk. 

Michael LeBlanc  16:27


Michael LeBlanc  16:40

Plant based eggnog?

Sylvain Charlebois  16:41

Yes, plant based eggnog and. 

Michael LeBlanc  16:43

I like my eggnog over the holidays. 

Sylvain Charlebois  16:45

Yes, and I tasted it, it's actually not bad. It's funny it doesn't taste the same as the eggnog. But it's actually not bad at all. 

Michael LeBlanc  16:54


Sylvain Charlebois  16:54

Yeah, I was very, very impressed. So, there's lots going on there. But I do think that with vegetable proteins, I don't like the plant-based term, because plant base signifies that beef is not plant based, but it's, it kind of is. If you go out West, now I'm actually going to be Banff for a couple days. You can't say the word ‘Plant base’, because people will say, well, beef is plant base. Well.

Michael LeBlanc 16:56

They are not wrong, I mean 

Sylvain Charlebois  17:20

They're not wrong absolutely and so that's why.

Michael LeBlanc  17:22

So, so is salmon apparently from what we've been hearing. I mean, you know,

Sylvain Charlebois  17:27

So, you got, you got, you got vegetable proteins, and animal protein. 

Michael LeBlanc  17:31


Sylvain Charlebois  17:31

That's kind of how I, I, I see the,

Michael LeBlanc  17:33

Better description 

Sylvain Charlebois  17:34

(inaudible) mentions, yeah. 

Michael LeBlanc  17:34

In the description.

Sylvain Charlebois  17:35

And by the way, I actually did a taste test. We talked about sustainable blue salmon last week. So, I went on a tour and,

Michael LeBlanc  17:43

Oh right, right. 

Sylvain Charlebois  17:43

I got some sustainable salmon and bought some regular salmon. Brought them home, cooked it for my family, and we did a taste test. And the results were pretty compelling. Yeah,

Michael LeBlanc  17:55

Before we leave the Food Price report, where can people get it? Is it I will put a link to it on the site? 

Sylvain Charlebois  18:00

Yeah, absolutely. So, all the universities, participating universities will have the Food Price report on their website, you can actually find a copy of the report on our own website and past reports as well.

Michael LeBlanc  18:12


Sylvain Charlebois  18:13

On the Agri-food Onyx Labs website, in fact, is actually on the main page of Dalhousie University as well.

Michael LeBlanc  18:19

Let's move on now to our interview with Jo-Ann and let's have a listen to what she has to say. 

Jo-Ann, welcome to The Food Professor podcast. How are you doing this morning?

Jo-Ann McArthur  18:29

Great. My pleasure to be back.

Michael LeBlanc  18:31

Well, and I should say welcome back to the podcast

Sylvain Charlebois  18:34

That's right. 

Michael LeBlanc  18:34

And Sylvain and I are here live in person actually looking at each other. 

Sylvain Charlebois  18:38


Michael LeBlanc  18:40

Which is, which is kind of fun. Thanks so much for joining. So, this is your second time on the podcast and, and we're really thankful you could make time for us. I'm sure it's a busy week with the new reports. Thanks for joining us.

Jo-Ann McArthur  18:50

My pleasure. 

Michael LeBlanc  18:51

All right. Well listen for the, for anyone who hasn't perhaps, didn't listen to the first one or might not, not know of you, tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us a little bit, a bit about your organization and your company and what you do.

Jo-Ann McArthur  19:03

Okay, so I'm President and Co-founder of Nourish. I've got sort of a traditional I'd say CPG background started my career at Procter and Gamble, Unilever, did a little time in retail at Cadillac Fairview and ended my, my career client side as a Divisional President at Molson Coors and I was on the management, the North American Management Team. And Nourish I like to say we know a lot about a little. We are a specialist food and beverage advertising marketing agency, and we know how to do one thing really well and that's help our clients sell more food, period.

Sylvain Charlebois  19:41

First of all, congratulations on your report Joanne it's always a great read, a fascinating read. Why do you do these reports? Because as you know, Joanne, I author reports all the time and there are a lot of work, but there's always a purpose. What is the purpose

Jo-Ann McArthur  19:54

Well, the purpose I you know, it's partly sharing our knowledge and helping the industry including our clients, but not necessarily just our clients, futureproof their businesses. And with our Trend Report, we're not trying to make value statements because we, were in that privileged position of having clients across the whole food ecosystem. So, we work with commodity groups, manufacturers, associations, food service, retailers. And because we work across the whole food ecosystem, we can see change happening and we're able to connect dots that others maybe aren't able to do.

Sylvain Charlebois  20:32

Because your report is very comprehensive, you cover a lot of stuff. What I really like is that you don't necessarily look at retail, you go back in the supply chain, you look at other things happening there. And you go beyond food as well, because you this year, you talk about pets, and it's a fascinating read. It's great. Congratulations.

Michael LeBlanc  20:52

I wanted to talk about the tradecraft of the report itself. I'm always interested in, in a little bit of the process behind how you come to decide what are the most important trends to talk about, there's some, some that are probably kind of table stakes, so to speak, table, get it? You see what I did there.

Jo-Ann McArthur  21:09

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Michael LeBlanc  21:10

And then others that are differentiators that I'm sure the list is longer than makes it into the report. So, how do you come up with what the trends are? And then how do you distill it all down into what ultimately becomes the, the Food Trend report?

Jo-Ann McArthur  21:22

Great question. So, we've got some proprietary research we do we have a number of databases we talk to, and listen to, a number of thought leaders in this space. And so, throughout the year, we're kind of tracking things, but then we get together for a pretty, I'd say a bloody couple of weeks, where we kind of mash it out.  And you're right, that you know, we have a much longer list and not everything makes the cut. So, you know, this year we had 10 trends and one bonus pet trend. But yeah, that's it's just because we're specialists, I think it's just kind of grows and builds over the year, and then it's that those final two weeks where you're pulling it together. We broadened it a little bit this year, there's more of a global flavor. I think that impacts.

Sylvain Charlebois  21:39

That's right.

Jo-Ann McArthur  21:46

Ours just because with COVID, things have become borderless, businesses become borderless. You know, we've got more clients from other countries than we have in the past as a result, I think of, of working digitally. So, so we didn't just keep it to Canada this year.

Sylvain Charlebois  22:34

Yeah, cause you do talk a lot, a lot about the farmer, or farming, which is really a, you look at that hire, you look at hiring practices, at farm gate and across the supply chain, which is also very interesting, and frankly, unexpected, because I'm very familiar with the flavor of this report over the years. And you can feel that you really went beyond your, I'd say comfort zone at Nourish, I guess your, you've broaden your scope,

Jo-Ann McArthur  23:03

Yes, and no, we work with a number of commodity groups. So, we do work with farmer groups. But I think you know, what we've tried to do, working with our partner agencies tried to bridge that gap between consumers and farmers. Because you know, both sides, we need to build that bridge. And so, some of those trends attempt to do that as well.

Michael LeBlanc  23:25

You know, another general comment, I was interviewing someone yesterday for my The Voice of Retail podcast, and they talked about COVID less about creating trends, and more of an accelerant of existing trends. Where do you, where do you land on that spot? Is, are the things in net new, like you start talking about, for example, you spend a lot of time on climate change, which is, as you describe the big inflection point. Did you see the COVID era as you reflected upon it as an accelerant? Or are there net new things that, that you've discovered because of what we went through, and I guess, continue to go through?

Jo-Ann McArthur  24:01

I would say it's a combination, accelerant absolutely like, I think it catapulted us depending on the trend, 5 to 10 years into the future. So, the future right came, came a lot faster than people were expecting. But I also think that one thing that came out of COVID was the fact that is as a world we came together to face one enemy and defeat it. I think we are going to refocus that on climate change. So, I think that is something that has come out of COVID.

Michael LeBlanc  24:37

So, talk about your perspective around climate change, because it’s really is, is a wrap or a frame around the entire report. And then we'll get into, you know, the highlights and, and what are the trends beyond that, but you do start with this idea of an inflection point. So, take us through that for a little bit.

Jo-Ann McArthur  24:53

Yeah, um, I wrote quite a long preface, I guess to the Trend Report, which is new. We haven't done that in past, past years, and we put this to bed before the BC floods happened, and before COP26 happened. But you know, you had the head of the UN saying that climate change is a code red for humanity. We saw what happened with droughts and floods even before BC fires. And you know, no one could say that the health of our, our health and the planet's health aren't linked anymore. And eating food is not just about human survival, it's becoming about the planet survival as well. So again, you know, we're not trying to make value statements with the report. But you know, we do believe that we are at an inflection point, and people are going to refocus, especially younger generations on climate change.

Sylvain Charlebois  25:49

Of all the experts, I know, you're probably one of the best when it comes to understanding generations, as you just mentioned. Your first trend, you talk about boomers and seniors, and you make it explicit that they're, they're coming back. I just want to hear your thoughts about you know, where do, do boomers and seniors fit?

Jo-Ann McArthur  26:15

Well, you know, I think the problem is they haven't in the past, like, most of the wealth in society is with this group. And yet, you know, I would, I would put good money on most your listeners, when they do market research, they don't talk to people over the age of 65. That's just.

Sylvain Charlebois  26:31

They don't eh.

Jo-Ann McArthur  26:31

You know, how traditional market research is, is done. So, we know that that group is really under targeted. And coming out of COVID, we really think there's going to be a focus on this group, because they are a massive marketing opportunity. And they also are looking for more functional foods to support healthy aging. We quote some research in there that talks about how this generation, more than any previous generation, wants to age at home, they don't want to go to a retirement home or a long term care home. And they've got the money to support that mission. So, we think there's, there's absolutely a place for products that support that mission.

Sylvain Charlebois  27:16

What about consumer trust, which is the second trend that you've outlined? How are you reading the consumer trust, I guess, landscape right now, in the food industry? Are we doing better? Are we doing worse? Cause it seems to be a very important issue for you.

Jo-Ann McArthur  27:35

I Yeah, I think it's an important issue with consumers, you know, they're saying, you know, matter to me, rather than market to me. And, you know, when I talk to producer commodity groups, I talk about pulling back that curtain that they have put up between themselves and the end consumer. 

And it's been, you know, for, for a lot of reasons, but I think with COVID, all of a sudden, you saw, you know, pictures of farms, discussions about migrant labor, you know, food system became something consumers started googling. So, they want to, to look in, and so it's how far back can the producers pull that curtain? 

And, you know, especially in Canada, where so much of our media, it comes from South of the border. You know consumers have this vision of, of farming, it's either idyllic, or it's corporate factory farm, and the truth is somewhere in between. And I think that farmers need to get more comfortable with inviting the consumer in, in some way. 

And consumers are willing to accept that nobody has the answer yet. But if you say, okay, this is the journey, we want to get to this point, whether it's regenerative agriculture, or you know, more humane farming practice, or better treatment of migrant workers, you know, say this is where we want to get to, and it's okay, you're not there yet. Just tell consumers the steps you're going to take and take them on that journey.

Michael LeBlanc  29:14

You know this episode today for Sylvain and I, were talking a lot about the Food Price Report, which is out for 2022, which talks about food inflation. How do you think that impacts your, your trends in general, is it is it kind of an overarching theme behind them? Or do these navigate in and between the overall costs? 

Sylvain Charlebois  29:34

My first thought is to save and splurge.

Michael LeBlanc  29:37

Yeah, I know.

Sylvain Charlebois  29:37

The trend that she mentions in her report, yeah. What do you think Jo-Ann?

Jo-Ann McArthur  29:40

Yeah so, I mean, a lot of people talk about you know, that it's a supply chain issue. Inflation and I don't agree there is some of that which will get resolved over the next year probably, but I do think longer term and I'd be interested in I you know, I'll be listening to hear what you have to say about this Sylvain. But I do think that with climate change, and also generations aging out, you know, there's going to be higher cost of labor, we're going to see more feast and famine. And climate change is going to cost. You make, everything's going to cost more. And so that's why yeah, we had that splurge and save trends. And we called it sort of the high low. If you if you look at what happened in fashion, 10 years ago, there was this high low, which continues today. So, I'll go and grab a t-shirt from the Gap, for instance, and pair that with a designer blazer. 

Michael LeBlanc  30:37

Oh, I see.

Jo-Ann McArthur  30:37

So, it's right so in different categories you would economize and other categories, you, you spend more, and we're starting to see the same thing with consumers. So, they may go and get a cheaper cut of something, but you finish it off with a really high end, you know, olive oil or balsamic vinegar or something like that. And we're, you know, and they'll also do that with private label products as well. So, some categories are going to be more comfortable saving money with private label and then splurging in, in other areas.

Sylvain Charlebois  31:19

Talk to us about pet ownership. It caught my attention and frankly, I couldn't agree with you more. There, there we, we have in this country way more pet owners. And when you own a pet, you become a different consumer.

Jo-Ann McArthur  31:35

Well, I it's, it's funny the, the thing that I think has got caught people most by surprise out of this Trend Report that I hear back about is the stat, that there are now more pets than kids in Canada. Right, which is which is think about that as an opportunity. 

And there's been this whole humanization trend towards pet right. What's good for me is good for Fido, right? So, if I'm concerned about ancient grains or gluten free, you know, I put that same dietary restrictions often on my pets. But we're also seeing, you know, we know that in past recessions and inflationary time, pets always been the category that's done the best people don't cut back there. So, I think there's a big opportunity not just for grocers, but also manufacturers and we talk you know, we cite the Ben and Jerry's ice cream, they did, they have one in the US for pets as well. Yeah, and the interesting thing is they shelve it right beside the human so you know, when you're treating yourself you're also treating your dog. And if you look at the some of the big CPG companies they also have pet food divisions so we're you know, I think we're gonna see more of a blurring the line there.

Michael LeBlanc  33:02

Well, our, our Trying Stuff segment on this episode is Cracker Barrel, signature shredded cheese. 

Sylvain Charlebois  33:07

That's right.

Michael LeBlanc  33:07

My dog loves it. We were making pizza and there's a smoky one that, that not telling tales out of school. You gotta watch it, but we loved it as well. 

Sylvain Charlebois  33:08


Michael LeBlanc  33:18

We gave a few, you know to our dog, who just loves Lactalis cheese and loved it. Last couple of quick questions. Did anything surprise you in your work and in the report?

Jo-Ann McArthur  33:29

Yeah, I guess when we looked at the rise in consumer searches, discussions and products around the whole gut health and the microbiome, I just how that has really vaulted ahead. And that is coupled with science, and more research reports, medical reports on the importance of the microbiome and gut health. And that has just accelerated over the past couple of years. So, that one I think, is coming on fast.

Michael LeBlanc  34:00

Pretty (inaudible), it was pretty esoteric stuff.

Sylvain Charlebois  34:02


Michael LeBlanc 34:02

But now it's, it's kind of mainstream.

Sylvain Charlebois  34:06

I think so.

Michael LeBlanc  34:07


Sylvain Charlesbois 34:08

There's a I mean, I guess, over, over, overall, your report is, is quite comprehensive. What do you expect to be the one trend that will dominate most in 2022, you think?

Jo-Ann McArthur  34:26

Oh, boy, that's a, that's a good one. 

Sylvain Charlebois  34:29

Pick one of your children. 

Michael LeBlanc  34:30

Yeah, I was thinking the same it's like asking which one is your favorite kid? 

Jo-Ann McArthur  34:36

It's going to be trading off how to deal with inflation and food in a way that most people have consumers frankly, have never seen and that's also related to climate change and planet health and, and the rise of that in, in, in-focus. I think those two are going to go hand in hand.

Michael LeBlanc  34:56

All right, well, listen it's a great report. Tell us where folks can go learn more and get their hands on 2022 Trend Report as we've, we've got our hands on it right here. Yeah.

Jo-Ann McArthur  35:06

Well it's free to download you just go to our website which is, no dot ca, no dot com at the end, it’s just And it's also, we've also got a couple of the past years trend reports up there, which are also worth downloading because trends continue to develop and grow over time. And also, you can check our track record.

Sylvain Charlebois  35:28

But Jo-Ann you're always right.

Jo-Ann McArthur  35:32

If you wait long enough anybody's always right.

Sylvain Charlebois  35:35


Michael LeBlanc  35:36

Listen, Jo-Ann, thanks so much for joining us on The Food Professor podcast as always, we look forward to, to reading more about the report and best of luck and continued success and, and thanks for joining us

Jo-Ann McArthur  35:37

My pleasure. 

Sylvain Charlebois  35:40

Looking forward to talk to you again next year.

Jo-Ann McArthur  35:51

So do I.

Michael LeBlanc  35:52

You know, it's great to have Jo-Ann back on the on the show. Let's also now get to our ‘Trying Stuff’ episode. 

Alright, welcome back to our new segment, not so new anymore. We've done a bunch of these episodes. Such

Sylvain Charlebois  36:03


Michael LeBlanc  36:03

Fun at ‘Trying Stuff’. So, in today's episode, we've got I'd call this a heritage brand, right, like not a new brand but even.

Sylvain Charlebois  36:11


Michael LeBlanc  36:11

It was in 1954, I think I was looking up Cracker Barrel. Do you remember that name? So, we've got Cracker Barrel new product signature cheeses, two Cracker Barrel signature cheeses we've got extra old and mozza.

Sylvain Charlebois  36:24

Mozza yeah, that's the one. 

Michael LeBlanc  36:27

And then we've got smoked age and medium cheeses so.

Sylvain Charlebois  36:32

That's right, yeah. 

Michael LeBlanc  36:33

So, thanks to our friends at Lactalis, Mark Taylor and his great team Roopa as well pulled this together for us. Sent this for us to do.

Sylvain Charlebois  36:38

We've been looking for that one for a while. In fact, we got our products a while back and my kids ate the, ate it all. So, I had to buy some more.

Michael LeBlanc  36:49

So, that's a direct sales generation tactic from.

Sylvain Charlebois  36:54


Michael LeBlanc  36:54

Lactalis, make products so good, we don't get a chance to review them. Alright, well let's there's a bunch of things going on with this. There's a bunch of interesting trade stuff. But let's try some product first, let's try

Sylvain Charlebois  37:03


Michael LeBlanc  37:03

Some product first. And then we'll talk about you know how Cracker Barrel came to be part of Lactalis that's fairly recent and, and a bit of heritage in the dairy space and you can immediately tell which one is smoked. You know what's interesting about I've, I've, I've cooked with this, I'm going to show you what I just cooked with it. There's shredded cheese, probably a pretty profitable product, but then that's the blend idea. As it says it's expertly blended cheese. And that's what I've found, like.

Sylvain Charlebois  37:28

With cheese, we often go for a flavor but mixing things up I thought was really interesting, you know, with, with this particular brand right there, it's actually not bad at all. You, you like it?

Michael LeBlanc  37:39

Yeah, I mean, the smoky flavor just pops for me.

Sylvain Charlebois  37:42


Michael LeBlanc  37:42

I think it's a very sophisticated flavor. And again, I'll do a shameless plug, I made a Smokey Bespoke Mac and Cheese with it. On my barbecue show

Sylvain Charlebois 37:50

You're killing me.

Michael LeBlanc  37:52

It was fantastic.  It turned out fantastic because I usually I put three different types of cheeses it turned out the measurements 300 grams was perfect, but it added that because I cook it on the smoker, it added that extra, you know, smoky goodness to it. So, that's the smoked one, now the other one, Extra Old and Mozza. And again, it's not like I couldn't grab a block of cheese or two and, you know, shred them myself. But,

Sylvain Charlebois  38:05


Michael LeBlanc  38:15

To me, it seems like the blending, it's living up to its name the expert blending. Very good. Now let me show you what I made. I made let's see if I can go (inaudible),

Sylvain Charlebois  38:24

I haven't seen it; I haven't seen it yet. So, this is the first time.

Michael LeBlanc  38:27

I haven't seen it yet. I'm gonna move my microphone. So, I made I these just came off my Yoder Smoker.

Sylvain Charlebois  38:32

Oh my god. Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Whoo, I can smell it. I can smell it from here. Both pizzas have the same cheese. Okay,

Michael LeBlanc  38:42

So, I cooked, I cooked something else as I said, I cooked my mac and cheese with the smoky. What have you got?

Sylvain Charlebois  38:47


Michael LeBlanc  38:48

Oh, delicious.

Sylvain Charlebois  38:49

Yeah, I know.

Michael LeBlanc  38:50

Which one did you use?

Sylvain Charlebois  38:51

Actually, this one is mozza the other, the other one is the mixed.

Michael LeBlanc  38:55

Try it right now.

Sylvain Charlebois  38:55

I am trying the Extra Old Mozza.

Michael LeBlanc  38:58

Oh, really good. Really good.

Sylvain Charlebois  39:00

Yeah. I'm gonna try smoky right now. Oh.

Michael LeBlanc  39:03

Good, right. 

Sylvain Charlebois  39:03

This one wins. This one wins for sure. It's, it's not in your face smoky it is just very subtle, very gentle. You know, it makes you, it remind you that and it's something different and it works around your mouth, which is really awesome.

Michael LeBlanc  39:19

Let's, let's talk about the tradecraft here for the folks listening since our podcast just isn't about food, but it's about the trade. Heritage brand, if you go to the Cracker Barrel site, it was kind of checking it out. They've got pictures of the old-style logo.

Sylvain Charlebois  39:30


Michael LeBlanc  39:30

I grew up watching Bugs Bunny shows sponsored by Kraft Cracker Barrel. And this was a brand under the Kraft portfolio.

Sylvain Charlebois  39:39

That's right. 

Michael LeBlanc  39:40

And Kraft joined with Heinz and then with these Brazilian guys, I think is it the same guys that own Tim Hortons?

Sylvain Charlebois  39:50

3G Capital, yeah, 3G Capital, with Warren Buffett saying that people behind Restaurant Brands International, which owns Popeyes, Burger King, Tim Hortons, and now Firehouse Subs,

Michael LeBlanc  40:03

I had the visual.

Sylvain Charlebois  40:04


Michael LeBlanc  40:04

Firehouse Sub.

Sylvain Charlebois  40:05


Michael LeBlanc  40:05

Which was their latest acquisition literally a couple of weeks ago.

Sylvain Charlebois  40:08


Michael LeBlanc  40:08

So, I guess somewhere in the portfolio management. Someone found it and said, well, you know, maybe this doesn't fit the way it used to. So, in I think was the fall of last year like, Lactalis, our friends at Lactalis, Mark Taylor in Canada, big global.

Sylvain Charlebois 40:21


Michael LeBlanc  40:21

Company, bought kind of a suite of brands, I think some stayed with Kraft I think they stolen Kraft dinner and Kraft slices, but overcame Cracker Barrel. And really immediately it feels like they're you're there to have an impact with this, their cheese, man, their dairy, they know what they're doing, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  40:39


Michael LeBlanc  40:39

In terms of a profit. So, what do you, what did you think of, what did you think of the change and the merger? And like Lactalis and all that stuff getting bigger? Did it make sense to you?

Sylvain Charlebois  40:46

Well with dairy products, as you know, there's lots going on right now, with yogurt, cheese. And, and I think, when if, if you want to look at Lactalis, specifically, they really have an aggressive strategy, I, I think they want to own the category, pretty much in Canada. And I think, I think that Mark and his team is on a really strong path to dominate that, that section of the grocery store over the next few years, the management is superb. I think it's all about capacity, and, and they know it. And that's why they're acquiring and acquiring. And I'm not, I wouldn't be surprised if we were more from like Lactalis in, in months to come.

Michael LeBlanc  41:30

The challenge, or the opportunity, for companies like Lactalis, you know, if they continue to buy up or create new brands from around the world, move those brands around the globe, is to square the circle, basically, let's.

Sylvain Charlebois  41:33


Michael LeBlanc  41:42

Let's not have a homogenized, there's a little bit of a milk joke there. Homogenized, homogenized brand strategy where the product all tastes the same, but the logos are different. They really need you know that, that really intense dedication to if we have a brand it has distinct flavors, distinct brand positioning, and the product.

Sylvain Charlebois  41:42


Michael LeBlanc  42:03

Needs to be distinct or else, you know, it all. I think that's where, I think they were the that's where these big multinationals kind of fall apart is they're like, oh, that's a good cheese, let's put four different brands on it and call it something different. And, you know, we will channel manage it, I think, I think that's, that's a big key, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  42:17

Exactly. I mean, there's been, there's been some, some decent innovation in, in the dairy sector in Canada over, over the last several years, but we only innovate for ourselves. But like Lactalis, I mean, when you, when you look at, we talked about the product, but we didn't talk about the packaging. I mean, this is really, I think a good way to sell a product, it's pre- its pre prepared in a nice in a nice bag as well. You don't.

Michael LeBlanc  42:42


Sylvain Charlebois  42:43


Michael LeBlanc  42:43

Which I love, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  42:45

That's, that's kind of what you have to do in order to get, get your products moving right now. And, and.

Michael LeBlanc  42:51


Sylvain Charlebois  42:51

And they're very easy to find in a grocery store too. It's, it's everywhere, easy to find practical, priced accordingly. I think, I mean, cheese is, is relatively expensive in Canada, but I mean, those products aren't necessarily that expensive.

Michael LeBlanc  43:08

Well, it's, you know, it's it, you raise an interesting point, it's everywhere. When I go to my local grocer, you know, there's a wall of shredded cheeses, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  43:16

That's right.

Michael LeBlanc  43:16

House brand cheeses, know, you know, lots of competitors so I think you know, I'm sure the brand manager who provided this to us who reached out to me I'm sure his days are busy, right. Just because you make a great shredded cheese doesn't mean you got you got to stand out in some way like it's a very competitive category within the as many within each category are. Because I see lots of private label cheese I see lots of brand it's a shredded cheese. Why would I pick your shredded cheese, right? So, I think they've done a great job.

Sylvain Charlebois  43:43

Yeah, it's different you can't find something similar on the market right now. And that's how you're going to get some success in dairy.

Michael LeBlanc  43:52

That was our ‘Trying Stuff’. Thanks to our folks that the friends at Lactalis, Cracker Barrel and Cheese World and a reminder to everyone, this product is just supplied to us with no obligation and just you know try it, that's the way we roll. Alright, let's talk turkey.

Sylvain Charlebois  44:07

Let's talk turkey.

Michael LeBlanc  44:08

You know, as you know, I am a big fan of turkey.

Sylvain Charlebois  44:11


Michael LeBlanc  44:11

So, what are your thoughts on, are there going to be enough turkeys for Christmas?

Sylvain Charlebois  44:14

Are you going to have an episode for turkey in December? That's right.

Michael LeBlanc  44:18

Do you think there would be enough turkeys? Do you think the price of,

Sylvain Charlebois  44:20

How big was that turkey for that show? I'm just curious.

Michael LeBlanc  44:22

12 kilos.

Sylvain Charlebois  44:24

It was a big bird. So, those birds are going to be rare for Christmas. It was a big bird.

Michael LeBlanc  44:27

Oh, is that the thing? Yeah

Sylvain Charlebois  44:27

Oh yeah, so big birds are gonna be rare. And so.

Michael LeBlanc  44:32

Is that a market thing? Or is that a.

Sylvain Charlebois  44:34

It's a market adjustment thing. So, as you know, turkey is supply managed, so their, their job, the industry job is to predict demand. So, I think overwhelmingly most provinces were expecting smaller gatherings once again this year, and with smaller gatherings, you don't need a 12-kilo bird.

Michael LeBlanc  44:57


Sylvain Charlebois  44:57

Smaller birds are, are in fashion. 

Michael LeBlanc  45:00


Sylvain Charlebois  45:00

I have actually encouraged people to buy two smaller birds. 

Michael LeBlanc  45:03

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Sylvain Charlebois  45:04

If that’s possible. 

Michael LeBlanc  45:04


Sylvain Charlebois  45:05

And but yeah, we are expecting, we are expecting some, some inventory issues out West because of what happened in BC.

Michael LeBlanc  45:13

What we were just talking about. 

Sylvain Charlebois  45:14

But overall, we don't expect that. What was really interesting yesterday that CTV, that same network actually had two reporters looking at turkey, the turkey situation, both ended up with different conclusions. One was saying.

Michael LeBlanc  45:28


Sylvain Charlebois  45:28

We should be fine, there should be some challenges, but we should be fine. The other was saying we're going to run short. The real answer is there ought to be some challenges, but it should be enough turkey for everyone. Every year in Canada, we sell over 2.1 million turkeys for Christmas.

Michael LeBlanc  45:45

Wow. Is that more than Thanksgiving?

Sylvain Charlebois  45:46

That's 40% of the business. So, it is. 

Michael LeBlanc  45:51

Because in America it would be the opposite. (inaudible)

Sylvain Charlebois  45:52

So, it's about 40% for Christmas and 25% for Thanksgiving in Canada, because that Thanksgiving in Canada is I think more pluralistic, I think,

Michael LeBlanc  46:03

It's less of a big deal. It's not the deal that it is in the States. 

Sylvain Charlebois  46:05

Yeah, it's not. Yeah so, so but, but Christmas is a big deal 2.1 turkey's. So, the industry is really lining itself up to sell that amount of turkey. But, but access is going to be a challenge depending on where you go and what kind of turkey you want.

Michael LeBlanc  46:20

Well, all right. Well, listen a great episode. Very fun to be here with you in person. 

Sylvain Charlebois  46:25

Yes, absolutely.

Michael LeBlanc  46:25

That's wonderful that you actually here.

Sylvain Charlebois  46:27

In the flesh.

Michael LeBlanc  46:28

In person, thanks to our friends at the Clio for hosting us.

Sylvain Charlebois  46:31


Michael LeBlanc  46:32

We'll give them a bit of a shout out. 

And, and if you're watching this on YouTube, you'll again, you'll see something different. If you're listening to us, check out our YouTube channel it has bonus content. 

So, if you liked this episode, be sure to tune in each and every second week. Now we're going to be doing a bit of a hiatus over Christmas. Our next episode will be our last episode. We're going take a break and we'll get back on it right into January. So, look forward to that we'll take bit of a break. 

And then be sure and subscribe on your favorite podcast channel. 

I'm Michael LeBlanc, the Host and Producer, of The Voice of Retail podcast and the all-new YouTube Last Request Barbecue show. So, check that out and.

Sylvain Charlebois  47:08

Yeah, and I'm The Food Professor, Sylvain Charlebois 

Michael LeBlanc  47:11

Alright, thanks for listening everybody. See you again next week. 

Sylvain Charlebois  47:14

Take care.


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