Our guest on this episode, recorded live at the Toronto SIAL food innovation conference, is Vince Sgabellone, Foodservice Industry Analyst at Circana. But first, we discuss "Cold War II" and food geopolitics in food industry-related news, focusing on China and Canadian agriculture. Next, we talk about the story behind Tyson Foods' financial loss. As the Victoria Day weekend approaches, the podcast dives into the start of BBQ season, what to expect, and the significant trends on the grill.
Our guest on this episode, recorded live at the Toronto SIAL food innovation conference, is Vince Sgabellone, Foodservice Industry Analyst at Circana. Vince emphasizes the resilience and adaptability of the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting how quickly businesses reinvented themselves by offering off-premises services and embracing digital engagement. We also discuss the challenges restaurants face in dealing with higher costs and labour shortages and the need for automation and streamlined operations. Looking to the future, they highlight the importance of engaging with the younger generation, who are digitally savvy and have diverse culinary preferences. The guest concludes by mentioning the growing interest of retail companies in the food service industry, given its significant share of consumer spending.
In food industry-related news, we discuss "Cold War II" and food geopolitics, focusing on China and Canadian agriculture. Next, we talk about the story behind Tyson Foods' financial loss in the last quarter, with $13.1 billion worth of sales resulting in a loss of $0.28 per share. As the Victoria Day weekend approaches, the podcast dives into the start of BBQ season, what to expect, and what the significant trends are on the grill. The episode concludes by congratulating Kelly Higginson on her new and improved gig as the new President and CEO of Restaurants Canada. Having previously served as the organization's Chief Operating Officer, Higginson's appointment brings anticipation for success and stability, aiming for a longer tenure than her predecessors.
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Food has always been in my blood. My passion for food started in my Mom’s Italian kitchen where she shared with me her love of cooking. All of our family photos from my childhood seemed to have food in them, so I guess we were instagramming long before that was a thing. To this day, I still enjoy cooking alongside my Mom and I’m still learning. But I still haven’t figured out how to master her infamous meatball recipe.
Fast forward to the start of my food career where I found myself supplying professional kitchens, learning the business side of food from some of the finest chefs and restaurateurs in Ottawa. As my career progressed, I was able to expand my horizons beyond my Italian roots to include an understanding of cuisines from around the world. My passion for the business was a valuable asset as I worked hard to help my clients achieve their goals.
Today, as a Director, Client Development and Foodservice Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, I use data and consumer behaviour analytics to help some of the industry’s best known global food brands solve problems and identify growth opportunities. I take pride knowing that my passion for food, combined with my experience, allow me to deliver insights that will help you to make better business decisions.
I am available to serve as a media source on topics of food and beverage consumption, and their impact on the foodservice industry. My comments and analysis have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The CBC, and other national media outlets. I also appear as a featured speaker at industry events and corporate conferences.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also the Senior Director of the Agri-food Analytics Lab, also located at Dalhousie University. Before joining Dalhousie, he was affiliated with the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute, which he co-founded. Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. Google Scholar ranks him as one of the world's most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability.
He has authored five books on global food systems, his most recent one published in 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell entitled “Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking”. He has also published over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles in several academic publications. Furthermore, his research has been featured in several newspapers and media groups, including The Lancet, The Economist, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, NBC, ABC, Fox News, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.
Dr. Charlebois sits on a few company boards, and supports many organizations as a special advisor, including some publicly traded companies. Charlebois is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Business Scientific Institute, based in Luxemburg. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Ottawa.
Michael is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc. and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada and the Bank of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice. He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience with Levi's, Black & Decker, Hudson's Bay, Today's Shopping Choice and Pandora Jewellery.
Michael has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career. He has delivered keynotes, hosted fire-side discussions with C-level executives and participated worldwide in thought leadership panels. ReThink Retail has added Michael to their prestigious Top Global Retail Influencers list for 2023 for the third year in a row.
Michael is also the president of Maven Media, producing a network of leading trade podcasts, including Remarkable Retail , with best-selling author Steve Dennis, now ranked one of the top retail podcasts in the world.
Based in San Francisco, Global eCommerce Leaders podcast explores global cross-border issues and opportunities for eCommerce brands and retailers.
Last but not least, Michael is the producer and host of the "Last Request Barbeque" channel on YouTube, where he cooks meals to die for - and collaborates with top brands as a food and product influencer across North America