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The Food Professor

Join Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Senior Director, Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax with host Michael LeBlanc from The Voice of Retail podcast as they look at the hot issues in the food, foodservice, grocery and restaurant industries. We'll discuss proprietary industry and consumer food related research, check out fresh new ideas and talk about half baked strategies. © 2020-2021 M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Drought on the Prairies, Lab Turkey, Regenerative Agriculture and Part 1 of our Interview with Michael Graydon, CEO at Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada

On this episode of The Food Professor podcast, my co-host Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and I unpack the sweet and sour of the latest news that’s shaping the Canadian food landscape. We also sit down with a very special guest, Michael Graydon, President of Food Health and Consumer Products of Canada to talk about the latest in sustainability and trends in part one of a two part interview.The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.comAs drought hits the Canadian Prairies, Sylvain expresses his expansive concerns regarding North America’s water under the reality of the climate crisis. On the flip side, we talk about the latest promising agriculture innovations from biotech farming to McCain Foods’ recent commitment to regenerative agriculture practices.From Christmas in July to chicken crises, Sylvain and I reflect on new alternatives to long-standing classics and the grim consequences of the supply chain issue faced by poultry processing plants. We cover the future of lab-grown meats and Sylvain explains just how this chicken processing plant issue happens.Finally - is Newfoundland’s sugar tax as sweet as some advocates think? Sylvain talks about the successes and failures of sugar taxes around the world and methods for discouraging the consumption of sugary beverages.As proud sponsors of The Retail Council of Canada’s 28th Grand Prix New Product Awards, we take a moment to celebrate the innovation that we saw and continue to see across the Grand Prix finalists and winners. We talk about highlights from this year’s gala and our predictions for next year’s line-up. Stay tuned for more interviews with finalists. Michael GraydonMichael is an accomplished CEO, with experience in both the public and private sectors. A proven brand builder with a history of generating compelling strategies generating significant top and bottom line growth. He has an extremely well defined ability to understand and serve consumer markets with improved and innovative products and services. Michael is a passionate leader, visionary and very creative in his approach to creating a very strong corporate culture and employee engagement.Michael is the CEO of Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP), formerly Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC). Under his leadership, FCPC merged with Consumer Health Products of Canada (CHP) in September 2020. FHCP is the voice of Canada’s leading food, health, and consumer products manufacturers. Our industry employs more people than any other manufacturing sector in Canada, across businesses of all sizes that manufacture and distribute the safe, high-quality products at the heart of healthy homes, healthy communities, and a healthy Canada.Under his leadership, Food & Consumer Products of Canada merged with Consumer Health Products of Canada in September 2020 to create Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada.As President of Parq Holdings Michael was responsible for the oversight and strategic business development plans for the development of the new Parq Resort in Vancouver. Mr. Graydon joined PHLP in 2014 after six years at BCLC where he led that company to become a recognized leader in the gambling and entertainment industry worldwide and was instrumental in the launch of the first regulated on-line gaming site in North America. Previously, Mr. Graydon held several senior roles in large corporations including Canada’s largest retail buying company Mega Group, food manufacturer J.D. Sweid, food retailer Sobeys, The Keg Restaurants and Carling O'Keefe Breweries. His community commitments have included his role on the Advisory Board of the School of Business and Economics at Thompson Rivers University; the Board of Directors of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation and the Board of Directors of Brand Source USA. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and was the Co-Chair of the 2014 Grey Cup in Vancouver.Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn.  Sylvain Charlebois 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.

37mins

10 Jun 2021

Rank #1

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Canadian Grand Prix New Products Award Spotlight: Avijit Bose, Director of Marketing at Reynolds Consumer Products Canada Ltd.

Welcome to the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards bonus episode of The Food Professor! My co-host Sylvain Charlebois and I are thrilled to once again be supporting Retail Council of Canada’s new product awards this year as we both are big believers in supporting new and innovative products for the grocery shelves and beyond.  The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com Reynolds Consumer Goods Canada is making room on the shelf for sustainability in the household goods market. In this interview, Avijit Bose, Director of Marketing, sheds light on Reynolds’ product development process, their devotion to consumers and their long-term commitment to the planet. Across all Reynolds brands, from Alcan to Hefty, there is a clear and detailed commitment to understanding their consumers. So, it’s no coincidence that not one but three Reynolds products became finalists in Retail Council of Canada’s Grand Prix New Product Awards this year.  ****** Thanks for listening, and to see all the finalists and learn more visit http://www.rccgrandprix.ca/ If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, stay tuned for our next episode with my partner Sylvain Charlebois! Stay Safe everyone!!

20mins

3 Jun 2021

Rank #2

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The COVID-Era Grocery Landscape: From Self-Checkouts to Food Autonomy

With a post-pandemic future on the horizon, it’s time to look back on how the pandemic has been a disruptor in some of our most stubborn consumer spaces. Dalhousie’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, headed by our very own Sylvain Charlebois, partnered with Caddle to conduct a series of reports on food processing, distribution and retail sales. With 16 months of the pandemic behind us, I sit down with Sylvain to unpack some of this data. In this episode, we talk about the rejection and adoption (and, in some cases, even the re-adoption) of grocery store self-checkouts. We offer our insights on why the US is “cheesed” off at Canada and how it’s impacting the dairy industry. We also interview Suresh Kolla President of Nutrameltz, Orally Dissolving Supplements that are finalists in Retail Council of Canada's Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards. The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com ******  Thanks again to the folks at omNovos for being our presenting sponsor! If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.   I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, stay tuned for our next episode with my partner Sylvain Charlebois! Stay safe everyone!

35mins

27 May 2021

Rank #3

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Canadian Grand Prix New Products Award Spotlight: Tatiana Bossy, Co-Founder of Maison Le Grand

Welcome to the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards bonus episode of The Food Professor! My co-host Sylvain Charlebois and I are thrilled to once again be supporting Retail Council of Canada’s new product awards this year as we both are big believers in supporting new and innovative products for the grocery shelves and beyond.  The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com Maison Le Grand brings 30 years of experience to the table in developing their plant-based product line. With a mission to center health, healing and the planet through food, Maison Le Grand has created a line of plant-based alternatives to everyday staples including pesto, cheese, yogurt - and now, butter. Maison Le Grand’s vegan organic butter is a finalist in the Retail Council of Canada’s Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards. In this episode Tatiana Bossy, Co-Founder of Maison Le Grand, emphasizes the importance of legible ingredient lists, reaching ‘plant-curious’ consumers, and the role of vegan butter in the plant-based revolution. ******Thanks for listening, and good luck to all the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards finalists!  To see all the finalists and learn more about the upcoming gala awards on June 3rd 2021 visit http://www.rccgrandprix.ca/ If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, stay tuned for our next episode with my partner Sylvain Charlebois! Stay Safe everyone!!

19mins

21 May 2021

Rank #4

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Canadian Grand Prix New Products Award Spotlight: Kirk Homenick, President of Hardbite Chips

Welcome to the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards bonus episode of The Food Professor! My co-host Sylvain Charlebois and I are thrilled to once again be supporting Retail Council of Canada’s new product awards this year as we both are big believers in supporting new and innovative products for the grocery shelves and beyond.  The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com From farmer’s markets to grocery stores all over the world, Hardbite Chips has spent 20 years finding creative ways to stand out in the densely packed salty snacks category. Kirk Homenick, President of Hardbite Chips talks about the value of ‘clean labels,’ the importance of customer-first innovation, and what it looks like to source ingredients and inspiration locally. As a proudly Canadian company, it’s no wonder that their Canadiana-inspired chip collection is a finalist in the Retail Council of Canada’s Grand Prix New Product Awards. ****** Thanks for listening, and good luck to all the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards finalists!  To see all the finalists and learn more about the upcoming gala awards on June 3rd 2021 visit http://www.rccgrandprix.ca/ If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, stay tuned for our next episode with my partner Sylvain Charlebois! Be sure and check out our new YouTube channel! Stay Safe everyone!!

16mins

20 May 2021

Rank #5

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1st Anniversary episode talking Canadians relationship with Beef, #buttergate v3.0, fair trade and our new Youtube channel!

Welcome to the The Food Professor podcast episode 26, our first anniversary episode!  I’m Michael LeBlanc, and I’m Sylvain Charlebois! The Food Professor is brought to you by omNovos - THE digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers helping you deliver personalized and segmented experiences at scale. Find out how you can get personal and grow sales by making EVERY customer interaction count with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com Lots to talk about this episode  - a solo episode so lets get right to it…. First of all…Where’s the Beef!  Latest Agri-Foods research out today telling us that 92% of Canadians enjoy beef, 65% consider themselves regular users…considering the kerfulfle of epicurious eliminated beef recipes, seems like the they are missing over 90% of the population… Other topics for this episode: Canadian food manufacturing reportButterGate 3.0 - in between our episodes some /more evidence;Article in the National Post: 4 reasons why we are paying more -...get three, but eating more at home?  https://financialpost.com/moneywise/four-reasons-canadians-are-paying-a-lot-more-at-the-grocery-store-this-yearMontreal getting into competition with UberEats to help their restaurantsSpeaking of restaurants...in Toronto over 365 days of no-in restaurant eating...the U.S. has earmarked 28Billion for restaurants...basically take 2019 revenues, subtract 2020 and get the difference....bold, expensive...wow:  https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/stimulus-bill-29b-direct-restaurant-aid-appears-headed-passageLongo's and fair trade bananasWingstop takes flight - 100 new chicken wing locations!!Our Bonus episodes continue... ****** Thanks again to the folks at omNovos for being our presenting sponsor!   If you liked what you heard you can follow us on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    Be sure to visit and subscribe to our new YouTube channel! I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, and I’m Sylvain Charlebois! Have a safe week everyone! 

34mins

13 May 2021

Rank #6

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Canadian Grand Prix New Products Awards Spotlight: Ahmad Yehya, CEO Nabati Foods

Welcome to the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards bonus episode of The Food Professor! My co-host Sylvain Charlebois and I are thrilled to once again be supportting Retail Council of Canada’s new product awards this year as we both are big believers in supporting new and innovative products for the grocery shelves and beyond.   Nabati Foods Global, a plant-based food tech company based in Edmonton, offers whole, natural, plant-based foods for health-conscious consumers, including its plant-based Chick'n Burger, a finalist in this year's competition. In this episode, we meet Nabati CEO Ahmad Yehya, who tells us all about the business, the product, and shares lessons learned developing and launching this innovative new product.  ****** Thanks for listening, and good luck to all the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards finalists!  To see all the finalists and learn more about the upcoming gala awards on June 3rd 2021 visit http://www.rccgrandprix.ca/ If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, stay tuned for our next episode with my partner Sylvain Charlebois! Stay Safe everyone!!

12mins

6 May 2021

Rank #7

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Remarkable Grocery Retail with best-selling author Steve Dennis

Welcome to the The Food Professor podcast episode 25  I’m Michael LeBlanc, and I’m Sylvain Charlebois! The Food Professor is presented  by omNovos the digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers, helping you solve your customer’s most daunting questions:  what should I eat today? Find out how you can get personal and grow sales with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com I’m crossing the streams as they would say in Ghostbusters in this episode Sylvain with our special guest, and my “other” podcast partner from the Remarkable Retail podcast Stevse Dennis!  Top retail strategist, best selling author, and has just released the 2nd, all new updated edition of his book Remarkable Retail. We’ll talk to Steve about what it takes for grocery retailers to compete, and some U.S. best in class examples from this Texas-based retail strategist. But speaking of books and authors, let’s talk about your new book - Poutine Nation!  Tell us all about your journey in writing the book and what it’s about Let’s talk about your latest research from the Agri-Foods lab; weight gain, stress - what did you discover So it’s April almost May, I wanted to check in on how your predictions for food price inflation from the Canada’s Food Price Report were shaping up - at, ahead, worse, better than predicted? Couple of last things…anything notable in the Federal Budget that you would comment on for the Food Industry…seems like something for everyone so I’d b e surprised if there wasn’t a little-something something… We have a special announcement - our YouTube channel is live! ****** Thanks again to the folks at omNovos for being our presenting sponsor! If you liked what you heard you can subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.    I’m Michael LeBlanc, producer and host of The Voice of Retail podcast and a bunch of other stuff, and I’m Sylvain Charlebois! Have a safe week everyone! teve Dennis is an advisor, keynote speaker and author on strategic growth and business innovation. You can learn more about Steve on his       website.    The expanded and revised edition of his bestselling book  Remarkable Retail: How To Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption  is now available for preorder at  Amazon or just about anywhere else books are sold. Steve regularly shares his insights in his role as a      Forbes senior contributor and on       Twitter and       LinkedIn. You can also check out his speaker "sizzle" reel      here. Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus        Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  and       The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois.  You can learn more about Michael       here  or on       LinkedIn. 

41mins

29 Apr 2021

Rank #8

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Understanding the Quebec food industry with Sylvie Cloutier, Présidente-directrice générale chez CTAQ

Welcome to the The Food Professor podcast episode 24!The Food Professor is presented  by omNovos the digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers, helping you solve your customer’s most daunting questions:  what should I eat today? Find out how you can get personal and grow sales with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.comIn this episode we welcome our special guest Sylvie Cloutier, Présidente-directrice générale chez CTAQ, the voice of the food industry in Quebec, and a long time a well respected voice in the industry.We also talk about the passing of a Canadian grocery icon - Galen Weston, and examine his work and legacy.  Next we talk about this documentary on Netflix - Seaspiracy   and speaking of plant based diets- the Whopper Impossible burger launches in Canada.  Next we talk about the stigma of processed food, and last but not least, my obsession with my latest BBQ, the Yoder Pellet Smoker!

45mins

15 Apr 2021

Rank #9

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Calgary Co-op CEO Ken Keelor's winning strategy

Welcome to the The Food Professor podcast episode 23!  The Food Professor is presented  by omNovos the digital customer engagement solution for grocery and restaurant marketers, helping you solve your customer’s most daunting questions:  what should I eat today? Find out how you can get personal and grow sales with omNovos at www.realcustomerengagement.com In this episode we chat with our special guest Ken Keelor , CEO of the amazing Calgary Co-op, one of the last remaining big indie grocers left in Canada and a solid, diversified business owned by its members.  The coop model is really powerful, particularly in Western Canada, and we'll learn more from this retail and grocery industry veteran. I ask Sylvain about his favourite donut?  Well if you had the chance a reminder to everyone to check out our bonus episode with Chris Schultz from Voodoo donuts….this indulgence is crazy…and do you see that Krispy Kreme is offering donuts for a vaccination! We look at the Meat paradox, seafood DNA testing, Cannabis NB, and talk about upcoming research headed our way from the Dalhousie Agri-Foods lab! ****** Thanks again to the folks at omNovos for being our presenting sponsor! If you liked what you heard you can follow or subscribe on Apple iTunes , Spotify or your favourite podcast platform, please rate and review, and be sure and recommend to a friend or colleague in the grocery, foodservice,  or restaurant industry.   Have a safe week everyone!

52mins

1 Apr 2021

Rank #10