Trends in Retail - Issue 6

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 Restaurant Canada chef survey-top 10's | Who do Canadians trust? | Data highlights | Sources
Restaurant Canada Chef Survey - Top 10's

A recent survey of Canadian Chefs by Restaurant Canada reveals their Top 10 Hot Trends and Top 10 Up and Comers in food choices.  A couple of these identified trends and hot items may be of interest to Alberta producers.

Ancient grains - Kamut, spelt, etc… even barley can be marketed as ancient grain – beyond just beef and barley soup. Research is finding that they are healthier than refined cereals. Whole grains containing more fiber, vitamin and minerals. From a foodservice perspective they would add more color and variety on the plate.

Inexpensive/underused cuts of meat such as beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak are being purchased more, likely brought about by the increase in meat prices over the last couple of years.

Food service is a margin business so chefs are becoming creative with cuts of meat that are not as well-used and hence less expensive. Meat can be more than just steaks and burgers. It is probably why house cured meats and house made sauces are showing up on both lists for chefs. They are having to do more inventive things with food.

Alternative pulse proteins.  2016 is the International Year of the Pulses. Drivers behind this food trend includes health and wellness and Canada’s changing demographics (ethnic, vegetarians, etc.) Pulses are an excellent way to provide protein and can offer gluten-free options. The Pulse Canada website has some interesting recipes.

Who Do Canadians Trust?

In April 2016, Environics Communication published their CanTrust Index.  The company surveyed Canadians in early March of 2016 on trust – who do Canadians trust and what elements contribute to that trust. The results were very interesting.

Food retailers were found to be the second most trusted industry at 43% right behind broadcasting and streaming companies at 44%. Interestingly, that means no industry was able to gain the trust of more than half of the population. New Canadians (those who had lived here less than 15 years) were more trusting, but Primary Shoppers were less trusting overall. A third (33%) of Primary Shoppers have no trust in any of the industries. Additionally, the number of Primary Shoppers who had trust in the food retailing industry was 3% less than the national average. With respect to organizations, Canadians have more trust in small/medium size corporations (44%) than either larger corporations (29%) or government (40%). 

The top factors influencing trust were identified as:
  1. job creation and investment (69%)
  2. enjoyment of the product/service (68%)
  3. openness and accessibility of the leader (67%).

The top trusted sources of information
  • word of mouth (75%)
  • product sampling (73%)
  • traditional media (i.e. TV or newspaper) was the most trusted source of editorial content (69%) .
In terms of quality promises, 79% of Canadians prefer third party verification as opposed to a
company’s quality claims, something that can have implications for the food industry.

Data Highlights

Food service sales were down in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the last quarter of 2015. However, a drop in sales following the holiday season is expected. Sales in the first quarter of 2016 were down slightly as compared to the first quarter of 2015.
Food Service and Drinking Places Sales in Alberta
Percentage Change
Quarter 1 2015
Quarter 2 2015
Quarter 3 2015
Quarter 4 2015
Quarter 1 2016
Q4 to Q1
Annual Q1 change
Data in Millions where applicable.
Source: Statistics Canada


Other Documents in the Series

  Trends in Retail
Trends in Retail - Issue 13
Trends in Retail - Issue 12
Trends in Retail - Issue 11
Trends in Retail - Issue 10
Trends in Retail - Issue 9
Trends in Retail - Issue 8
Trends in Retail - Issue 7
Trends in Retail - Issue 6 - Current Document
Trends in Retail - Issue 5
Trends in Retail - Issue 4
Trends in Retail - Issue 3
Trends in Retail - Issue 2
Trends in Retail - Issue 1
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This document is maintained by Erminia Guercio.
This information published to the web on August 19, 2016.