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  • Member Spotlight – Cascades Fresh Packaging Solutions

    With your needs in mind, Cascades developed a complete range of products that are 100% recyclable and that are made from different types of recovered cardboard and plastics.From trays to baskets and boxes, you have access to innovative and sustainable packaging solutions with a number of sturdiness and barrier options to suit all your requirements.    New Cascades FreshTM packaging solutions will help you reach your environmental footprint objectives while preserving the freshness of your fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain.  In addition, Cascades FreshTM products provide visual appeal that get the attention of consumers.When partnering with Cascades, you also benefit from the expertise of our Cascades Fresh packaging specialists who can guide you in choosing the appropriate packaging or help develop a customized solution.

  • Retailer Panel – Your Questions Answered

    With the retail landscape consistently shifting to meet the needs of the present-day consumer, we thought it was important to get in touch with some of Canada’s leading retail chains to ask them the questions that members were asking. OPMA President, Michelle Broom was joined by Jeff Fowler from Sobeys, Frank Spagnuolo from Loblaws and Daniel Baldin from Longo’s to discuss how their respective companies are dealing with questions around packaging, how they manage their relationships with suppliers and what’s new in innovation.Packaging When it came to packaging, all three agreed that while important, the quality and cost of the product are top of mind. Consumers are looking for products that meet the mark without breaking the bank. A point echoed by Eli Browne and Ken Lyons in the OPMA’s sustainability speaker session. In addition to quality and cost our panelists noted the following:Consumers are looking for more environmentally friendly optionsCOVID has shifted the priority to safety above packaging and sustainabilityConsistency on shelf is key as this plays an important role in building consumer confidence in the brand and storeFrom a corporate perspective, all three chains are looking towards more compostable and recyclable options at the store level. This includes the elimination of single use plastics such as plastic bags and cutlery.Supplier Relations Key to a good retailer/supplier relationship is transparency and the ability to adapt. Retailers are looking for a vendor partner who:Is able to deliver on quality, pricing and consistencyInvests in innovation and technologyUnderstands the needs of the end consumerComes preparedDaniel Baldin from Longo’s suggests that suppliers come prepared with the story behind the product they’re trying to sell. Identifying unique attributes whether it be in the growing process, growing region, packaging, etc. helps the retailer market the product to the end consumer. Research suggests that the next generation of consumers, primarily Gen Z, are making purchases based on more than just quality and price. They want to know that their food is being sourced and grown in a sustainable way. InnovationWhen it comes to innovation, products and features that allow for more transparency, are key to consumers. They are looking for items that have a small carbon footprint, are safe and that are produced locally. Panelists pointed to the following opportunities for growth in the innovation space:Ways to extend the local growing season where possibleClosing the gap with organics – extending the range and producing more locallyInnovations that extend shelf life and improve qualityValue added opportunitiesExpansion of vertical farming and greenhouses (ties in with reducing the carbon footprint and extending the local growing season).Our panelists agreed that the effects of COVID are here to stay and will likely continue to shape the three areas discussed well into the future. While consumers will continue to look for innovation and sustainability when making purchases, a primary concern will be food safety. This is also reflected in the boom that all three retail chains have seen in their e-commerce platforms. Having the ability to safely shop online, will continue to be important for the consumer and as such, a primary focus for the retailer.To listen to the full conversation, please click here.

  • 2021 OPMA Membership Renewal

    This year’s OPMA membership renewal drive is taking place online and takes less than five minutes to complete!

Upcoming Events

The World of Food Post-Covid: Implications for Food Industry Businesses

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join food service industry specialist Scott McDeivitte from Gordon Food Services for a discussion of how Canada's food system is adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read More

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