Global grocery: News and ideas from the world of food retail

France takes aim at the plant-based food industry, Trader Joe's recognized for innovation and more news
plant based burgers

France moves to ban meat names on plant-based food 

France is once again taking aim at the plant-based food industry’s use of meaty language on its alt proteins. In September, the agriculture ministry unveiled a revised proposal to prohibit the use of 21 meat terms – including filet, steak, spareribs and ham – on plant-based foods made and sold in France. Last year, France made its first attempt to ban the use of meaty words on plant-based products, but was thwarted by the country’s top court, which deemed the decree too vague. If successful this time, France will be the first country in the European Union to impose such restrictions. In a statement, French Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said the new draft decree “reflects our desire to put an end to misleading claims.”

tesco bodycams

U.K. grocers using bodycams to deter crime

A surge in attacks on retail workers in the United Kingdom has prompted grocers to step up efforts to protect staff. In September, Tesco chief Ken Murphy announced that its frontline workers would be offered bodycams. Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Murphy said attacks on staff (Tesco employs about 300,000 people in the U.K.) had climbed by a third in the last year. Tesco says it has invested £44 million (about $75 million) over the last four years on security measures. “Crime is a scourge on society, and an insult to shoppers and retail workers. It is time we put an end to it” wrote Murphy, who called for stiffer penalties for offenders. Tesco is not the first retailer to introduce bodycams to the shop floor – Sainsbury’s, Co-op and John Lewis Partnership have taken similar measures in recent years and grocer Morrisons has recently launched a trial of body cameras across a few dozen of its stores.

consumer trust UK

Shoppers’ trust in supermarkets tanks 

Amid a cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom, shoppers’ trust in supermarkets has dropped to its lowest point in a decade. According to a recent (August) Which? Consumer Insight Tracker, the sector received a “trust score” of just 30 (on a scale from -100 to 100), the lowest since the 2013 horsemeat scandal (horse DNA was found in frozen beef burgers and lasagna sold at some stores), when the sector received an all-time low score of 24. The drop in confidence is in stark contrast to the score of 68 that supermarkets received in May 2020 when they were praised for ramping up online grocery deliveries. The Which? survey also found that less than half of shoppers said they trusted supermarkets to act in their best interest, while one in five said they did not trust the sector.

trader joe's

Trader Joe’s named most innovative U.S. grocer

Trader Joe’s, the beloved chain known for its unique shopping experience and creative house-brand items, has been named the most innovative U.S. grocer, according to the 2023 American Innovation Index (Aii). The grocer, with about 560 locations, beat out Whole Foods Market and Aldi on the Index, which ranks the innovativeness of companies across 20 sectors based on their customers’ perceptions. Trader Joe’s was also named the fourth most innovative company overall, trailing Toyota, Apple and Louis Vuitton. The Index is based on research from Fordham University and the Norwegian School of Economics.

carrefour job tasting

“Job Tasting Days” at Carrefour Belgium 

New labour realities require new recruiting strategies. In Belgium, Carrefour is ditching the traditional interview and replacing it with “Job Tasting Days,” which the grocer describes as a “friendly opportunity” for candidates to “immerse themselves in the Carrefour work environment” through informal meetings and the opportunity to tour the stores, meet company employees and taste products. Job Tasting Days, which ran from mid-August to mid-September at 17 stores in Belgium, sought to recruit 250 employees across a variety of store-level roles.

This article first appeared in Canadian Grocer’s September/October 2023 issue.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds