ICYMI: Freshii comes under fire, new grocer coming to downtown Saskatoon, and more

Here are six stories you might have missed this week

Image of Pitchfork Market and Kitchen via Facebook

It’s been another interesting week in the world of Canadian food news with stories ranging from a potential plant-based breakthrough at the University of Guelph to a near-nationwide revolt regarding a dystopian dining experiment gone wrong at Freshii. 

In other exciting news, Upcycled Food Association announced its impending Canadian expansion, a potentially big development might be coming to downtown Saskatoon, and Federated Co-op LTD announced its first-ever female CEO. 

Catch up on these stories and more in this week’s ICYMI.

Freshii comes under fire for outsourcing virtual cashier jobs to Nicaragua at $3.75 per hour

Canadian restaurant chain Freshii has come under intense scrutiny over the past week after word got out that they have begun replacing in-store cashiers in Ontario with South American workers through virtual cashier kiosks.

According to reports, the Nicaraguan Freshii employees are being paid just $3.75 per hour, which is far less than Ontario’s current $15 minimum wage. And while unethical outsourcing unfortunately exists in almost all western industries, it seems that many Canadians simply don’t want to see it in their local restaurant chains.  

Find the original story at The Star or head to Global News for a full breakdown.

Pitchfork Market and Kitchen proposes new full-service grocery store in downtown Saskatoon

After approaching the City of Saskatoon with a proposal to open a new full-service grocery store in downtown Saskatoon’s Midtown Plaza earlier this month, Pitchfork Market and Kitchen appears poised to be granted its request. 

The City is reportedly planning to make its decision as early as this upcoming Monday, and if all goes well, Pitchfork believes it could have the new grocery store and its adjoining takeout restaurant could be in operation as early as this winter. 

Visit CTV News for the full report.

Canadians crossing the border for cheaper groceries

Although inflation is occurring all over the world, it seems like some Canadians are finding ways to save on groceries by shopping in the U.S. Some speculate that the lower prices are a result of less inter-industry collusion, which forces stiffer competition. 

Others, like Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois, say one of the best ways to save on groceries is to take advantage of the thriving coupon culture that exists in the U.S.

Read the full story at CBC News.

Upcycled Food Association announces Canadian expansion

After achieving what it referred to as “extraordinary success” in the U.S. market, the Upcycled Food Association announced this week that it will soon begin expanding into Canada. The non-profit organization has reportedly certified more than 200 products and ingredients in the U.S. and is expected to prevent over 820 million pounds of food waste in the next year. 

Head to New Food Magazine for more.

University of Guelph develops plant-based cheese alternative

Researchers at the University of Guelph have reportedly developed a new plant-based cheese alternative that they are confident is more nutritious and better-suited for cooking applications than many non-dairy cheese options on the market.

The cheese supposedly offers a strikingly similar flavour and texture to natural cheese, and has the same meltability and stretchability as its non-plant-based counterpart. The researchers say the next step will be to scale to retail-level production. 

Find out more from CBC News.

Saskatchewan woman becomes Federated Co-op’s first female CEO

Federated Co-operatives Ltd. appointed a new CEO this month, and for the first time in its history, the CEO is a woman. As the former vice-president of supply chain at FLC, Heather Ryan says she doesn’t plan to make any drastic changes to operations, but hopes that her appointment serves as inspiration for women or other disadvantaged groups to pursue their dreams. 

Head to the Star Pheonix for the full story.