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• In Toronto, The Star reports that “after years of thriving in the suburbs on its reputation for freshness, good food and good value,” Longo’s “is opening more downtown Toronto stores, including its biggest yet this fall in the high-profile Maple Leaf Square condominiums. Unlike its other urban stores, which at 7,000 square feet are small even by Longo’s standards, the store in Maple Leaf Square will be more like a full Longo’s suburban supermarket, though with an emphasis on features that appeal to urban consumers.”

The move into urban markets is designed to give Longo’s more ammunition to compete with the likes of Sobey’s and Walmart, according to the story.

• In upstate New York, the Troy Record reports that the seafood supplies at Price Chopper and Hannaford Bros. have not been affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, since “the majority of seafood sold in Northeast supermarkets doesn’t come from that body of water.” However, Price Chopper says that the perception of a problem has led seafood sales to “dip slightly” since the spill began on April 20; Hannaford says that it has not noticed a drop in sales.

Forbes reports on a new consumer survey by Alix Partners saying that “although there are indications that the worst of the recession may have passed, consumers feel worse about their own economic conditions than they did a year ago ... Topping consumers' concerns: Personal debt levels and job security. Eighty-three percent of those polled said they planned to spend the same or less on non-essential purchases.”

An imminent turnaround is not expected. Forbes writes that “consumers said they expect to resume their pre-recession spending in 2013. Improved economic conditions could, of course, speed up a recovery in consumer spending. But given how shell shocked shoppers have become - and how dependent on easy credit - the risk of further disappointment remains real as well.”

• California-based Global Industry Analysts is out with a new study entitled, “Kids’ Food and Beverages: A Global Strategic Business Report,” which says that “growing health awareness, time constraints and the ensuing demand for functional and convenience foods has and will continue to drive growth and development of the kids’ food and beverage market, pushing total sales to nearly $90 billion in 2015,” according to a story in Candy Industry.
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