News Article | April 27, 2017
Recent Euromonitor data suggests that the time consumers spend buying general consumer goods has decreased 16% over the past 10 years, while the time spent grocery shopping has remained flat. Still, snack foods themselves are on the rise. A recent study from The NPD Group revealed that nearly a quarter of all snack food eating (24%) occurs during main meals, up from 21% five years ago. Millennials and younger consumers are snacking more than ever. Euromonitor research shows that c-stores, gas stations and local specialty stores have seen the largest increase in snack sales globally, as fewer people are going into grocery stores. As a result, retailers who are utilizing options such as click-and-collect shopping models, home delivery and drive-thru are seeing greater success than those that don't. One in five shoppers reported grocery shopping online in 2016, up from 16% in 2015, according to the Food Marketing Institute — a change in behavior to which both grocers and manufacturers need to adapt. Amazon recently launched Amazon Wickedly Prime, its own snack company offering a private label for cookies, tortilla chips, popcorn and salty snacks. When used with Amazon Dash, a push-button ordering service that orders shipments of consumers’ favorite products when they run out of them, it makes purchasing extremely easy. Snack companies should seek out e-commerce opportunities like this to cater to consumers' snacking habits, or risk getting passed over for brands that are more easily available.
News Article | April 28, 2017
Hy-Vee is taking a page from Amazon’s new click-and-collect locations based in Seattle with its Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh concept, a pickup-centered store model. The company is in the planning stages of putting the hybrid store in a 65-acre retail and office development. This move shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, though. Hy-Vee officials have talked about a new concept to serve the click-and-collect market for more than a year. The retailer has also been a leader in online grocery shopping, first offering the concept in 1998. It makes sense it should be one of the first to invest in a center that caters to this group of shoppers. The store's online ordering has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and its current Aisles Online program has grown substantially for the company over the last year. In 2015, the retailer reported about 1,300 online shopping orders per week in its Des Moines-area stores, some of which had drive thru windows back then. Hy-Vee is moving more toward improving the online shopping experience as well. The company recently announced restructuring of corporate departments to focus on growth in its dedicated health and wellness sections, restaurant operations and information technology. The IT group will create more apps and store programs, which likely means more of the lists, special offers and other personalization features that are bringing stores into the digital age. Hy-Vee has shown it is not afraid to try radically different formats. This new store isn't necessarily an oddity, but, considering that the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen have said online grocery shopping is expected to become a $100 billion industry by 2025, it may be what more and more new store locations will look like in the near future.
News Article | April 25, 2017
Back in 2011, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute unveiled the “Facts Up Front” nutrition labeling program, which moved key information such as calories and sodium levels to the front of packages.This allowed consumers to access nutrition information more easily, a move the two organizations promoted as something that could lead to healthier lifestyles. Many industry observers, however, saw the initiative as way of heading off the Food and Drug Administration, which had been developing its own more stringent front-of-pack labeling system. Several years later, manufacturers are still focused on health initiatives and nutrition labeling — but mainly because consumers are demanding it. Companies like Nestle, Mars and Hershey are phasing out artificial and genetically modified ingredients. They’re also looking for ways to cut calories and reduce sugar in their products. Several years ago, Mars reduced the size of its candy bars, lopping off more than a trillion calories in the process. In 2016, Nestle announced its scientists had restructured sugar in a way that delivered 40% fewer calories without impacting taste. That Facts Up Front program, meanwhile, has been adopted by numerous candy manufacturers without impacting sales. Some groups argue that the program is more about marketing than about public health, but the FDA seems satisfied with the effort. Considering all of this, it makes sense for Hershey to expand its labeling and calorie-reduction initiatives. Consumers aren’t looking for a “healthy” candy bar, per se. They still want to indulge. But they are looking for transparency, cleaner ingredients and a few more sensible options to choose from.
News Article | May 3, 2017
It appears mounting pressure from retail trade groups, including an 11th-hour appeal from the National Grocers Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores, helped convince the FDA to put off its menu labeling compliance date. That appeal, filed nearly one month ago, stated that retailers were unable to comply with the law as it was written, that the agency had severely underestimated the amount of time and money retailers would spend complying with the final rule, and that the law placed an unfair regulatory burden on their industries. According to NGA and the Food Marketing Institute, the cost of implementing the law has exceeded $1 billion and has taken much more time for compliance than the 14.5-million-hour estimate initially issued by FDA. At the heart of the food retail industry’s objection is the highly variable nature of grocery foodservice. Unlike restaurants, which have a single ordering point, supermarkets offer prepared foods in a variety of different formats at different points throughout the store. Self-service hot and cold bars, grab-and-go cases, freezers and deli counters are just a few of the places where customers get their food. Grocers are also frequently changing their menus and ingredients, and offerings often vary from store to store. If a deli manager wants to swap in wheat bread for white bread in a popular sandwich one day, could failure to make changes to the menu's labels put it in violation of the law? Despite these concerns, many retailers had brought themselves into compliance and were ready for this week’s deadline. They may welcome the FDA’s willingness to work with them and to revisit the law, which could see additional amendments and exemptions, but many may feel frustration at having paid for testing and labeling of menu items that might not be around a year from now. Looking ahead, the FDA’s concession to food retailers will no doubt redouble industry efforts to delay and amend further upcoming regulations, such as the implementation of a new Nutrition Facts label, set to take effect in July 2018; mandatory genetically modified ingredients labeling by 2021; and perhaps even the implementation of Food Safety Modernization Act rules. Given the Trump administration’s distaste for regulations, including FDA pick Scott Gottlieb’s sentiments to this effect, it looks like those wishes stand a chance of being granted.
News Article | April 25, 2017
Conventional thinking suggests that produce is the most important department in determining a grocer’s image. But as this report shows, meat, though certainly less colorful, could play a bigger role. Further research supports this as well. According to the latest version of “The Power of Meat,” an annual study compiled by the Food Marketing Institute and 210 Analytics, meat purchases comprise at least 20% of most grocers' weekly sales. The study found that meat is the third most important department in determining where consumers shop, but it carries more sales potential than most categories. High-performing meat departments can account for as much as 40% of weekly sales, the report found, and shopper baskets that have meat in them jump in value from $41 to $83. “We have to get meat right,” said Anne-Marie Roerink, principal of 210 Analytics, during the report presentation earlier this year. The Progressive Grocer report also underscored the value of private label as a differentiator, with more than two-thirds of respondents saying it was the best way to boost in-store experience for shoppers. This comes as no surprise considering the advancements Kroger, Whole Foods, Southeastern Grocers and others have made in recent years. H-E-B carries a line of Totally Texas products that celebrate the Lone Star State, while Ahold Delhaize sells limited-time offer store brands. Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see how stores balance their private label offerings with growing demand for emerging brands and local products. Grocers should also keep an eye on how competitors evolve their meat marketing to increase basket sizes and the department’s share of store sales.
News Article | February 27, 2017
The research organization, LPRC, monitored a field test of the DiSa Digital Safety USA Point-of-sale Activation (PoSA) Proof-of-Concept. Protecting high-theft, openly-displayed merchandise in stores just got easier. The research organization LPRC monitored a field test of the Point-of-Sale Activation (PoSA) Proof-of-Concept and has issued their findings. · Sales of PoSA-protected products were higher than control groups · Return rates for PoSA-protected products were lower than unprotected products · The LPRC scientific study validates that the DiSa PoSA solution appears scalable, drives sales and reduces returns on protected products DiSa Digital Safety USA (DBA “DiSa”), is a US-based asset protection solution provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of DiSa Limited – Singapore, that specializes in research and development of cutting-edge Retail PoSA asset protection solutions, is pleased to announce that the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) has published results of the Walmart Proof-of-Concept with DiSa’s Point-of-Sale Activation (PoSA) solution. The LPRC research publication is the culmination of a two-year collaboration with the world’s largest retailer. The results were announced at the recent LPRC Retailer Summit (hosted by Target Stores) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The exclusive content is now available for LPRC’s membership of 40 retail chains. DiSa PoSA benefit denial solution protected consumer electronics products allowing a true open sell environment. This ground-breaking test and scientific study also indicates the DiSa Asset Protection process is a scalable solution that will help retailers drive sales, while enhancing the in-store guest experience by allowing highly desirable products to be sold in a true open format. The LPRC Research study targeted: Consumers, Retail Sales Associates, Store Management and Asset Protection team members. The results included a Q&A survey with each stakeholder, and was done independent of both Walmart and DiSa. The Research Scientist Team was given unfettered access to all needed stakeholder groups. Key take-a-ways include the consumer engagement with “open-sell” product labeled with the PoSA logo, the guest experience at the check-out; including self-checkout (SCO) and the sales growth resulting from the proof-of-concept test. The exclusive content was distributed to LPRC membership at the LPRC PoSA BD Summit and presented to the retailers in this session. 61% of the 549 consumers surveyed rated the PoSA solution favorable. The favorable report shows PoSA can drive sales and enhance the guest experience on the sales floor and at checkout. It also showed lower return rates. Only 2.6% of protected product stolen, none were activated and none were returned. To obtain the full report, please send your contact information (name, company name, phone number and email address) to firstname.lastname@example.org. “Sell More and Lose Less with DiSa!” The LPRC is an industry group comprised of leading retailers, solution providers and scientists centered at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The LPRC conducts research to develop crime and loss prevention/control solutions that improve the performance of its members and the retail industry. Currently, the LPRC has over 90 members and is chaired by Dr. Read Hayes. The group conducts academic studies based in classroom and in live retail stores. The LPRC was founded in 2001 and is currently in its 15th year of operation. Key retail members range from Sterling Jewelers, Rite Aid to Home Depot, Walmart and Best Buy. The LPRC is home to 13 industry Working Groups with focus on various issues facing omni-channel retailers. LPRC belongs to various industry affiliations including but not limited to: LP Magazine, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, LP Foundation and FMI (Food Marketing Institute). The DiSa PoSA solution, the world’s first entirely digital asset protection solution, is a digital lock applied to consumer electronic products during manufacturing. Each device is assigned a unique activation code. The digital lock prevents theft by rendering the devices inoperable from the point-of-production to the point-of-sale at retail stores. The device remains locked until the legitimate buyer activates the device using a one-time activation code that is printed on the retail sales receipt. Once activated, the device remains permanently unlocked and fully functional. DiSa offers full support to manufacturers, retailers and consumers through 24/7 phone support, Web support and App support. The DiSa solution is a low-cost solution that increases efficiencies both in the supply chain and in the retail store. With DiSa, retailers will be able to increase sales by merchandising product on the sales floor without fear of theft (no more product hiding in the backroom where it cannot be sold). Retailers will be able to merchandise more quickly; as they will not have to apply current asset protection (AP) standards such as “keeper boxes,” “spider wraps,” or other inefficient standards. These current standards cost the retailers both: 1) employee productivity and 2) heavy internal costs from purchasing and repurchasing standards. DiSa is designed to simplify the omni-channel retailer and manages a wide variety of transaction types in omni-channel retailing including 1) traditional brick transactions, including a full gift box experience, 2) E-commerce transactions where DiSa will protect the purchase to the customer’s door (no more mail theft or theft from a delivery vehicle), 3) Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS) and same day pickup in store. DiSa Digital Safety USA (DBA “DiSa”), is a US-based asset protection solution provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of DiSa Limited - Singapore that specializes in research and development of cutting-edge Retail security solutions. DiSa Digital Safety PTE LTD is a Singapore-based PoSA solution provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of DiSa Limited that specializes in research and development of cutting-edge Retail security solutions. More information is available at www.digital-safety.us and www.digital-safety.sg.
News Article | February 17, 2017
The label "sell by" on food items has been the cause of major confusion among buyers for a long time, given that no one can tell for certain what the label means. However, the grocery industry has finally taken steps to clear up matter for most American citizens. On Feb. 15, the two largest trade groups of the grocery industry - the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) made an announcement to do away with the "sell by" tag. Per the Standardized Voluntary Regulations, stated by the two trade groups of the grocery industry, every manufacturer will be now be using only two labels- "use by" and "best if used by", instead of the other 10 labels used earlier. The "use by" label acts as the safety indicator, thus hinting to the customer the date by which the food is safe to eat and when it is not. The "best if used by" label acts as description of quality by the manufacturer, which hints when the product should be consumed to get the best taste. These dates, which will come from the manufacturer, actually points to one of the two - either the dates indicated to the store when the product should be stacked on store shelves, or suggest to the consumers when to consume the food item for best taste. Environmental groups and the Department of Agriculture, have been for a long time coaxing the food industry to clear this mess up as soon as possible. "I think it's huge. It's just an enormous step," said Emily Broad-Leib, director of Harvard's Food Law and Policy Clinic. Although some of the states have food labeling regulations, most of the major retailers like Walmart have supported the move and have already started abiding by the new regulation. The FMI and GMA are urging other retailers and manufacturers to adopt the policy as soon as possible. However, they have until July 2018 to incorporate the changes. Moreover, the standards adopted by the FMI and GMA are voluntary and it necessarily doesn't guarantee the fact that all retailers and manufacturers will adopt the change. Despite this fact, both FMI and GMA expect to widespread adoption of the policy change as the standards were jotted down by a working group having representatives from large food companies. According to Walmart, who has already started implementing the change, the new labels will clear up any confusion that the buyer may have in his or her mind and will also reduce food waste. Natural Resources Defense Council states that many Americans are throwing out consumable food thinking that it has gone past its expiry date. "Clarifying and standardizing date label language is one of the most cost effective ways that we can reduce the 40 percent of food that goes to waste each year in the United States," noted Leib. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 15, 2017
For Food Manufacturers, 'Sell By' Labels May Have Reached Their Expiration Date Two of the most influential groups in the food industry are asking companies to change those pesky "expiration" or "sell by" labels on packaged food. The labels, you see, don't mean what they appear to mean. Foods don't "expire." Most foods are safe to eat even after that "sell by" date has passed. They just may not taste as good, because they're not as fresh anymore. Companies use the labels to protect the reputation of their products – they want consumers to see and consume their food in as fresh a state as possible. But those dates often have the perverse effect of convincing over-cautious consumers to throw perfectly good food into the trash. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are hoping to prevent that. They're now advising their members, which include most major food manufacturers and retailers, to abolish many current labels, including "Expires on" and "Sell by." Instead, they're asking companies to use just two labels. One would use the words "Best if used by" a particular date. This label would probably go on most foods. And companies could put a "Use by" date on products that could become less safe as they age. Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for the GMA, said the second label might go on packages of shucked raw oysters, for example. Some environmental advocacy groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, have been pushing for such a reform for a long time. They say the existing labels have been an obstacle to reducing food waste. Last year, the USDA issued a guidance document that asked companies voluntarily to adopt one universal label, using the words "Best if used by." Expiration dates on food are not required by any federal law, although some states require such dates on meat or milk. As a food product passes its "expiration" date, it may get stale, and some products, like milk, may go sour. But according to food safety experts, most spoiled foods, though unpalatable, aren't particularly hazardous.
News Article | February 22, 2017
— Does food go bad after the expiration dates on its packaging have passed, or are food manufacturers merely trying to protect their reputations because their food tastes better prior to those dates? According to an article from National Public Radio, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are recommending the abolishment of food labels such as “Expires on” and “Sell by.” Officials from those organizations say that food rarely spoils by those dates and that consumers frequently throw out perfectly safe food. 4Patriots LLC officials understand that concern, but are glad their customers don’t have to check expiration dates. Their Food4Patriots survival food has a shelf life of 25 years. They suggest that people purchase good-tasting, nutritious food with a long shelf life in order to prepare for emergencies. “I can understand why food manufacturers want people to consume their products when they are at their peak for taste, but it’s unfortunate that it results in so much perfectly good food being thrown away by concerned consumers,” said Allen Baler, Partner at Nashville, Tenn.-based 4Patriots. “I understand that the average American family throws away $1,500 worth of good food each year, and that’s tragic considering how many hungry people there are in this country. Our goal by offering food with a long shelf life is to make sure people have healthy food when extreme weather or another crisis strikes, causing the food supply chain to be disrupted.” The 72-hour, one-week, four-week, three-month and one-year emergency food kits from Food4Patriots have shelf lives of up to 25 years, so it’s not necessary to periodically rotate stockpiles. The food in these kits can be prepared in less than 20 minutes and requires only boiling water. It’s contained in easy-to-store, space-age Mylar pouches – which keep out air, moisture and light – and tucked inside tough, stackable totes that are discreet and store anywhere – basement, attic, garage, shed, cabin or even an RV. Food4Patriots provides emergency food products that are shelf-stable for 25 years. Food4Patriots survival food kits are made with food grown, harvested and packaged in the United States, and all of the meals are made without any genetically-modified products, preservatives or fillers. The kits are available in 72-hour, one-week, four-week, three-month and one-year supplies. For more information, please visit http://www.4patriots.com
News Article | February 16, 2017
You know sell-by dates. They’re those little tags stuck to your pre-made sandwich at the deli, or printed on the milk carton at the grocery store. Now two of the most influential food-industry players — The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute — want to get rid of them, according to Dan Charles at NPR. Why? Because they cause food waste. They provide information that’s useful to sellers but misleading to buyers. People confuse it for the eat-by date and wind up trashing perfectly good, edible food. Environmental groups have been pushing companies to get rid of sell-by dates for a long time. The USDA has recommended that companies just start using the words “Best if used by.” That would be a big improvement. But it’s not an exact science. You should know that most food is fine past its use-by date, but food can always spoil before that date. So read the label, but also use your nose and brain.