Third Anniversary for SmartLabel    

It’s the third anniversary for SmartLabel, which provides easy and instantaneous access to detailed information from 826 brands on more than 36,000 food, beverage, personal care, household and pet care products.

Consumers can find detailed information about products in several different ways. They can access SmartLabel by searching the web; visiting a participating company's or brand's website;  scanning a SmartLabel QR or digital code on packages; or visiting There is also a certified app to access SmartLabel information, which can be downloaded on a smartphone.

SmartLabel extends beyond what’s on the package label with even more information, including things such as nutritional information, ingredients, allergens, third-party certifications, social compliance programs, usage instructions, advisories and safe handling instructions and company/brand information. Each product participating in SmartLabel as a specific landing page containing detailed information on ingredients and other product attributes, and the landing pages are organized in a consistent format and appearance across different brands and products.

“Our lives are influenced by the digital connections we make and by a desire for deeper engagement with our food - taking pride in what we eat, knowing where it comes from and being able to share how it makes us feel,” said Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “SmartLabel gives shoppers the opportunity to enjoy a closer connection to their food and offers quick access to information that matters to them.”

Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said, “Whether you’re shopping with an allergy or dietary need in mind, SmartLabel provides consumers the information they want about the products they use every day,”

GMA and FMI created SmartLabel in 2015 as part of the Trading Partner Alliance, which works to develop a shared retailer-manufacturer agenda on supply chain efficiency issues, the application of information technology, the adoption of environmentally-friendly business practices and other issues of importance to consumers.

Key to M&A Success for CPG

Many of the larger CPG companies looking for innovation through mergers and acquisitions to accelerate their own innovation pipelines and grow. In fact, M&A activity among the top 50 CPG companies marked a 15-year high in 2017 — a 45 percent increase compared to the previous year. 

A new report from IRI, Bigger Can Be Better: Maximize Sped and Impact with Benefits-Based M&A, examines how CPG companies can increase the chance of M&A success by shifting away from strategies that are based on traditionally defined categories to a benefits-based approach through a consumer and shopper lens. By taking an unbiased, strategic approach to examining how, where and why shoppers look across categories, departments and aisles to solve for their needs and wants, CPG companies can quickly and accurately:

“Today’s M&A strategy is no longer about increasing efficiency and cutting costs but is instead used as a tool for getting the right product on the shelf quickly in order to meet consumer demand and create high-potential growth opportunities,” said Thomas Juetten, executive of Product Innovation for IRI. “In order to create those growth opportunities, CPGs need to keep an eye on consumer and business trends, but really home in on the benefits that are driving shopper loyalty, such as natural, organic and authentic.”

Meal Kit Subscriptions Increasing

Meal kit subscriptions have increased 67 percent among US consumers over the past 12 months, according to research conducted by consultancy Magid. Much of the growth in subscriptions market is due to their convenience and their ability to let consumers try something new. As such, 26 percent of consumers expressed an intent to enroll in a new meal kit subscription service in the next 6 months.

Forty percent of the meal kit subscription market is composed of “Triers/Researchers.” who are likely to try many subscriptions in the same category before fully committing. “Guilty Followers” made up the next largest segment of meal kit subscribers, at 24 percent. Magid describes this group as being reluctant to trying subscriptions, but can be enticed to sign up with promotions. However, when the promotional period ends, they tend to cancel.

Customer Advisory Board for Better Compliance Created

The industry is committed to increasing safety industry-wide for the food and consumer product supply chain. To that end, ReposiTrak, provider of compliance, food safety and risk management for the supply chain, has created a Customer Advisory Board.

The main objectives of the CAB are to accelerate adoption and increase overall compliance rates through a coalition that promotes industry standards and best practices for lowering supply chain risk and to provide insight and feedback that will help influence the product roadmap for ReposiTrak products and solutions.

Founding members of the ReposiTrak CAB include:

  • Chairman Dennis McIntyre, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Stater Bros.
  • Craig Allen, Senior Manager, Pricing and Data Integrity at Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Cory Hedman, Vice President, Corporate Food Safety and Quality at Meijer
  • Mary Kasper, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary, 99 Cents Only Stores
  • Chuck Seaman, Vice President, Compliance and Food Protection at Hy-Vee.

“The ReposiTrak Customer Advisory Board is an excellent avenue to foster comprehensive, industry-improving discussions, and allows each of us to learn from our peers,” said Stater Bros.’ McIntyre.

UK Millennials Drive Market for Non-Alcoholic Beer

While the market for non-alcoholic beer is currently niche in the UK, the segment’s 13 percent growth was the fastest of any strength brand during 2017 and another impressive performance is forecast for this year, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s 2018 Q3 UK Consumer Survey, found that 37 percent of 18-24 year olds were “often influenced” by how a product affects their health and wellbeing when purchasing an alcoholic drink, with 34 percent of 25-34 year olds “always influenced.”

“Producers are picking up on the rise of health-consciousness, particularly among younger consumers, and thus the presence of non-alcoholic beverages seems set to continue its rapid ascent,” said Joe Hutson, consumer analyst at GlobalData.                      


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                                                                         Mid-December 2018
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