Decision Insight Reaches Out to Help Victims in Haiti

By Rose Anthony

Cathy Allin, president and CEO of Decision Insight, is committed to helping the people of Haiti following the recent devastating earthquake, and she is calling on other companies to join her. 

Decision Insight, provider of virtual shopping research, partners with the United Aid Foundation (UAF) to help people in crisis. UAF’s early response included delivery of food, medicines and surgical teams.  Now in its third mission to the disaster zone, DI has financially supported the delivery of urgent medical supplies, crutches and wheelchairs to an orphanage and refugee camp so that many of those whose legs were amputated can begin their recovery.

“In a small way, we are doing our part to support the enormous efforts in Haiti to relieve the injured and get the surgeries done,” she said. “I encourage other market research companies to donate their financial aid and skills. Together we can assist with desperately needed items such as food, baby formula, baby care, skin care, first aid supplies, and over-the-counter medicines.”

To help children, UAF provided humanitarian aid to Love a Child Orphanage, which is becoming a refugee camp.

“We shipped 500 crutches to Haiti,” she said. “We’re establishing a beachhead in Haiti, and we’re going to partner with existing orphanages so these children can have a home and a safe place for them to be nurtured.” 

Allin is no stranger to helping children in need. Working with UAF, DI provides financial
support for Deb’s House, a Romanian orphanage where 14 children now enjoy a stable home environment with food, education and healthcare.  Allin traveled to Romania three times
last year.

Allin recently took part in a webinar hosted by Peanut Labs, a market research sample provider, on how companies can get involved with relief efforts in Haiti. Her presentation was one of several from such organizations as the American Red Cross, Partners In Health, The Salvation Army, and ESOMAR.

Helping others is a core belief of the company, according to Allin, who says she gives back because her company has done well over the years. Decision Insight has been involved in several international relief efforts by working with UAF in places such as Romania and Haiti.

“For us, it’s about giving whatever we can,” she said. “It’s a philosophy that we have built into our company.”   

During the webinar, she offered to be the contact person for other market research
companies to band together into a group providing help for Haiti. To contact Allin, email
her at To donate directly to the UAF, go to

Most Trusted Brands
Several CPGs are on the list of the most trusted and recommended brands in the U.S. complied by consumer researcher Millward Brown. They are Downey, Huggies, Tide,
Tylenol, and Pampers.

The “Beyond Trust” study was conducted in partnership with The Futures Company and introduces “TrustR,” a new metric for understanding and strengthening the bond between consumers and brands. According to Millward Brown, consumers are less likely to spend hard-earned money on brands that they don't trust.

Mobile Gift Cards at Target
Plastic gift cards may soon be a thing of the past, as evidenced by Target’s recent unveiling of Mobile GiftCards for the cell phone.  Using the retailer’s mobile technology, customers can save gift card information to a PIN-secure account on the mobile site.

Customers can access their Target Mobile GiftCards to add value at store registers and check balances at any time via the mobile site. In addition, guests can save multiple gift cards to their account and label each one for reference.


Retail Sales to Increase in 2010
Following Decline Last Year

By Lynne Cooke

Retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) will increase
2.5% from last year, according to a 2010 economic forecast from the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

Influential economic indicators such as the housing market and employment, says NRF, are beginning to show positive signs, which will bolster consumer confidence throughout the year. Total industry retail sales for 2009 declined 2.5%.

Other positive economic contributions will come from trade, especially strong exports, a turnaround in the inventory cycle, and federal government spending. Consumer spending will lag behind overall economic growth, Wells estimates, but will continue to expand at a modest 2.0 – 2.5 percent rate.

“As we continue to see signs of improvement throughout the U.S economy in 2010, overall sentiment will begin to lift, making way for slight increases in consumer spending,” said NRF Chief Economist Rosalind Wells. “While we still expect shoppers to continue to be frugal with their discretionary spending, retailers will soon be able to reap the benefits of leaner, smarter inventories and a year and a half of pent up consumer demand.”

Shopping with Alice 
More makers of CPG products aim to sell directly to consumers via The eCommerce platform provides storefronts linked to a brand’s web site. Nearly 30 marketers – mostly CPGs – have reportedly come aboard to  drive incremental revenue and accrue consumer data and insights.

Consumers can buy from several manufacturers in one shopping trip and receive their purchases in one box at their front door – along with free shopping. The selling solution is already available to more than 100 CPGs that have signed with the platform.  

Clorox CEO Honored
Donald R. “Don” Knauss, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Clorox Company, has received the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) William H. Albers Industry Relations Award for his excellence in trading partner relations and consumer and community service. The award was presented at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, FL.   

The William H. Albers Award was introduced in 1955 in honor of the first chairman of the
Super Market Institute, one of FMI’s predecessor organizations. Knauss is the 66th recipient
of the award.

Del Monte CEO to Chair GMA
Richard G. Wolford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods has been named chairman of the board of directors of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). He will serve a two-year term.

Wolford previously served GMA as vice chairman of the board of directors and as chairman of the Industry Affairs Council. His distinguished career in the food industry began in 1967 when he joined the finance department at Dole Foods.

Healthy Eating at Whole Foods
Consumers who want to shop healthier can get some advice via a new initiative from Whole Foods called Health Starts Here. The goal of the program is to promote healthy eating education. It will be available at all locations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.


Decision Insight Reaches Out to Help Victims in Haiti

Retail Sales to Increase in 2010 Following Decline Last Year
March 2010
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