Protect your Reputation by Protecting your Product


shutterstock_155793755We’ve all been there — you’re in a hurry and you have to stop at the grocery store to pick up just a few items. Maybe it’s a carton of eggs, a bag of apples and a package of hamburger. You grab the items in a rush, speed through checkout and get home only to find … damaged apples at the bottom of the bag, a small but significant slash in the plastic film on the meat, and a carton with cracked eggs.

Now you either have to go back to the store — an aggravating and time-consuming prospect — or chalk everything up to experience and toss the unusable products in the trash. If you’re really angry, you may post a negative review about the store online.

As a grocery category manager, you spend most of your day on the business side of the consumer/grocery operation equation. But if you’ve ever experienced all or part of the scenario above, you’ve had a consumer’s view of what happens when packaging fails to protect product. In the case of the perishables we’ve mentioned, RPCs do a better job of protecting the product you purchased. Continue reading

Integrating RPCs into Automation Proves Valuable


RPC with automation2

Technology and innovation have helped supply chains achieve greater levels of efficiency. Yet adopting new technologies can be daunting, even when you know it’s good, and especially when it involves altering the way your supply chain has operated.

We see — and help customers overcome — that kind of concern when they want to incorporate RPCs into existing or new automation processes. Often, customers have been using corrugated for all their packaging needs. Some have already automated, some have not; either way, corrugated is a known quantity. They understand how it works. When it comes to RPCs, they crave empowering information. Continue reading

Think before you toss: New food labels to reduce U.S. food waste


SS_womanreadinglabelExpiration labels on grocery items have been causing consumers confusion for years. Does “best by this date” mean you shouldn’t drink that milk, even though it still smells fine? What about those canned beans whose “use by” date passed two months ago —can they be your next side dish, or are they a botulism case waiting to happen?

An unfortunate side effect of that confusion is that many viable foods are simply thrown out because we don’t wish to take chances with our health. Fortunately, though, a solution to that problem is being supported by both grocery retailers and manufacturers. Continue reading

The Benefits of Making Sustainability a Signature of Your Grocery Operation


Woman Standing with Canvas Grocery Bag

Integrating sustainability into your grocery operations isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also good for business. A January study by international consumer products giant Unilever found that globally, a third of all consumers are buying from brands that practice sustainability. The study didn’t just ask consumers in five countries what they were doing, it compared their actual purchasing behaviors to their claims, and found people really do prefer to do business with companies they perceive as contributing to social and environmental good. Continue reading

Meaty subject: 2017 study reveals growing interest in beef, chicken, pork


istock_000012714588large (1)Now that global meat prices are dropping, consumers are showing a greater interest in incorporating meat into their diets — especially when they can be assured of its source.

That was a primary message from the 12th annual “Power of Meat” study released earlier this year by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education. The study points to “robust” sales volume increases last year and recommends retailers work harder to provide consumers information about the grades, handling practices, prices and convenience of their products to keep the trend growing. Continue reading