retail news in context, analysis with attitude

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) announced that it has instituted a series of initiatives to assure that customers make informed choices about purchase and use of supplements, including a nationwide ID policy for products intended for adults 18 and over, a review of GNC labeling practices, and the introduction of a GNC Nutritional Supplements Bill of Rights for consumers.

The Bill of Rights states that:

    1. The customer has the right to know and understand the ingredients,
    usage guidelines (dosage and duration), and product potency of any GNC
    Nutritional Supplement prior to making a purchase.

    2. The customer has the right to know about the benefits and potential
    side effects associated with any GNC nutritional supplement.

    3. The customer has the right to simple, easy to understand, and
    consistent product labeling and language on any GNC nutritional
    supplement.

    4. The customer has the right to know and understand how to obtain
    equivalent nutrient intake (as compared to use of GNC nutritional
    supplements) through diet.

    5. The customer has the right to obtain additional product and ingredient
    information, in a timely manner, for any GNC nutritional supplement.

    6. The customer has the right to the highest quality nutritional
    supplements and fair prices.

Through the GNC Smart Label program, GNC says that it will review its current labeling practices to ensure that they provide clear, understandable, consumer-friendly information.
KC's View:
Assuming that these new policies have some meat to them and aren’t just public relations ploys, it seems to us that this is a good example of trying to get out in front of an issue, rather than waiting for circumstances to create a reason to be defensive about company policies.

Nutritional supplements are a high-profile area in which most people have no idea what the hell they are taking and why they are taking them. But the supermarket is loaded with departments in which consumer ignorance runs rampant…providing useful, actionable, credible information ought to be job one in 21st century retailing.