retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s story about Supervalu selling Bristol Farms to its CEO, Kevin Davis, Bristol’s management team, and an investment group, MNB user Jean Forney wrote:

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin a few years ago…right after the SVU / Alberstons deal….He is one of the most passionate CEO/Merchants I have had the pleasure to speak to . He really gets it…from his ability to know what will work in the stores and what will retain and motivate the team- he is humble and real. Kevin had a vision for the company then, as I am sure he does now. He was very dedicated to the company and its employees. He maintained that as long as SVU let him run things the way he wanted he would be around…I guess buying it is the easiest way to make sure that doesn’t change…Good for him and good for Bristol Farms. Too bad that Farm Fresh and Shoppers couldn’t have gone the same direction.

I cannot agree with you more about Kevin Davis - he is one of the food industry’s real class acts.

We had a piece yesterday about how food expert Marion Nestle has criticized the FMI/GMA initiative to create a new standard for front-of-package labels; she said that it was just a way of accentuating the positive and avoiding government regulation.

MNB user Jerry R. Dewey wrote:

Marion Nestle is sadly misinformed. The heads of GMA/FMI, FDA and the Obama administration have had numerous meetings together to work out the details of the FOP labeling. There is no battle line drawn here or preempting of government regulators.

Another MNB user wrote:

Every initiative I have seen thus far fails to dimensionalize what I believe is one of the root causes of obesity, appropriate serving size.  The obesity epidemic has many root causes inclusive of the quality of the average US diet, but in the most simplistic explanation caloric intake counts!  NLEA panels clearly state what a serving is for each product on the market, but consumers don’t seem to react to that.  Restaurants happily pile significantly more than a recommended serving onto each plate in a quest to keep check averages up.  If all of these efforts were placed on simple portion control, I believe we would make far more progress in countering the obesity epidemic than any of the front of package labeling initiatives.

Front of package labeling as a panacea to our obesity crisis continues to make me wonder how the individuals focused on this initiative aren’t asking questions about the continued use of a product that has the following statement conspicuously placed on all packages ... Surgeon General’s Warning...

And another MNB user chimed in:

In regard to front of package food labeling, GMA/FMI or FDA.   FDA is notoriously slow.  FDA has yet to issue regulations implementing the 1992 Congressional changes to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.  If you want to see something in your lifetime better to go with GMA/FMI.


The line can be simply drawn, I think. If the FMI/GMA program is done right, it makes the most sense. If it is not done objectively and with the consumer in mind, then the industry will get the government interference it deserves.
KC's View: