retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with occasional, random, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

The Atlantic has a story about how “the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now supporting the front-of-package labeling scheme introduced by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).”

This is seen as something of a shift in attitude. Some critics say that FMI/GMA program as an “end-run” around the government, as they hoped to head off federally mandated labeling programs with a voluntary effort. While the government has not officially endorsed the industry initiative, the FDA has said that it is dropping any opposition to the effort.

I always thought it was a good ideas for industry to do these kinds of things before the government does ... voluntary is always better than mandated, IMHO.

• The Los Angeles Times reports that Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to California. But you’ll have to enlist to get one.

According to the story, the chain will open its first California location on the grounds of Camp Pendleton, the military basis north of San Diego. The doughnuts and coffee will only be available to the some 64,000 people who live and/or work there.

No other California openings have been announced, though the story notes that “the chain has  been marching steadily westward, expanding its reach beyond its Northeast and mid-Atlantic strongholds with outlets in Las Vegas and Arizona as well as branches in the works in Colorado and New Mexico.”

Reuters notes that as of yesterday, the “nutrition labels found on almost all packaged foods can be found for ground meat and poultry. Forty of the most popular whole, raw cuts or meat and poultry, such as chicken breast or steak, also will have nutritional information either on the package labels or on display at the store, under a new Department of Agriculture rule.

“The panels will list the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat in a product contains.”

I know this creates some headaches for industry, but I can’t help but feel that the more information available, the better it is eventually for everybody.
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