FMI and GMA initiate new standard wording on packaging to reduce consumer confusion about product date labels

WASHINGTON, D.C., 2017-Feb-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a new industry-wide effort to reduce consumer confusion about product date labels, grocery manufacturers and retailers have joined together to adopt standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products.

Currently, more than 10 different date labels on packages – such as Sell By, Use By, Expires On, Best Before, Better if Used By or Best By – can result in confused consumers discarding a safe or usable product after the date on the package.

The new voluntary initiative streamlines the myriad date labels on consumer products packaging down to just two standard phrases. “BEST If Used By” describes product quality, where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume. “USE By” applies to the few products that are highly perishable and/or have a food safety concern over time; these products should be consumed by the date listed on the package – and disposed of after that date.

The new initiative for common phrasing is led by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the two major trade associations for retailers and consumer products manufacturing.

Retailers and manufacturers are encouraged to immediately begin phasing in the common wording with widespread adoption urged by the summer of 2018. Broad industry adoption of this new voluntary standard will occur over time so companies have flexibility to make the changes in a way that ensures consistency across their product categories.

“Our product code dating initiative is the latest example of how retailers and manufacturers are stepping up to help consumers and to reduce food waste,” said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA president and CEO.

“The shopper remains the most critical audience in our industry, and as the associations representing major food brands and retailers, we want to encourage a consistent vocabulary so that our customers clearly understand they are purchasing products that are of the highest quality and safety possible,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “While we all need nourishment, both retailers and manufacturers also want consumers to have the best experience possible in their stores and consuming their products.”

“The customer comes first in our business, and this voluntary industry initiative provides shoppers with clear, easily understood date label information, so our customers can be confident in the product’s quality and safety,” said Joe Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County, Inc. and chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp. “Food retailers and manufacturers are working towards the common goal of bringing consistency and greater clarity in product date label messaging. We want to ensure our customers have meaningful information that helps them make the best decisions for their families, both in the store when they shop and when they enjoy foods at home.”

“Eliminating confusion for consumers by using common product date wording is a win-win because it means more products will be used instead of thrown away in error,” said Jack Jeffers, Vice President of Quality at Dean Foods, which led GMA’s work on this issue. “It’s much better that these products stay in the kitchen – and out of landfills.”

Product date labeling changes may result in reduced consumer food waste, but clearing up this confusion is just one of several ways to combat the issue moving forward.  About 44 percent of food waste sent to landfills comes from consumers, and statistics show that addressing consumer confusion around product date labeling could reduce total national food waste by just 8 percent.

The food industry has stepped up and made considerable progress in reducing food waste. GMA and FMI joined with the National Restaurant Association in 2011 to create the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which is helping companies find ways to cut food waste. GMA member companies recycled 97 percent of food waste from operations and donated 156 million pounds of food to food banks in 2015. FMI member companies reported 1.5 billion pounds in diverted food waste, including 390 million pounds of food donated to food banks.

Today’s announcement was praised by a range of companies and groups:

“Research shows that the multitude of date labels that appear on foods today are a source of confusion for many consumers,” said Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety & Health for Walmart.  “As advocates for the customer, we’re delighted with this industry-wide, collaborative initiative that will provide consistency, simplify consumers’ lives, and reduce food waste in homes across America.”

“Clarifying and standardizing date label language is one of the most cost effective ways that we can reduce the 40 percent of food that goes to waste each year in the United States,” said Emily Broad Leib, Director, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC). “Having worked for several years on this issue, I am thrilled to see GMA and FMI incorporate FLPC’s recommendations and take this critical step towards making date labels clearer, so that consumers can make better decisions and reduce needless waste of food and money.”

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.

Contact:

Tel: 202-452-8444
Fax: 202-429-4519

Source: FMI

ShopRite Supermarkets announces the appointment of Brett Wing as its new president

Keasbey, NJ, 2017-Jan-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. (SRS), which owns and operates 34 ShopRite stores in New Jersey and New York, has named industry veteran Brett Wing president of the company.  SRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wakefern Food Corp., the largest U.S. retailer-owned cooperative with members who own and operate hundreds of supermarkets in the northeast under the ShopRite, the Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners.

Wing brings nearly four decades of experience to his role as president of SRS, where he will guide day-to-day operations and strategy planning for ShopRite stores in the Hudson Valley and Capital regions of New York State, as well as ShopRite stores in New Jersey.

Wing arrived at SRS in 2015 and was named executive vice president. He replaces Dave Figurelli, who retired this month after 15 years with the company.

After starting out working as a bag boy at Safeway, Wing forged a career in the supermarket business and rose to executive positions by becoming an industry leader and innovator creating next generation store formats, enhancing customer experiences and leading store expansions.

“Brett is uniquely qualified to take the reins at SRS and move the company forward in a challenging and competitive environment. He has spent his career in the supermarket business and brings to SRS a broad and deep knowledge of the industry,” said Joe Colalillo, chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp.

Prior to joining SRS, Wing served as vice president of FoodMaxx, a division of Save Mart Supermarkets in Northern California.  He also spent 25 years with Cub Foods, a division of SUPERVALU, working in different roles at locations across the country.

He is a past board member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, past president of Cub Cares Community Foundation and a former United Way chairman.

Wing received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from California Coast University.  He resides in Warwick, NY with his wife Toni and the couple has three sons.

About SRS, Inc.
ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. owns and operates 34 ShopRite stores in New York and New Jersey. SRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wakefern Food Corporation, the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States with more than 270 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout six states. SRS builds and maintains Shopper Loyalty by connecting with customers through outstanding customer service, supporting the core needs within the communities we serve and by executing merchandising and operational standards. SRS partners with local communities to support many organizations, including veteran, children and faith-based groups.

About ShopRite 
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, NJ, and the largest supermarket cooperative in the United States.  With more than 270 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.  A long-time supporter of key community efforts, ShopRite is dedicated to fighting hunger in the communities it serves.  Through its ShopRite Partners In Caring program, ShopRite has donated $40 million to 2,000 worthy charities and food banks since the program began in 1999.  As a title sponsor of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic, ShopRite has raised more than $30 million for local organizations, hospitals and community groups.  For more information, please visit www.shoprite.com.

PR Contacts:

Karen O’Shea
Communications Specialist
Email: karen.oshea@wakefern.com
Phone: 732-906-5932
Fax: 732-906-5160

Karen Meleta
Vice President
Consumer and Corporate Communications
Email: Karen.meleta@wakefern.com
Phone: 732-906-5356

Source: ShopRite

Wakefern Food Corp. member and president of Cuellar Family ShopRites Rafael Cuellar honored by the New Jersey Food Council

Keasbey, NJ, 2016-Mar-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Rafael Cuellar, President and CEO of Cuellar Family ShopRites and a member of Wakefern Food Corp., was honored recently by the New Jersey Food Council.

Cuellar and other industry leaders were recognized for “achieving food business success and for their history of civic service service within the New Jersey food community,” according to the New Jersey Food Council.

Cuellar, who owns and operates the ShopRite of Passaic/Clifton, was feted during a dinner at The Palace at Somerset Park, where he was joined by friends and colleagues including Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joe Colalillo.

Cuellar joined Wakefern in 2005, but his family has been in the grocery business for over 40 years. He serves on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and lives with his wife and two children in Clifton.

Congratulations to Cuellar.

Source: Wakefern Food Corp.

###

With his wife at their ShopRite of Passaic/Clifton.

With his wife at their ShopRite of Passaic/Clifton.