By Ashley Eisenbeiser, MS, CFS, Director, Food and Product Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute
Year after year, FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report shows consumers consistently trust their grocery store when it comes to food safety. This year, 93 percent of shoppers trust their grocery store to ensure the food they purchase is safe. No matter what consumers priorities are or what the latest trend is in food, food safety is at the heart of the grocery industry to maintain shopper trust. Whether it’s providing information about a product, food safety or preparation tips - retailers continue to be a trusted source of information.
This year’s Trends Report also showed that shoppers believe it is essential for retailers to improve access to and choices in the types of food that shoppers want to eat. Expanding access to a broader selection of food brings a number of challenges including ensuring these new suppliers have a robust food safety program. However, retailers’ are committed to food safety in all areas of their operations and will continue to assure all products-new or old-meet food safety specifications.
This is how retailers are working to remain within their customers’ circle of trust:
- Engaging with supply chain partners to ensure all suppliers have strong food safety programs and ensuring food has been produced according to the highest standard by requiring a GFSI-certification program, such as those offered by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI).
- Participating in national campaigns to encourage and help families share one more meal together for National Family Meals Month, while sharing fun ways to educate customers on basic food safety steps in their home kitchens for National Food Safety Education Month.
- Connecting with customers through apps such as SmartLabel® and FoodKeeper to share product information, including information about allergens, nutrition, ingredients, product certifications and shelf-life.
Want to learn more about getting involved in these initiatives?
- Attend the SmartLabel Summit September 26-27 in Arlington, VA.
- Attend the SQF International Conference October 23-25 in Atlanta, GA.
- Challenge customers to pledge to share one more meal at home each week with their families using items purchased from the grocery store.
- Join the Partnership for Food Safety Education to raise awareness on the importance of safe food handling during National Food Safety Education Month.
For more food safety resources, visit the FMI Food Safety Resource Page.