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Fascinating story over on that highlights the seriousness of food allergies. And while it doesn’t directly affect retailers, this is something that everyone in the food industry needs to be aware of…and can actually do something about.

The story has to do with a 15-year-old girl in Quebec who died after kissing her boyfriend. The girl was highly allergic to peanuts, and the boyfriend had eaten a peanut butter sandwich – nine hours before the fatal kiss.

“The saddest news is that her death could have been avoided if she had just told her boyfriend about her peanut allergy; preliminary reports indicate that he was not aware of her situation,” writes Phil Lempert on

“Food allergies are nothing to be ashamed of, and especially for teens who may think it ‘un-cool’ to discuss something this mundane to their friends, it is critical that we raise the level of awareness of this terrible affliction without attaching a social stigma. The key is communication. Communication WITHOUT shame.”
KC's View:
To this end, Lempert and SupermarketGuru have created a tool designed to help people communicate about their food allergies. The Food Allergy Buddy Card is a free service provided by SupermarketGuru that allows people to identify their allergies on as simple ID card that they can hand to people from whom they order food, helping them make sure that products and dishes are prepared with those specific allergies in mind.

Consumers can download and print out the card at:

More than 100,000 consumers already have done so.

And, retailers are able to sponsor cards for their shoppers by going to the same site.

It sounds to us like an easy way to establish a connection with and relevance to the shopper.

(Full disclosure: MNB Content Guy Kevin Coupe is a contributing writer to