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The International Herald Tribune reports that “as the Chinese government issues warnings on diseased pork and cooking oil made from restaurant waste,” Carrefour, the Paris-based global retailer, “is promoting itself as safer than local outlets. Carrefour this month added in-store laboratories to test for pesticides, and it holds food-safety weeks where outside experts help educate shoppers.”

In fact, the common belief is that Carrefour wants to use China as a primary growth engine, and that management believes that a “reputation for safety may help accelerate Carrefour's expansion in a country where almost a fifth of consumer goods do not meet government standards and 80 percent of urban shoppers are willing to pay more for safe groceries.”
KC's View:
Based on my recent trip to China, I find this story entirely credible. I was extremely impressed by how much signage and other informational offerings there was in many stores; experts say that because Chinese consumers need to be persuaded to shop in western stores as opposed to in wet markets, the case has to be made loudly, clearly, and repeatedly.

It is all about transparency. It may be for a different reason, but this is yet another case where transparency is – and should be – a critical part of the marketing and merchandising formula.