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This month’s edition of Facts, Figures & The Future features an appraisal by Anne-Marie Roerink, director of research at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), of how retailers and manufacturers are dealing with environmental and recycling issues.

“While the public debate on the benefits of recycling and organic versus locally grown products continues to rage, many food retailers are taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment as well,” Roerink writes. “A wide range of practices are now the norm in the supermarket industry. These extend from recycling of different materials, such as cardboard and pallets, to refrigeration management programs, changes in store design, landscaping, transportation, packing and more … The primary benefits of such practices are seen in improved customer and community relations, reduced costs and compliance with various regulations. Space and economic considerations, however, are two significant limitations to environmental initiatives.”

It is an issue, FMI’s research shows, that has resonance among consumers. “With consumer awareness on the rise, two-thirds of shoppers consider the environmental impact of their purchases,” she writes. “This level of concern is somewhat soft in that the majority, 55 percent, are only somewhat conscious of the potential environmental impact. Consideration for the environment rises along with age and education levels. Women generally look out for the environment more so than men, which is an important finding for the grocery industry with the vast majority of shoppers being women.”

Other stories included in F3 this month include:

• A look at the quick emergence of store-brand organics, which seems to indicate that they are earning significant consumer acceptance.

• An explanation of the languishing sales in the barbecue sauce category.

• The good news – and bad news – inherent in a recent global consumer confidence survey (which suggests that while things are looking up in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Germany, in the United States…well, not so much.

And, there’s much more.

To get your copy of F3, go to:

F3 is a joint production of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert.

(Full disclosure: MNB’s Kevin Coupe and Michael Sansolo are both contributors to F3.)
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