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The January 2004 edition of Facts, Figures, and the Future, produced by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), ACNielsen, and Phil Lempert, looks at shifts in consumer shopping behavior and how the industry must adjust in order to remain relevant:

Michael Sansolo, senior vice president of FMI, writes that the desire of many Americans to improve their level of health and fitness registers on virtually every poll and survey, but the evidence suggests that they don't want to go it alone. A survey on the issue conducted for FMI "found that most shoppers believe that while individuals are mostly responsible for their poor health and eating habits, industry and the government share a large portion of the blame.

Asked who they blame the most for health problems, 57 percent of the respondents blamed themselves, while 13 percent blamed the government, 10 percent food manufacturers and 5 percent blamed food retailers and the educational system equally."

And while only 11 percent of those surveyed put the burden for improving their knowledge on food manufacturers and less than five percent put it on retailers, there seems to evidence that many shoppers are looking to the food industry for more and better information.

Other issues on the table in this edition of F3:

  • The growth of online shopping.

  • A consumer's-eye view of center store.

  • The impact of gift cards on retail.

  • How and why people are abandoning traditional grocery stores.

  • The rationale behind new food labeling regulations.

  • The future of "light" in an "extreme diet" world.

  • The impact of "Two-Buck Chuck" on overall wine sales.

To get your copy of Facts, Figures, and the Future, go to: /
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