business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting confluence of stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post yesterday, as the NYT reported that 85 percent of respondents in a survey said that they read nutrition labels closely some or all of the time, and the Post noted that new federal standards for nutritional labels are due to be released next month.

However, there is the suggestion in the NYT piece that while two-third of consumers use label information to decide whether to buy something, they may be making those judgments using a limited number of criteria: “Twenty-five percent of those polled said the first thing they looked at was the amount of fat, 18 percent said calories and 10 percent said sugar.”

The Post and NYT both note that when the federal government issues the new guidelines, it is critical that they be accompanied by sufficient educational materials so that consumers can actually make informed and intelligent decisions.
KC's View:
Quite frankly, we have very little faith that the government will do a good job of this. So we think that retailers ought to embrace the challenge, and not depend on the feds for the ultimate shape of industry’s educational efforts.

Retailers need to be advocates for the customers, especially in this all-important area. Cut through the red tape, pay no attention to the lobbyists and special interests.

Ultimately, we believe, that’s where the future and salvation of this industry is.