Regulations rank as top priority
Issues surrounding regulations, including product-label requirements, ranked third as a 2013 priority among board members of FMI, according to a poll taken in January, noted Patty Packard, director of nutrition and regulatory for Vestcom International, during an education breakout session Thursday.
Only food safety (87%) and upcoming changes to healthcare regulations (79%) were identified as higher priority issues.
Packard outlined many of the health claims food manufacturers and retailers can or cannot make for their products. “If you’re going to use any term regarding ‘healthy,’” she said, “then [the claim] has to meet the FDA definition of healthy.”
Industry experts discuss health-conscious consumers
Thursday morning started on a high note as a panel of industry experts from both the retail and manufacturing side of the grocery industry engaged in a discussion on meeting the needs of today’s health-conscious consumer. The PepsiCo-sponsored panel, moderated by Phil Lempert of The Supermarket Guru, comprised of Natalia Menza of Wakefern Food Corp., Kate Rogers of H-E-B, Juli Hermanson of General Mills, Wendy Bazilian of Bazilian, Inc. and Leah McGrath of Ingles Markets.
“I think as part of our program, we see a real value in our retail dietitian program connecting with our retail pharmacists because, at the store level, there is a natural health connection between these two health professionals. So, we do a lot of work around partnerships in stores with our retail dietician and our retail pharmacist to execute programs like health screenings or diabetes education classes,” Menza said.