November 18, 2010
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) unveiled its first resource guide on sustainability to help category managers understand sustainability in the retail sector.
“Sustainability on the Shelves — A Guide for Category Managers,” offers an overview of sustainability and provides a framework to help them respond to their company’s and their customers’ demands for more sustainable products.
The guide was developed by FMI’s Sustainability Executive Committee, Five Winds International and Ecos Corporation LLC with funding from the United Soybean Board.
“Consumer demand for more sustainable products is growing and category managers need to identify their company’s priorities in this area and integrate them into the decision-making process,” said Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director of industry relations and sustainability at FMI. “Sustainability is not an exact science but it is a strategic decision.”
The guide provides questions and tools to help buyers understand and verify sustainability claims and select more sustainable products. It is designed to help category managers identify key sustainability issues in five categories –– grocery, general merchandise, fresh food, beverages and seafood.
“Buyers and category managers already use a decision-making process for selecting products based on quality, availability, price and service. Sustainability should be another element included in the decision-making process,” said von Zastrow.