Collaboration in Action

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Grocery Manufacturers Association Leadership Forumin Colorado Springs, Colo. The Forum is the don't-miss event of the year for consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and this year was no exception.

The agenda offered excellent sessions on top-of-mind subjects like digital integration, creating more agile organizations, and strategies for online grocery. One session in particular showed me how closely retailers and manufacturers are listening to rising consumer demands for more transparency about product ingredients and nutrition.

GMA President and CEO Pam Bailey offered a preview of a consumer transparency initiative, which will launch later this year, designed to provide consumers access to the content and composition of branded products via an enhanced label. The project is a collaborative effort on the part of more than 90 CPG companies.

This effort demonstrates the true power of working together as an industry...

In application, the process is simple. Consumers will use their smart device (phone, watch, tablet) to scan a label on the product's packaging. The label will direct them to a landing page created by the brand with five tabs: food, ingredients, nutrition, allergens and company information. A total of 350 product attributes are available, and GS1 will ensure consistency of information.

One of the key benefits of the initiative is that it creates a direct connection between the consumer and the brand, ensuring that accurate information is exchanged. Says GMA Senior EVP Jim Flannery: "[The program] will provide brand owners with the opportunity to have a deep dialogue with consumers."

We often preach the value of collaboration in the pages of Retail Leader. This effort, which began about 18 months ago, demonstrates the true power of working together as an industry, proactively, to address the immediate needs of our consumers. It honestly doesn't get much better than that.

– Jennifer Acevedo,

[email protected]