Supply Scan

News and Trends from Across the Food Supply Chain


With food costs on the rise, shoppers are feeling the pinch and looking for ways to stretch their grocery budgets. A new study shows that regional grocery chains are increasingly losing their edge to Wal-Mart, as shoppers look to fill their carts with more food bargains.

The May study, conducted by BIGresearch, Columbus, OH, reports that Wal-Mart maintains its No. 1 spot among all adults nationwide, with 16 percent saying that Wal-Mart is the store they shop most frequently. But regional chains are slipping.

For example, in the Northeast, 9.5 percent of shoppers say they shop most often at Shop-Rite, a marginal increase and Stop 'n' Shop stayed flat, while Wal-Mart showed considerable growth in that region. And on the West Coast, Safeway continues to be the most shopped-at store and its growth is level; Wal-Mart, in the No. 2 slot in that region, is gaining ground.

In the South, Wal-Mart continues to be the powerhouse, where 25 percent of adults name it as their preferred grocery store and in the Midwest, it's also tops, favored by 14.9 percent of shoppers.

"Across the country people are cutting costs and Wal-Mart's competitive pricing model is attractive to shoppers," the report says, noting that shoppers seem to be consolidating shopping trips, which is boosting Wal-Mart's share of prescription drug sales, as well.

GMA Handbook Delivers Supplier Management Tools

T he Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has released its Food Supply Chain Handbook, a comprehensive guide designed to aid food and beverage makers in selecting safe and reliable ingredient, packaging and service suppliers throughout the supply chain.

"The food supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Knowing that your suppliers have strong food safety checks in place is critical, but if that firm cannot attest to their suppliers' safeguards, confidence in the entire chain is weakened," says Dr. Robert Brackett, GMA senior vice president and chief science and regulatory affairs officer.

"The Food Supply Chain Handbook will help companies better manage their suppliers down through the supply chain and assure the delivery of safe food at a high value to consumers."

The Food Supply Chain Handbook follows a typical procurement process by focusing on the critical aspects of selecting a preferred supplier, ranging from supplier audits to employee training to ingredient tracing.

It was developed by GMA with significant input from manufacturers, regulatory experts and scholars.

"Prevention is the key to ensuring a safe, quality food supply," continues Brackett. "This new handbook empowers food and beverage manufacturers with valuable supplier management tools designed to do just that—prevent the production and shipment of adulterated products."

The handbook is available free of charge at www.gmaonline.org/publications/index.cfm in both English and Spanish.


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