Food fraud is a problem that has sounded global alarm bells in recent years, from tainted meat in China to last year’s horse meat scandal in the U.K. to the revelation that at least 10% of the cheese labeled “Swiss” sold in supermarkets is actually counterfeit. What until a few years ago was a relatively unexplored area of study will be one of the top five critical global issues the European Commission will tackle in 2015.
Defined simply as “intentional deception using food for economic gain,” food fraud has become easier to detect through sophisticated DNA and other tests designed to detect ingredients down to the molecule, but criminology may play just as important a role as science in preventing food fraud.
“The big area we’re focusing on now is not so much on the latest methods to detect fraud, we’re focusing on understanding the fraudster, why he would commit the crime and why he perceives a fraud opportunity,” said John Spink, director of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative. (read more…)
Private labels are so much more than they used to be for food retailers, and it looks like they’re here to stay, according to a report from Planet Retail and Trace One. From Trader Joe’s and ALDI, which have built their businesses with a focus on private labels, and Kroger, whose Simple Truth and other private labels have grown to make up 25% of grocery sales for the retailer, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, private labels are giving national brands a run for their money. And according to the Planet Retail report, grocers should take note.
After detailing some key trends that are prevalent among private label retailing in the U.S., like drugstores pushing food sales and the emphasis on value in the private label market, it identifies some key takeaways for retailers that have also appeared in SmartBrief’s coverage of the food retail industry. (read more…)
The son of a grocery store owner, Randall Onstead, CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings, was raised in the business. Almost 50 years ago, in 1966, his father started a grocery chain in Texas of his namesake — Randalls, where he worked when he was 10 years old. From there, it was a series of upward progressions. He went on to grow his career at Randalls Food Markets Inc., parent company of both Randalls and Tom Thumb supermarket chains in Texas, eventually rising to lead the company as chairman, president and CEO. Between 1997 and 1999, Onstead increased the business value from $645 million to $1.85 billion.
In 1999, Randalls Food Markets, Inc., was sold to Safeway, and he moved on to serve as president and CEO of Texas-based crafts and decor retailer Garden Ridge Corp., and then as president of Dominick’s Finer Foods, a division of Safeway, Onstead tells us. (read more…)