The day has finally come since the Vermont GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling law was overturned back in July 2016. The USDA National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard final rule was pre-published yesterday on federalregister.gov. While many aspects of the Vermont law were carried over into the federal rule, there are some noteworthy new additions, such as the foods that are subject to disclosure and new options for disclosure for manufacturers.
Working with retailers to enable incredible Health & Wellness programs has been in our wheel house since we were founded. We grew our business and technology by working with retailers to power their highly flexible, attribute-based shelf tag programs. We have been leaders in this space for over a decade, and work directly with leaders in the market. 2018 saw us continue to innovate in this critical space. In our shelf edge solution, we leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically rank attributes by category or department, providing retailers with a highly customized and scalable attribute solution. We also worked to expand our product types to include food, personal care, pet food, household cleaners, OTC medicine, supplements, and alcohol. Generally, most of our retail partners implement their Health & Wellness (H&W) initiatives with a phased approach, first starting with food, then expanding into adjacent product types over time. We're excited to offer them more options for future expansion, following the consumer trend in holistic transparency: "in me, on me, around me."
Category management at Label Insight The first part of this year focused on validating the hypothesis that Label Insight high-order attributes (HOAs) could be useful for Category Management (CatMan) professionals. We attended the CMA Conference in February, where we talked to Category Managers, validating that there is a future in using HOAs for Category Management. Throughout the spring and early summer, we then set to complete a full category review using our HOAs and worked closely with Gordon Wade, industry veteran in Category Management. The end goal was to publish a white paper on “Innovating in Category Management,” demonstrating how HOAs are essential to the next generation of the practice.
E-comm & Omnichannel at Label Insight: Here at Label Insight, we have been working with retailers to manage their product data since our founding in 2008. Recently, we expanded our offering to include solutions that leverage LI high-order-attriibutes (HOAs) to power search and filter tools that increase engagement in omnichannel experiences.
SmartLabel at Label Insight As 2018 comes to a close, we are reflecting on what we have accomplished in our product development of the Publisher platform. Our customers have spoken and we have listened, and we acknowledge the need for continued iteration cycles and hope to release updates in Q2. In the beginning of the year, we heard the need to have more workflow tools. We added in the thumbs up/thumbs down feature for reviews, which over 90% of our SmartLabel customers use. We also added robustness to the change log to make auditing easier.
Label Insight, the market leader for transparency, today revealed the top three trends for 2019 based on the consumer mandate for transparency. As discovered in a recent study by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), shoppers are demanding greater transparency and a closer connection to their food. Seventy-five percent of consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what's provided on the physical label. That sentiment is driving significant changes through the food retailing industry.
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement about the concern of growing sesame allergies in the U.S. Today in the U.S, sesame is not one of the “Big 8” food allergens which include egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat – which currently require labeling. Sesame is, however, a major food allergen in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all member countries of the United Kingdom and the European Union, and therefore require explicit labeling of sesame in products sold there.
Retail Health & Wellness @Label Insight It's that time of the year again where research groups race to get out their 2019 predictions. It seems the reports keep getting earlier and earlier, in line with the holiday music and decorations. This year there are some notable trends that are worth exploring, among them the fact that cannabis is now being considered as a next frontier of health and wellness ingredient - from illegal drug to health product? Wow, things are changing quickly. There continues to be a lot of movement in the health and wellness market. Most notable are the huge investments Albertsons has been making to take on health and wellness such as the Rite Aid merger which they believe will position them as one of the leaders in Health, Food, and Wellness. Lastly, health and wellness continues to make headlines in the store, particularly when tied to technology implementations such as the Kroger app. To get the latest curated news on retailer health & wellness for November read on and enjoy.
A lot of interesting news coming out in November around E-commerce and Omnichannel. We've worked to curate and summarize the following important news events to help you to keep on top of what's going on in this space. Market dynamics: The market continues to evolve with growth in e-commerce being represented across the market in actual results as well as continued investment in e-commerce and omnichannel infrastructure. Retaildive.com: Walmart e-commerce sales soar 43% Walmart released their Q3 results with impressive growth across the board, but of particular interest for us is the considerable growth in e-commerce. "Q3's impressive performance continues to validate Walmart's long-term investment strategy, with solid revenue and operating margin growth, as well as online sales growth of 43% continuing to exceed the company's stated goal for 2018," Progressivegrocer.com: Grocerys directive - onmichannel or bust Coming out of the hugely successful Grocerhop event, this post highlights some of the key takeaways. Understanding your market is key to creating an experience that draws people to your stores. “Grocery has a built-in opportunity to be multi-sensory,” said Vicki Eikelberger, SVP and managing director of multidimensional brand experience firm Big Red Rooster. To create a rich shopper experience, Chicago-area grocery chain Mariano’s Fresh Market, part of The Kroger Co.’s Roundy’s subsidiary, hires its associated from foodservice, hospitality, healthcare and academia, explained Don Fitzgerald, the retailer’s group VP of merchandising and marketing. Supermarketnews.com: Retailer jostle to lead online grocery Amazon’s pricing edge in online grocery is narrowing as Walmart and subsidiary Jet.com have closed the gap. E-commerce analyst Profitero, in its latest “Price Wars” report, found Jet.com and Walmart the lowest in price relative to Amazon in online grocery. The study had Jet at a price index of just 0.6% higher than Amazon, while Walmart was 2.5% higher. International: Increasingly we're seeing implementations internationally leading the way in regards to the future of e-commerce and omnichannel. The article below is a great deep dive in to some of the exciting things going on in China. Definitely worth keeping an eye on these developments as a way to look at the future of e-commerce from a completely different perspective. Forbes.com: The future of e-commerce and retail will be written in china Alibaba’s high-tech food/grocery retail store concept, known as Hema, is expanding quickly. These outlets serve as walk-in restaurants, food and grocery purchase points, and warehouses for online delivery (within 30 minutes in a three-kilometer radius) – all at the same time. There are now 64 Hema stores in operation, with two being added each week. Already, Hema stores in operation for over 18 months are reporting revenues of RMB50k per square meter, up to five times what traditional offline stores can generate. Sixty percent of Hema’s sales are through the online delivery channel, making the stores far more productive, for far more hours of the day, than pure offline stores. User Experience: We have made the argument several times that we believe that the future of e-commerce and omnichannel will depend on the evolution of the user experience (UX). In November 2018 there was a lot of news related to UX evolution. Winsightgrocerybusiness.com: Target bests Walmart and Kroger in seamless shopping experience study In an evaluation of how well three leading national retailers deliver a seamless grocery shopping experience, Barrington, Ill.-based Brick Meets Click found Target beating out both Walmart’s and Kroger’s respective omnichannel platforms. Supplychainbrain.com: Amazon's latest crusade in the grocery delivery wars - thanksgiving dinner Online sales of food, beverages, soap, shampoo, pet food and other items routinely sold in supermarkets will reach $177bn in 2022, doubling this year’s $88bn, according to Cowen & Co. That will make online grocery a bigger market than electronics and toys combined. Progressivegrocer.com: Kroger launches voice assistant ordering grocery e-commerce The Kroger Co. is furthering its efforts in contextual commerce by adopting voice-assistant technology for ordering groceries online. Customers can interact with their Kroger Grocery Pickup cart via an action in the Google Assistant voice app – which can be accessed through iOS, Android and Google Assistant devices, Kroger Technology announced on its LinkedIn page.Activating the service is as simple as saying "Hey, Google" into the device. Supermarketnews.com: Customers were top of mind in Raley's redesigned website Raley’s has revamped its website with a new look and more personalization to provide an enhanced customer experience. “We understand that customers’ needs are changing whether shopping online or in-store,” Mike Molitor, vice president of e-commerce and loyalty at Raley’s, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it easier and more compelling for customers to interact with online shopping and our savings program, Something Extra.” Automated Fulfillment - Robots and Automation: A hot topic at the moment are the movements around automated fulfillment as a way to solve logistics challenges and essentially viability of investments in e-commerce. Designnews.com: Next year let robots do your thanksgiving shopping Takeoff is partnering with a number of supermarkets to launch the robotic picking of groceries. Albertsons is in the pilot phase of the micro-fulfillment center concept using Takeoff’s artificial intelligence capabilities to pick and pack groceries with an automated system. The pilot makes Albertsons the first national grocer to implement an automated eCommerce fulfillment solution. Albertsons expects to begin testing the robots with customers in 2019. DCvelocity.com: Kroger picks cincinnati for first grovery e-commerce Grocery shoppers in Cincinnati will soon be able to order their fruits and veggies online, thanks to a highly automated warehouse planned by supermarket chain the Kroger Co. and its automation partner, Ocado Group plc, the firms said today.Cincinnati-based Kroger announced last month that it had agreed to order three of those customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) by the end of 2018 and a total of 20 CFCs over the first three years of the partnership. Opinion: Forbes.com: Needing to touch and feel groceries is like believing the earth is flat "A note of caution for those who attribute our low online grocery figures to consumers’ desire to touch and feel products before buying. That argument has been made by skeptics many times before – think clothing, footwear, beauty or mattresses. E-commerce, however, grows quickly as the breadth and simplicity of offerings rises. When digital ordering, pickup and delivery become easy and affordable, consumers migrate to these options. Convenience is an incredibly powerful motivator, no matter what the category." Zia Daniell Wigder, Groceryshop 2018 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Want to keep on top of news and views from around the industry and the latest developments in attribute driven e-commerce & Omnichannel experiences? Subscribe