Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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Rising staRs teRi CollaRo Director, strategy and Planning, advantage solutions/ advantage Marketing Partners Division Collaro played a critical role in the launch of the Explore More sampling platform for all food categories at Meijer, executed through more than 90,000 events for 280 companies, and providing more than 20 million samples in shoppers' mouths. She demonstrated strong client relationship skills, leading to more successful event integration with Meijer's marketing campaigns. Collaro developed a new shopper survey for key events to ensure that the agency delivered the best in-store experience for shoppers, resulting in greater sales and ROI for client programs. ChRistine CouRtney Director, Field operations, advantage solutions/ advantage Marketing Partners Division Courtney led the integration of The Sunflower Group's field execu- tion structure into Advantage's organizational structure, which included 3,000 part-time associ- ates, a scheduling platform con- version, and title and structure realignment. She led the charge for acquir- ing and training 1,500 new hires within three months, improv- ing overall execution rates by nearly 25 percent and reducing turnover by 10 percent. Courtney activated real-time execution monitoring of all par- ticipating platforms to increase ef- ficiency, resulting in more than 30 hours of labor savings each week. Rising Stars Progressive Grocer: Why do you think so many food companies are switching to 100% cage-free eggs? Matthew Prescott: The way companies interact with the world around them can have major bottom line implications. Nowadays, consumers are searching for products that both come at a value and align with their values—including around issues like animal cruelty; they want animals to be treated well in the supply chain, and want to support companies that agree. But there's a gap between the way consumers want animals to be treated, and what's actually happening in some areas of agribusiness. It's within that gap that we see, for example, egg suppliers locking chickens in cages so tightly, the animals can't even spread their wings. Imagine being in an elevator packed wall-to-wall with other people. The elevator suddenly breaks down. People are frantically trying to escape, frantically trying to move. Then imagine the door just never opens, the people stuck languishing in the elevator for the rest of their lives. That's what life is like for caged hens in the egg industry—and it's simply out of step with what consumers want. To try and narrow that gap between consumer expectation and reality, many companies are taking proactive measures to show their customers that they're aligned on this important issue. One way they're doing that is by shifting to 100% cage-free eggs. Modern cage-free facilities allow birds the freedom to engage in their natural behaviors—to walk, fap their wings, lay their eggs in nests and more. They're large scale, automated production systems that can churn out massive volumes of eggs all while giving animals a better quality of life—a real win-win for birds and buyers alike. PG: Is there support for shifting to cage-free eggs? MP: Regarding the growing support for animal welfare-minded sourcing policies, in 2010, Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert predicted, "There's organic, there's fair trade, but humane is the next big thing." Indeed, Lempert was right. Dozens of the world's largest food companies have now publicly pledged to A D V E R T O R I A L Talking with… Matthew Prescott Senior Food Policy Director, The Humane Society of the United States shift their supply chains to 100% cage-free eggs. Those companies—detailed in full at www.bit.ly/EggPolicies—include Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Ahold, Delhaize, Costco, Target, Giant Eagle, SUPERVALU, Trader Joe's, BJ's Wholesale Club, CVS, Wawa, McDonald's, IHOP, Denny's, Kraft Heinz, Unilever, ConAgra Foods and so many more. "As our customer base has been moving to cage-free at an increasing rate, Kroger's goal is to transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply chain by 2025," states the country's largest traditional grocery operator. Reports Ahold, "Animal welfare is an issue that we care about greatly and we believe that cage-free environments are a more humane way to treat hens." "Consumers have responded positively to the expanded choices in the egg aisle," says Albertsons about its growing cage-free assortment. "Albertsons Companies…will be working with its suppliers toward a goal of sourcing only cage-free eggs for its store operations by 2025." These policies make perfect sense, in a customer climate where people actively want to support companies which support their values. As the Food Marketing Institute reports: "Shopper interest in animal welfare has been consistently growing," and "shoppers want food retailers to prioritize animal welfare" even over other issues, like the environment." PG: How would a company go about switching to cage-free eggs? MP: Many of the country's largest egg producers have also committed to a cage-free future, making the transition easier than it has ever been. Rose Acre Farms—the second largest table egg producer—has said it's switching to 100% cage-free production, for example. Retailers interested in moving in this direction should feel free to reach out to me directly any time at [email protected] The Humane Society of the United States is proud to partner with the world's largest food companies, helping them navigate these issues and crafting policies and programs to create a more humane supply chain, and more humane world. Q A &

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