@The Consumer Goods Forum Blog

Why It’s So Hard to Reverse Food Supersizing

Understanding size perceptions can help make consumers more receptive to both downsizing and supersizing.

As food portions and packages have grown, so has the weight of many consumers. To reverse this trend, and preserve their margins when costs go up, some food makers have tried downsizing their product sizes.

But whenever a brand tries to shave a few percentages points off the size of their product, consumers immediately notice and complain. The latest revolt occurred late last year when Mondelez reduced the size of its Toblerone chocolate bars in the United Kingdom by increasing the gap between its triangular chunks. When brands have chosen to decrease sizes rather than increase prices, they often make headlines news. Former New York Mayor Bloomberg’s attempts to cap soft drink cups at 16 ounces (44 cl) level even made the cover of the regulation-friendly New Yorker magazine.

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Cooperation in Consumer Food Safety

The Partnership for Food Safety Education was formed not long after an event that many professionals in food safety will remember well – the outbreak at Jack-in-the-Box restaurants in the western U.S. that led to the deaths of four children and serious illness for many many more.  Although that outbreak stemmed from a restaurant, in reaction to the event was considerable thought given to the need to invest in increasing awareness and modifying the behavior of consumers, broadly, related to the safe handling and preparation of food at home.  

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HEINEKEN and the Importance of Partnerships and Private Sector Leadership

SDG 17 & HEINEKEN, CGF MemberSustainable Development Goal 17 is clear in that it states action “requires a revitalised and enhanced global partnership that brings together governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors”.  Here at HEINEKEN, we take partnerships increasingly as an opportunity to drive our sustainability strategy. Whether it is through our collaborative work as a Board-member company of The Consumer Goods Forum or through our individual cross-sectoral initiatives. We fully acknowledge the benefits of working together, with our peers and other stakeholders, and the collaborative role the private sector can and should be playing. We are now seeing the success of such partnerships around the world.

My Reflections on 2016 and Plans for 2017

On behalf of all of the staff at the CGF, I would like to wish you a happy and successful New Year! As usual at this time of year, I am writing with a summary of how the CGF has been working on your behalf in 2016 and a look ahead to our priorities for 2017.

Those of you able to attend the Global Summit in Cape Town last year will remember that the overall theme was “Seizing Opportunities in the Face of Disruption”. Little did we realise, when we chose that theme, quite how much disruption 2016 would bring. Amongst many corporate developments in our global industry last year, we saw the closing of the industry’s biggest ever M&A deal, several billion-dollar acquisitions of new digital business models by established players and announcements of investments in physical stores by the industry’s two largest ecommerce specialists. Each of these developments may prove to be a significant milestone in its own right. But no doubt, it will be the geopolitical disruptions of 2016 that will go down in history.  

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Priority Industry Principles: What Are They and Why Are They So Important in the Fight Against Forced Labour?

Today an estimated 21 million individuals are still in conditions of what the United Nations refers to as ‘modern’ forms of slavery, with 14 million of those individuals being victims of labour exploitation specifically. 21 million – that’s nearly the population of Australia, an incredible number to still exist. Global supply chains are riddled with this problem and it must be stopped. Thankfully however, these human rights violations are not falling on deaf ears. Industry leaders are well aware of the role that business must play in addressing this worldwide problem and I am eager to announce our latest development. 

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