FMI Issues Sustainability Guide

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is bowing “Sustainability on the Shelves — A Guide for Category Managers,” a guide to help supermarket category managers and buyers understand sustainability at retail. The guide provides an overview of sustainability as well as a framework readers can use when responding to their companies’ and customers’ demands for more eco-friendly products. Behind the guide are FMI’s Sustainability Executive Committee, Five Winds International and Ecos Corp. LLC, with sponsorship funding from the United Soybean Board.

“Consumer demand for more sustainable products is growing, and category managers need to identify their company’s priorities in this area and integrate them into the decision-making process,” noted Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director of industry relations and sustainability at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Sustainability is not an exact science, but it is a strategic decision.”

The guide will enable category managers to identify key sustainability issues in grocery (cereal, boxed goods, canned goods); general merchandise (home cleaning, personal care); fresh food (meat, dairy, produce); beverage (bottled water, soda, alcohol, nonperishable juice, coffee, tea); and seafood (fresh, frozen).

“Sustainability on the Shelves” will also be the topic of a workshop held during FMI’s Sustainability Summit, scheduled for Dec. 6 through Dec. 9 in Arlington. The workshop will demonstrate how best to use the guide.

“Buyers and category managers already use a decision-making process for selecting products based on quality, availability, price and service,” said von Zastrow. “Sustainability should be another element included in the decision-making process.”

As well as the overview, the guide includes upcoming sustainability trends, a glossary of terms, and links to several companies that have successfully incorporated sustainability into their buying processes.

For more information or to downlink a copy (free download for FMI members, $150 for associate members and $300 for nonmembers), visit the FMI Store at