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PARIS - Customer loyalty, food safety and internationalization of food retailing are the leading 'top of mind' issues among food retailers and suppliers, according to the 2003 worldwide survey conducted by CIES - The Food Business Forum, an international food business network based in Paris.
The results, based this year on the views of 378 food business executives from Europe, North America, South American, and Asia-Pacific, reflect a tough operating context, notes CIES. The high rankings of customer loyalty, internationalization and global recession all point to intensifying competition, while the continued importance of food safety shows the pressure on food companies to retain the trust of consumers.
Meanwhile, other issues like B2C e-commerce have fallen down food retail agendas to become secondary concerns. As always, these tendencies vary in many cases between retailers and suppliers and between different regions.
The responses were split between retailers (48.4 percent) and suppliers (51.6 percent). Among the leading issues for retailers only:
1) Customer loyalty and retention
2) Food safety/security
3) Formats, service, assortment
4) Technical standards/supply-chain efficiency (e.g. GCI, ECR)
5) Global recession and consumer demand.