Selling less food for more money could help in the battle against obesity, according to Dr. William Dietz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke this week at the GMA Conference on the Future of Food. But GMA spokeswoman Stephanie Childs responded, "I don't think you're going to see anyone agreeing to limit consumer choice. What we have to deliver on is consumer demand, and consumer demand for healthful products is increasing." A Food and Drug Administration official addressing the conference urged food makers to fortify their products with more nutrients.
Supermarket chains that can't afford to compete on price could see success by responding to regional tastes, according to Darrell Rigby, head of Bain & Co.'s global retail practice. Rigby cites Texas-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co. as being particularly in touch with its customer base.
Wal-Mart may be considering a bold move into Germany's discount retail sector, possibly by acquiring a chain such as Norma, according to analysts. "There would be a degree of logic to such a move. It would bolster Wal-Mart's presence in Germany and open up a range of acquisition possibilities in other markets. ... They have to do something in Germany, be it an acquisition or withdrawal," said Bryan Roberts, an analyst at Planet Retail.
Cincinnati is preparing for a possible influx of Gillette Co. employees relocating to Procter & Gamble Co. offices. So far, about 10 of the top 15 Gillette executives have committed to P&G, and the majority of managers at the next level were offered jobs by their new employer, Gillette said.