Grocery Manufacturers Association

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USA: New study confirms a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lowfat dairy can substantially lower blood pressure

3 Jan 2001

The Grocery Manufacturers of America applauds a new study published this week by the New England Journal of Medicine which confirms that with a few simple, common-sense dietary changes, consumers can help reduce their blood pressure. 

USA: Manufacturers downsize products as consumers reject price hikes

2 Jan 2001

In a bid to maintain the bottom line while the production costs increase, many food manufacturers are indulging in “the weight out” technique. Re-jigged products with reduced weights, slightly smaller packaging sizes but the same price tag are gracing supermarket shelves across the US, while consumers are not informed that their purchases have been downsized.

USA: GMA applauds signing of snack tax repeal in District of Columbia

19 Dec 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America commended District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams on Friday (15 December) for signing the Tax Clarity Act of 2000, a bill that overturns D.C.'s selective tax on snack foods. "This historic and much needed tax reform package is great news for DC consumers and businesses alike," said Chip Kunde, GMA Vice President, State Affairs.

USA: Leading foodservice companies align item, price data in first phase of EFR project

14 Dec 2000

The Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) electronic commerce demonstration reached an important milestone today when organizers announced that for the first time, participants representing all levels of the foodservice supply chain have aligned item and price data through the use of an independent, trusted third party intermediary.

USA: GMA offers five vital components for National Action Plan on Obesity

12 Dec 2000

Grocery Manufacturers of America Director of Scientific and Nutrition Policy Lisa Katic has pledged the food industry's continued support to address the nation's obesity problem and outlined five vital components to address the issue. Her comments were part of testimony scheduled for delivery on December 8, the second day of the two-day meeting of the Surgeon General's Initiative toward a National Action Plan on Overweight and Obesity.

USA: Boards of Grocery Manufacturers of America, Association of Sales & Marketing Companies approve business combination

12 Dec 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies (ASMC) stepped closer to a formal alliance between the two associations, with ASMC's Board of Directors voting today to become a subsidiary of GMA. The agreement becomes final after ASMC's membership completes voting on December 31, 2000. The GMA Board of Directors approved the proposed business combination at a board meeting on November 15. ASMC will become a separate entity within GMA, retaining its name, board of directors, and dedicated staff. ASMC will be relocated to GMA's headquarters in Washington, DC in the first quarter of 2001.

USA: GMA Applauds New Government Institute for Food Safety Research

4 Dec 2000

Grocery Manufacturers of America President and CEO C. Manly Molpus called for an increase in food safety research during the inaugural meeting of the Joint Institute for Food Safety Research and applauded the new government institute’s mission to promote a unified approach to food safety research. Molpus spoke at a special conference called by top officials at the USDA and FDA to announce the goals of the new Joint Institute.

USA: California Grocers Association announces appointments, promotion

23 Nov 2000

The California Grocers Association has announced the appointments of Lance Hastings as vice president, government relations, and Gilbert Canizales as director of local government. In addition, David Heylen has been promoted to vice president, communications. Hastings will be responsible for overseeing all government relations activities for the Association. Prior to CGA, Hastings was director, state affairs for Grocery Manufacturers of America and was responsible for tracking state legislative and regulatory affairs in the Western region of the United States.

USA: GMA, ASMC boards of directors consider merger

20 Nov 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies (ASMC) are exploring the possibility of a formal alliance between the two associations. The Boards of Directors of both organizations are discussing a formal partnership that would have ASMC become a subsidiary of GMA.

USA: Consumer packaged goods companies continueto boost technology, e-business investments

14 Nov 2000

Information technology (IT) spending in the food, beverage, and consumer products industry is increasing, driven in large part by e-business and new opportunities to reach consumers through the Internet, according to two new surveys conducted by the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA).Companies surveyed as part of GMA's 2000 Information Technology Spending Study, conducted annually by Computer Sciences Corporation, allocated an average of almost 1.

USA: GMA hails elimination of snack tax in the district of Columbia

13 Nov 2000

The District of Columbia's decision to repeal its selective tax on snack foods represents a "hard fought victory for consumers" and continues a trend among governments to turn aside "unfair, regressive, and discriminatory" tax plans, according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America.On Wednesday, November 8, 2000, the City Council unanimously approved the Tax Clarity Act of 2000 ("Act"), an extensive tax code reform package that includes among its many provisions language streamlining the definition of food which effectively eliminates the District's selective tax on so-called "snack foods." The Act was sponsored by Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and introduced before the Council earlier this year. "We are pleased that Councilman Evans the rest of the City Council have acted affirmatively on the long-sought repeal of the snack tax," said Chip Kunde, GMA Vice President, State Affairs. "This continues a national trend of eliminating confusing and discriminatory tax measures that hinder consumer choice." The bill will now go to Mayor Anthony Williams (D) and the DC Control Board, who are expected to approve it. After their approval, the bill will be forwarded to Congress in early January where it must remain for 30 legislative days. If Congress takes no steps to reject the measure, it becomes law once the 30 days have expired. GMA and the Don't Tax Food Coalition, a broad-based group of food manufacturers, associations, and retailers opposed to selective taxation of food products, will continue to advocate for passage of the Tax Clarity Act as it moves through these final review stages.

USA: Food scientist Dr. Susan Ferenc joins GMA as VP, Scientific and regulatory policy

10 Nov 2000

Susan A. Ferenc, DVM, Ph.D., an expert in biological, health and environmental risk assessment has been named Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Policy at the Grocery Manufacturers of America.Dr. Ferenc, who served as a risk scientist for USDA's Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis from 1996 to 1998, most recently was a Senior Scientist at the International Life Science Institute's (ILSI) Risk Science Institute in Washington, DC. At GMA, she will develop and coordinate implementation of scientific and regulatory programs in areas including nutrition and labeling, food safety, biotechnology, functional foods, pesticides and international regulation of food. "The addition of Dr. Ferenc strengthens the GMA team and will help us pursue our scientific and regulatory mission with vigor," said C. Manly Molpus, President and CEO of GMA. "Her strong experience in risk assessment and in international scientific issues will be valuable in shaping GMA policy and communicating our members' positions to key audiences." Dr. Ferenc earned her doctorate in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University. At the ILSI Risk Science Institute, she coordinated international conferences on food safety and participated in Food and Agriculture Organization/World health Organization expert consultations. "Dr. Ferenc has earned a solid reputation as a thoughtful and articulate advocate for risk analysis, food safety and environmental health in speaking with international organizations," noted Molpus. Dr. Ferenc has spoken and has been extensively published on issues ranging from risk perception and communication in decision making to ecological risks and impacts. She will join GMA on December 4, 2000.

USA: GMA, coalition groups applaud request for ITC analysis of trade barriers faced by food and beverage industry

1 Nov 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America and a coalition of industry groups applauded a congressional request for the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to conduct an in-depth analysis of the barriers facing exports of processed food and beverages around the world.House Ways and Means Chairman Rep.

USA: Heinz EZ Squirt(TM) hits store shelves; industry watches unusual food phenomenon unfold

18 Oct 2000

Condiments as cool? That's the assertion today from the nation's largest ketchup producer, as its newest innovation -- Heinz EZ Squirt(TM) -- begins delivery to grocery store shelves, following months of pleas, pressure and petitions from American consumers. The product, available in both red and green, has been touted around the globe as one of this year's most eagerly-awaited items."There was never a doubt the EZ Squirt bottle would be a hit with kids because ketchup is inherently fun," according to Casey Keller, managing director of global ketchup, condiments and sauces for Heinz. "But, the overwhelming response has surprised even us. It's not often you see eight-year-olds demanding their own ketchup the way they would a new toy."Since the company first announced its plans for Heinz EZ Squirt -- particularly the Blastin' Green variety -- it has been flooded with non-stop letters, phone calls and proposals from kids and adults. Ranging from requests for school fund-raisers to inquiries by professional athletes, movie studios and Hollywood celebrities, the public demand has outpaced the company's initial supply, an unprecedented event for the 130-year-old company.Heinz estimates that its sales forecast for the product's first year of shipments will be met in the first 90 days, and the company has stepped up production to ensure that grocery store shelves remain stocked, increasing production to 24 hours, seven days a week and adding additional equipment.

USA: GMA survey shows Americans learning more about biotechnology; food consumption patterns unchanged

13 Oct 2000

A new national survey by the Grocery Manufacturers of America shows U.S. consumers are increasingly aware of agricultural biotechnology but have not changed their food consumption behavior, despite publicity over the recall of taco shells allegedly containing unapproved biotech corn.In addition, the survey showed biotechnology remains acceptable to the majority of Americans as a means to improve farming practices and food quality.

USA: Earthgrains signs national agreement for viaLink's syncLink service

10 Oct 2000

The viaLink Company (NasdaqNM:VLNK) today announced that The Earthgrains Company will expand its use of viaLink's syncLinkSM technology to synchronize item, price and promotion data with its trading partners. Earthgrains, the second-largest packaged bread and baked goods producer in the United States, was one of four food companies to participate in scan based trading during a successful Grocery Manufacturers of America pilot this spring that utilized viaLink's syncLink service.

USA: Attacks on irradiation hinder efforts to save lives, enhance food safety

6 Oct 2000

Ideological attacks on food irradiation hinder efforts to save lives and enhance the safety of the food supply, the Grocery Manufacturers of America said today. In response to the latest series of orchestrated attacks on irradiation led by the group Public Citizen, GMA said the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of food irradiation is overwhelming.

USA: GMA applauds judge's rejection of activists' lawsuit against FDA biotech policy

5 Oct 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America today applauded a federal judge's decision to reject a lawsuit by activists seeking to overturn the Food and Drug Administration's science-based policy on food biotechnology."The judge's decision validates the FDA's common sense approach to regulating food biotechnology," said Mary Sophos, GMA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs. "It reaffirms that the FDA is working to protect consumers by ensuring we have a safe, affordable food supply while maintaining consumer choice in the marketplace."Sophos noted that the FDA and other government agencies that regulate biotechnology are already taking steps to strengthen their oversight of biotech products."GMA was an early proponent of a proposed FDA policy that would require a mandatory review by FDA of all new plant biotechnology products," added Sophos. "We look forward to continue working with FDA, USDA, and EPA on their efforts to strengthen the science-based regulation of food biotechnology."The FDA is currently finalizing a mandatory review proposal that will be open for public comment in the next few months.GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 44 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.

USA: Grocery Manufacturers Of America - Public Policy Update

3 Oct 2000

FDA SHOULD DENY "MISLEADING" ADDED SUGARS LABELING PETITION, SAYS GMAAdditional food labeling requirements proposed by an activist group would mislead consumers into believing there is a difference between naturally occurring sugars and sugar added to food products, said GMA in comments to the Food and Drug Administration.

USA: Further debate over GM labelling

29 Sep 2000

Following Kraft Food's embarrassing and costly recall of taco shells that were believed to contain GM corn not approved for human consumption, the debate on the labelling of GE food has reopened with increased vigour in the US. Questions on the feasibility of segregating normal crops from GE varieties and the reliability of testing for GMOs abound, but the answers are not forthcoming, and little agreement can be reached. The US is a large producer of GM crops. Around two thirds of all processed food contains GM potatoes, corn or soya beans and many businesses rely on the increased yields that insect resistant or stronger crops provide. If Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich gets his way however, the industry could be subject to complete overhaul.Kucinich is sponsoring bills requiring the labelling and safety testing of GM foods and last week spoke of the Kraft fiasco: "It concerns me, and should concern American consumers, that this is a glimpse of things to come as genetically engineered products are rushed to store shelves without real mandatory safety testing and labelling programmes in place."

USA: GMA: Added sugar labeling would mislead consumers, falsely imply health concerns

29 Sep 2000

Additional food labeling requirements proposed by an activist group would mislead consumers into believing there is a difference between naturally occurring sugars and sugar added to food products, according to the Grocery Manufacturers of America.In comments filed with the Food and Drug Administration, GMA urged the agency to deny a petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) calling for the phrase "added sugars" to be listed on product labels."Added sugars and naturally-occurring sugars are indistinguishable to the body. Special labeling requirements for added sugars would lead consumers to falsely believe that added sugars are different from and worse than naturally occurring sugars in foods and beverages," said Lisa Katic, R.D., GMA Director, Scientific and Nutrition Policy. She rejected CSPI's assertion that added sugars are detrimental to one's health."Decades of scientific research have shown that there is no underlying link between sugars or added sugars and disease," she said. "Therefore, there is no public health need for added sugars labeling."Nutrition labeling should provide information that is material and useful to consumers when making food choices. Added sugars labeling would be inconsistent with that objective."Katic noted that added sugars labeling would impose an unnecessary record- keeping burden on food manufacturers and potentially increase the cost of food products."In the absence of any public health rationale, this added regulatory and enforcement burden is unnecessary."GMA's comments are available at

USA: GMA: Dietary choice, increased physical activity will better meet child health challenges

28 Sep 2000

Encouraging a wide variety of nutrition choices and a greater emphasis on physical education will bring about workable solutions to health challenges facing young people, said the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) at a state-sponsored "healthy school" summit. The two-day conference allowed educators, health experts, lawmakers, and state officials to explore solutions to rising concerns over childhood obesity and inactivity in California.

USA: Grocery Manufacturers of America statement on Kraft Foods, Inc. voluntary Taco Shell recall

25 Sep 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America issued the following statement today from President and Chief Executive Officer C. Manly Molpus following a voluntary recall issued by Kraft Foods, Inc.:"Kraft Foods, Inc. has acted in the best interest of its consumers in the decision to voluntarily recall specific taco shell products from grocery stores."We believe that this situation suggests there may be some improvements needed in the regulatory system. Kraft has made specific suggestions for enhancing the safe entry of biotech foods into the marketplace that we believe merit serious consideration by the appropriate regulatory agencies. In comments filed earlier this year with the Food and Drug Administration, GMA called for mandatory review by FDA of all new plant biotechnology products, which is among the suggestions offered by Kraft."GMA will be working with federal agencies in the days to come to evaluate what steps may need to be taken to prevent this situation from occurring again."GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 44 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.

USA: GMA: Final passage of China trade bill paves way for "new era of opportunity, prosperity"

20 Sep 2000

The United States Senate has set in motion a "new era of opportunity and prosperity" for U.S. companies due its approval of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status for China, the Grocery Manufacturers of America said today. The Senate passed the bill overwhelming by a vote of 83-15."The Senate deserves credit for approving this legislation without amendment, clearing the way for the President to sign it into law," said GMA President and CEO C. Manly Molpus. "For the first time ever, U.S. consumer product manufacturers will gain the right to import and distribute products into China without going through state trading enterprises or middlemen. Most importantly, China will now be required to play by the same rules and disciplines of the multilateral trading system as all other WTO member countries. "The strong bipartisan support for this legislation paves the way for a new era of opportunity and prosperity for the food, beverage, and consumer products industry, and the millions of people they employ," added Molpus. Passage of the China trade bill has been a top priority for GMA and its member companies during the 106th Congress. More than 40 GMA member company CEOs, in letters sent to every member of the House and Senate, urged passage of the PNTR bill so the U.S. could "enjoy the benefits of China's accession to the World Trade Organization." "With more than 20 percent of the world's population and a rapidly growing middle class, China represents a major market for exports," said Molpus. "In fact, processed food exports alone are expected to increase by over one billion dollars annually, the largest gain in the agricultural sector, as a result of China's entry into the WTO." GMA also worked for passage of the legislation as a part of the Agriculture Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and the Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade.

USA: Food companies revamp their approach to the online market

18 Sep 2000

A report recently published by Forrester Research Inc has revealed that US citizens should be spending US$1.1bn more in 2004 than in 1999 on purchases of food, beauty and household supplies over the Internet, prompting food companies not only to vie for consumer attention but also to devise new marketing strategies.Selling food online is a difficult business. The grocery industry relies heavily on the actual stores, and consumers do not find it convenient to surf many websites to make up one shopping list. Also, the industry does not have the best profit margins, and the cost of catering for and delivering individual orders is often extremely high. Lisa McCue, of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, explained that selling through the web was not necessarily the way forward: "It makes perfect sense for some industries and doesn't quite work for others. We may fall into the latter." To overcome the prohibitive economic problem, many food manufacturers have registered with online marketers, for example or, where, as Forrester analyst Evie Black Dykema explains, "The name of the game is simplicity. The winners will help consumers replenish their household supplies efficiently, and there's no way for manufacturers to do this as efficiently as the online retailers."It is debatable, however, whether these services are really that successful. Jackie Dulen, editor of the eBusiness Briefing at Technomic Inc, told the Wall Street Journal: "You've got all these online grocers, but most of them are struggling." And why is that? "They erode brand loyalty." The president of Philip Morris' E-commerce division, Paula Sneed, agrees that this is important: "Strengthened brand equity translates to volume and ultimately profitability."

USA: viaLink Selected to Provide Technology Support for Efficient Foodservice Response Study

23 Aug 2000

Convinced that the near real-time exchange of accurate product and price data between trading partners is basic to the ultimate success of foodservice e-Commerce initiatives, the Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) project today announced it has selected The viaLink Company (Nasdaq:VLNK - news) to provide data synchronization services for its new industry-wide study. "The Foundation of B2B Electronic Commerce in the Foodservice Industry -- Item & Price Alignment" is a three-month-long study, scheduled to start in September. It will examine both the requirements of, and the benefits to, data synchronization. viaLink's syncLink(SM) service will be used to synchronize item and price data for the study's six manufacturer, distributor and operator participants. The pilot will involve Brinker International's Macaroni Grill, Levy Restaurants, B.E. Keith, Kraft Foods, Inc., General Mills and Tyson Foods, Inc. The EFR project leaders are in the process of confirming another national distributor's participation. Computer Sciences Corporation's (NYSE:CSC - news) Consulting Group will manage the EFR study. Formed in 1996, the EFR project is composed of representatives from 10 of North America's largest foodservice industry associations. One of the committee's key initiatives is to lead an industry-wide effort to improve efficiencies in the foodservice supply chain, linking manufacturing plants to distribution warehouses to operator tables.

USA: New EFR Study Will Demonstrate Value of Item and Price Data Alignment as `B2B' E-Commerce Enabler

23 Aug 2000

Every type of foodservice operator, distributor and manufacturer will benefit from a new study on electronic alignment of product and price data between trading partners. The results will establish a foundation upon which business-to-business electronic commerce (e-commerce) can succeed in the foodservice industry.

USA: Final Results In: GMA Scan-Based Trading Pilot Study Confirms Data Synchronization Critical to E-Commerce Initiatives

3 Aug 2000

The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) today released final results from its six-month "Price Synchronization and Scan Based Trading" pilot program, declaring that data synchronization and scan-based trading streamlines the way food and beverage manufacturers deliver products to retailers. The viaLink Company (NasdaqNM:VLNK) provided technology services for the program.

USA: Food Manufacturers Take First Step Toward 'Real B2B E-commerce' for Grocery Industry

3 Aug 2000

A new system that allows food and beverage manufacturers to dramatically streamline the way they deliver products to retailers was successfully put to test by member companies of the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA).Results of GMA's six-month long "Price Synchronization/Scan-based Trading" pilot program with 12 manufacturers, Schnuck Markets (St.

USA: GMA Teams up with Mybrandcoupons.Com to Offer "Point and Click" Couponing for Manufacturers and Consumers

27 Jul 2000

Heralding the shift from clipping to clicking coupons, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) has announced a new alliance with to offer consumers the most wide ranging selection of name-brand coupons via the Internet. The site, to debut in the fourth quarter of 2000, is a new service for GMA members and will provide food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturers with an easy platform for distributing coupons, cutting the lead time for distributing coupons from months to minutes.







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