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Image of Supermarket Careers Improving: Panelist

Young Generation Y job-seekers have a more positive impression of supermarket careers than some of their predecessors, according to a presenter at the Food Marketing Institute Future Connect leadership conference here on Monday.

Nancy Childs, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, said her students have a positive image of the efforts many supermarkets make in areas that are important to them, such as community involvement, organic and natural food offerings and sustainability.

“We are green and it matters – it speaks to values that matter to them,” she said. “Trumpet that.”

She also said young people are also very interested in food – “To this group of people, food is sexy,” she said.

Speaking on the same panel, Trudy Bourgeois, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Workforce Excellence, a consulting firm specializing in minority and women personnel matters, pointed out that the workforce is getting more and more diverse and supermarkets need to incorporate multicultural training and values as a “business imperative.”

“You need to develop multicultural competencies,” she told a jam-packed room at the conference. “You employees are going to be global, and you need to have allowances for that.”

Childs noted that young workers today are much more receptive to discussions on those types of issues than many older workers might have been when they started.