LAS VEGAS - Retailers should spend more time talking with consumers to determine what they want to buy rather than leaving it up to the federal government to make those decisions, a panel of industry executives told the National Grocers Association's annual convention here Wednesday.
Joe Sheridan, executive vice president of Wakefern Corp., Keasbey, N.J., said the industry needs to make more information accessible to consumers "to give them the choice to make the right decisions on their own. But a lot of us are wrestling with the proper amount of information to give to avoid government regulations. And given Mrs. Obama's 'war on obesity,' I'm sure the various Cabinet departments will move soon to put out more regulations."
With the government trying to regulate vendor relationships and school lunches, "the government has become a partner in too many things, and where does it all end?" Frank DiPasquale, executive vice president of NGA, said. "All that [activity] does is create more confusion, which only heightens the attention of regulators."
Jeff Brown, president and chief executive officer of Brown's Super Stores, a ShopRite operator based in Bellmawr, N.J., said he is "willing to work with everyone," including the government, if that's what it takes to get rid of obesity, "which is a national epidemic. But we should be at the table helping the government solve the obesity problem before it does more things to hurt our industry."
Read More of Today's Headlines