Coupe, Sansolo Talk Change

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 24, 2008

Change surrounds today's food industry and it's happening faster than ever. For retailers and suppliers to stay competitive and keep pace with consumer seafood concerns, the key is to know what they're thinking.

During yesterday's free Keynote Address, Kevin Coupe, founder of MorningNewsBeat.com, and Michael Sansolo, former head of education at the Food Marketing Institute, advised retailers to change radically in order to keep pace with the industry.

"Don't let change sweep you along," said Coupe. "Dictate it. Change is coming and you can move the needle on this and make an impact if you take an active role."

Embracing change is the way to get consumers to buy and consume more seafood, he said.

"If consumers can't find a retailer willing to meet them on their terms, they'll find other retailers," added Sansolo.

"Consumers are changing radically and what they want from us is changing daily," said Sansolo. "They want to live healthier and eat better but they don't know what to do about it or who to trust anymore."

Sansolo added that consumers know more about products than ever before and want retailers and suppliers to be able to share their views on issues like mercury contamination, country-of-origin labeling and sustainability. In order to be viewed as credible, companies have to address these concerns.

"They want to know health attributes and environmental impact. Avoiding this is not an option," Sansolo stated.

Furthermore, standing out is key to surviving in an ever-evolving industry. Sansolo and Coupe cited retailers like Tesco and Costco among those that handled change proactively and broke out of the mold.

"Thinking as a collective industry is not something you can afford to do," Coupe said. "You have to think individually because it is the only way to establish a differential advantage."

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