Recapping the Consumer Good Forums Annual Summit

The Lempert Report
July 13, 2015

With a focus on consumer trust this year’sConsumer Goods Forum's Annual Summit was a hit, stay tuned to find out what Peter Freedman, managing director of the Consumer Goods Forum had to say.

PHIL: This year’s Consumer Goods Forum met in New York City recently for their annual summit. The focus was ‘Trust as a Foundation for Growth’ and with delegates and speakers from the entire consumer goods world gathered, it proved to be one of the most successful forums they've had.  I recently caught up with Peter Freedman, managing director of the Consumer Goods Forum, to talk about the event and hear from him on what retailers need to focus on, starting with; what he thinks are world’s most influential consumer and retail brands needs to address for the coming year. 

Peter Freedman, Managing director of the Consumer Goods Forum 
If you look on the horizon and you look at where are the worries, you see a lot of issues that affect consumer trust. And whatever the reason I think the industry and all of the chief executives there are concerned to act on this issue of consumer trust. Everything we do affects consumer trust.

We’ll come back to issues of health and wellness we have another part of our agenda is sustainability which is both environmental sustainability and social sustainability and then we move on to food safety which I also touched on which is a third focus for us, and the last focus area which could sort of be a solution to all these things is around issues of transparency and consumer privacy, so consumer are giving my  members private data every day they’re worried about what happens to that data, and as I said earlier traceability effects everything I do because as a consumer I want to know where  a products come from what’s in it and who made it I’m going to be much more likely to have trust in it. So each of those 4 areas effect consumer trust. 

PHIL: And with 49% of the public saying they do not trust businesses to do what is right, the most important question remains, when it comes to the day to day operations, what can food retailers do to instill more trust in their shoppers?

PETER: Working with retailers  at the CEO level, you very quickly realize that the very  best retailers in the world are very humble people humility helps you listen to what consumers need and want. So for me that’s a starting point, humility and listening to consumers. And then transparency.  Telling consumers the truth being open about what you’re doing don’t expect consumers to trust you because of what you say expect consumers to trust you hopefully because of what you do.