Two drives in particular appeared to push fresh produce and meat higher in the lineup in terms of accurate scan data analysis and the smart merchandising and pricing decisions that category management should allow.
In produce, retailers made notable progress in adapting to standardized price look-up codes, moving from a respectable record of 5,000 stores up and running at the start of the year to an estimated 10,000 stores now.
The Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del., a driving force behind the PLU-friendly Produce Electronic Identification Board, said in September it would host a technology conference aimed at the produce industry. PMA will hold the first one next April, focused on information technology.
Meanwhile, the meat industry also crept toward the future. Through the combined efforts of packers, processors and retailers, the industry assembled some field tests for a computer-based meat management system that would link accurate sales and promotion data to detailed category management.