MARKET STREET HOSTS FOOD EXPO
LUBBOCK, Texas — Market Street, a banner of United Supermarkets here, will treat customers to an International Food Expo on May 1-2, offering samples of foods such as fresh baked French breads and spreads, Italian pastas with parmesan-crusted chicken breasts and Mediterranean-crusted salmon, golden pineapple from Costa Rica, chocolates from Germany and Spain, Guatemalan banana plants and bonsai trees and wines from Australia and Germany. Store “ambassadors” will represent countries such as France, Australia, Italy and Japan, offering free samples of different cuisines, along with information about the featured food items. “This event is going to be really special,” Wes Jackson, chief merchandising officer for United Supermarket, said in a release. “As guests make their way around the store, each aisle and department brings a new opportunity for them to experience a new, regional flavor. For those unable to travel to foreign places and taste exotic foods, the International Food Expo will bring that zest right to the store.” The International Expo is part of a series of events that the stores will be hosting throughout the year. Others include The Best of Texas Expo, scheduled for summer, and the Entertaining and Celebration Expo, scheduled a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving in November.
CONSUMERS LESS ANXIOUS for SAFETY
NEW YORK — Shoppers are aware that food-related recalls are on the rise, but they may be becoming too accustomed to news about recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks, according to Deloitte's 2010 Consumer Food Safety Survey. Ninety-percent of survey respondents said that they believed food recalls were on the rise or on par with recent years. However, the number of consumers concerned about the quality of food they eat decreased from 82% in Deloitte's 2008 survey, to 65% in this year's survey. Three-quarters of those surveyed felt that the manufacturers/food companies are responsible for communicating product recall information, followed closely by government organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration at 73%. Expectations for retailers and the media to communicate recall information were lower at 53% and 51% respectively. “The decline in consumers' concern for quality from our 2008 survey is due, in part, by their need to become more aware and engaged in choosing the products they buy,” said Pat Conroy, Deloitte's vice chairman and U.S. consumer products practice leader. “Consumers view food safety and quality as important issues, and are looking to manufacturers, food companies and government regulatory bodies to drive communication, as well as tackle food quality and safety issues.”
SHRIMP ALLIANCE REACTS TO OIL SPILL
TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — The Southern Shrimp Alliance here is monitoring containment efforts and the environmental impact of the massive Horizon oil spill 30 miles off the coast of Venice, La., but the group, which represents the U.S. wild-caught shrimp industry, has said it is too early to tell what impact the spill will have on domestic shrimp stocks. “It is too early to understand the effect of the spill on the shrimp stocks, which are [currently] migrating from estuaries to the Gulf of Mexico,” John Williams, executive director of the SSA, said in an announcement. “The SSA will continue to collaborate with federal and state government agencies to identify measures to minimize the damage from this tragedy.” The ultimate impact of the spill on the shrimp industry will depend on factors including the final volume of the spill, the outcome of containment efforts, and weather conditions, according to the SSA release. The spill may delay the start of shrimp season as well.