Supermarket Guru says stickers on clamshells a good food safety idea to go

Supermarket Guru picked up on our food safety stickers for takeout food and suggested it was one way retailers could turn food safety into a competitive advantage, and wrest takeout business from nearby restaurants.

Which was exactly one of our thoughts when we began experimenting with food safety stickers about five years ago.

While doesn’t know the full details of their proposed label, we suggest that besides basic date and serving information, it also clearly states whether a food might contain allergens like peanuts or gluten. In our opinion, supermarkets have failed so far to truly differentiate themselves in prepared foods and easy takeout. This is one value-added step that could help food stores retain the takeout volume that fell in their laps when the economy cratered, and people curbed their restaurant visits. They didn’t really earn the windfall, but they got it, and now they have to address consumer concerns about food safety in order to burnish their image as takeout sources.

Perhaps a special opportunity for this approach is in the small-format stores modeled after Tesco’s Fresh & Easy, which emphasize takeout offerings, and are already battling convenience stores, which are stepping up their meal programs. Safe food-handling stickers could add professionalism to the displays and confidence in consumers, and make the prepared foods section a more frequent destination.

We’ll work with anyone who is interested in developing the sticker concept for their own food business — large or small. Any new sticker would have a different phone number and website than those depicted (below) and would be based on research tailored to a specific operation.