Making Your Store Safe for Customers With Food Allergies

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast tackles how to handle food allergies at retail.

March 18, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Food Allergens and Food Safety,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Lindsay Buchanan, marketing coordinator, discuss food allergies and how retailers can make their stores safe for everyone with Lisa Gable, CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education.

One tenth of the U.S. population has a food allergy, which makes eating out and traveling challenging if food establishments, convenience stores and products don’t contain accurate allergen information. “One thing that we’ve seen in the larger retail market is a focus in a particular aisle or section that has allergen-free foods,” Gable said. For example, CVS and Wegmans have done this successfully.

“We recognize that convenience stores are one of the places that families shop,” Gable said. “So knowing that there’s an area of the store where the food allergic can go to find foods that are free of the top nine allergens and are clearly labeled as such is going to be a key differentiator for that market.”

How can retailers speak to those with food allergies in a more personal way? “One way is to make that a brand value for that convenience store,” Gable said. For instance, one of the largest populations of those with food allergies are kids. “Having a brand that’s associated with clear communication, whether that’s on the website or in a location within the store or clear signage related to what that product is free of, will really be helpful as that child is out and eventually making purchasing decisions on his or her own.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.