Earlier this month, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) announced a new initiative called the Retailer Relations Forum. Created to help member companies grow their relationships and business with retailers, the Retailer Relations Forum will be composed of senior sales officers at CRN member companies who market finished dietary supplements and functional foods.
To further boost these relationships, the Forum will invite retailers to host engagement events at their store or facility. This in-person meeting will help create a network to discuss pertinent issues facing retailers and brands alike.
Below, Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO, shines some light on the new program and its goals.
How did you come up with this idea?
Steve Mister: We saw a need that was not being met—the need being that we did not have regular interaction with member company sales executives—and so we took action to remedy it. As we conducted outreach directly to major supplement retailers, it became apparent we were overlooking a potential resource in the sales executives of our own members who regularly interface with the category managers at these retailers. If they were more aware of industry efforts they could be ambassadors of these initiatives, all while promoting their own companies’ support for these programs to build consumer confidence in the sector.
What are the main goals?
SM: CRN created this Forum to establish a channel for our members to be well informed when it comes to retailers’ priorities, initiatives and expectations for the dietary supplement and functional food categories. The need is for senior sales executives to stay up-to-speed on regulatory, self-regulatory and sector developments that could impact their business.
We also see an opportunity to encourage our members to become better CRN brand ambassadors to the retail trade by promoting CRN’s initiatives directed toward retail.
How can retailers get involved?
SM: CRN has launched and engaged in several initiatives that are relevant to retailers over the years. The Forum allows increased exposure to all the ways CRN can be of value to these channels. The Forum will also assist retailers in their ability to identify brands, ingredients and manufacturers who are committed to delivering safe, quality products to their shelves. Retail chains interested in hosting an Engagement Event at their headquarters are encouraged to contact CRN.