Responsibility has changed very recently from merely adhering to the law to being a great opportunity and a factor which creates competitive strength and helps the company to continuously develop its operations. In order to realise this opportunity companies, including Fazer, must lend an ear to their stakeholders and correctly interpret their signals. Companies in the food industry also need to be able to justify their decisions.
Fazer has a holistic view on well-being. Fazer wants to offer nutritionally balanced products which induce physical well-being. Also indulgence, pampering and harmony in everyday life are part of the whole. Genuineness and naturalness are clear consumer trends which Fazer, too, wants to investigate in more detail. Open communication about the qualities of products and services are a natural part of Fazer’s dialogue with consumers.
Highlights of 2011 and plans for 2012
Topics discussed in 2011 in the consumer interface and more widely among stakeholders from the nutritional and the health point of view are the lowcarbohydrate diet and the role of food industry in people’s well-being. Additives, E-codes, sweeteners, and GMO are some of the topics that have stirred debate. Furthermore, discussion continues on responsibility labels and their significance and benefits.
In 2011, Fazer also continued to implement the E code optimisation programme. Its goal is to inspect all the products and reduce the use of additives whenever possible. This is done, for example, through the renewal of recipes.
In 2011, Fazer Bakeries & Confectionery implemented a new method for assessing product quality as experienced by consumers. In addition to the quality monitoring of production, Fazer initiated a quality assessment of product samples picked from the stores. The new product quality assessment method was piloted at the Lahti bakery, and it will be taken into use at all units in 2012. The goal of the renewal is to improve the quality of Fazer’s products and packages in the consumer interface. In addition, this is an efficient way to provide production with information about consumers’ wishes and opinions.
The low-carbon lunch (launched in 2010) attracted plenty of interest among the customers of Fazer Food Services, and in autumn 2011, Amica restaurants arranged a Baltic Sea Diet theme week. The meals consisted of locally produced, low-carbon ingredients, such as vegetables, berries, and Finnish fish and grains.
Twice a year, Fazer Food Services conducts a customer survey concerning customers’ experience of quality at Amica restaurants. In 2011, a total of 54,172 people responded to the survey. Amica restaurants received good ratings for customer service and the customers would like to recommend Amica restaurants to others.
Nutritional issues were addressed when the health benefits of rye and chocolate were investigated in 2010 and 2011 at the bakery and confectionery business area and the work continues. Fazer is a founding member in the HEALTHGRAIN Forum, which aims to communicate about the health benefits of wholegrain cereals. The amendments to the health claims directive will pose challenges for the entire food industry.
Consumers’ wishes have influenced also on Fazer Food Services’ decision in Finland to start only using stock preparations which contain no monosodium glutamate.