Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who is the "Supermarket Guru?"

Do you know Phil Lempert? Perhaps you're not aware of his name, but you might recognize his face from television or his product reports in your local newspaper. Phil Lempert is known as the "Supermarket Guru," and for more than 25 years, has been providing his expertise through new product ratings and food marketing and retail analysis.

As food and beverage companies introduce new products, Lempert completes a taste-test and weighs in based on eight criteria:

  1. Taste – As the most important feature of any food, the product should have an appealing flavor. (30 points)
  2. Value – Is the product worth the price? (20 points)
  3. Health – Is the product nutritionally balanced? (15 points)
  4. Ingredients – What items are used to produce the food? How natural is the product? (15 points)
  5. Preparation – Are the directions clearly defined and easy to understand? Products that do not have any preparation are awarded the full value of these points in their total score. (5 points)
  6. Appearance – Does the final product look enticing and appear as represented in its photo and description? (5 points)
  7. Packaging – Are the wrappings and cover appropriate for the product? Does the package include advantages like resealability, added freshness, or better storage? (5 points)
  8. Sustainability – Is the packaging environmentally friendly? (5 Points)
Lempert often shares his findings on The Today Show, where he serves as the food editor and correspondent, reporting on consumer trends and food safety in addition to providing money-saving tips and introducing new products. He also visits the ladies of The View every month, and has appeared on Oprah, 20/20, CNN, Discovery Health, and MSNBC. Lempert is a published author and writes for Gourmet Retailer magazine and the "Consumer Insight" column monthly for Progressive Grocer magazine.

When you see a new product on the shelf and you're uncertain as to whether or not to splurge, use the Supermarket Guru to make an educated decision. Hopefully, the product you put in your cart earned a high score on Phil Lempert's scale.

To learn more, log on to SupermarketGuru.com where you can register to receive Phil's daily Food and Health Newsflash, watch the weekly "New Products Hits and Misses" and check out the latest edition of "The Lempert Report." You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

For an added bonus, visit Phil's Supermarket. According to the Web site, Lempert founded this first supermarket to exist in the virtual world of Second Life in 2007. The site features interactive product demonstrations, consumer focus groups, specialized recipes, expert chefs, and detailed product information to allow consumers and businesses to understand shopping and marketing options better.

Are you a fan of Phil? If this is the first time you're hearing about him, explore his work and leave me a message telling me what you think!

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