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Redefining the First Moment Of Truth in food consumption.

The First Moment Of Truth (FMOT) and Convenient packaging have made us insensitive to consumption of excessive and overpriced food.

Photo of Angel Landeros
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It was in a 2002 letter to shareholders, that Procter & Gamble CEO, A.G. Lafley used the term FMOT ("Eff Mot" - First Moment of Truth) defined as the moment "when consumers stand in front of store shelf and decide whether to buy a P&G brand, or a competing product". -Keith Ewart (Sep 17, 2015)

FMOT, even before it was defined as such, has driven branding and product packaging for the last century.  It is the driving force behind new consumer packaged goods product launches. 

FMOT and convenience has spilled over to fresh food (produce, meat, poultry, etc.).  It is now easier to just grab a bag a pre-picked and packaged fresh food, even if it is more than we need.  We've become insensitive and accustomed to have an amount of acceptable waste for every package we purchase.

After working several years in the consumer packaged goods industry, I've seen how newer generations are starting to look for a different FMOT.  Millenials and youngers groups are focusing more on social impact and sustainability rather than on eye-catching packaging on the shelf.  As millenials now account for over 50% of the workforce, this shift in focus can be leveraged to push an industry wide redefinition of a socially and environmentally responsible FMOT.  This new FMOT would include the amount of waste that goes to getting the food that is sold in the store.  Products that are more wasteful or produce more waste would be less appealing.   

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

By redefining consumer expectations and making companies accountable for their impact, we should organically bring about a change in the manufacturing and marketing processes in the CPG industry. Great amounts of waste that are not seen by the consumer would be reduced.

Tell us about your work experience:

I've worked in the CPG industry fro over 15 years, and have led several sustainability projects and networks with regional reach within the company.

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Photo of Ashley Zanolli

Love this idea! But, the impacts of waste for 1lb of beef are 0.05%.  Waste impacts are focused on what we see and not all of the resources and energy that go into the products and goods we consume, which is why wasting food matters. Please consider focusing on lifecycle impacts or this idea will perpetuate framing that the waste we see and landfill methane emissions are source to the food waste problem (a tragically common misperception). 

Photo of Angel Landeros

Thanks Ashley Zanolli .  I think you've hit on the point of want to communicate.  You are aware that waste related to beef is extremely low (as long as it is made by a responsible company), but what if that is not the case?  What if you had a company focusing on marketing their beef as per current marketing practices of nice and convenient packaging while their waste was 0.2% (4x industry benchmark).  Would you assume it is 0.05% just because it is sold at a well known store?  Is the hypothetical  0.2% OK or too much?  
The new first moment of truth should be focused on companies acting responsibly.  I've had a hard time on framing this idea as I feel there are several points of action I want to cover but have not been able to express appropriately.

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