The retail food industry has taken initiatives to improve cost and to return the
focus of management to the consumer. Among these initiatives are Efficient Consumer
Response (ECR) and category management. A mail questionnaire elicited perceptions
on these issues from 95 executives among U.S. food wholesalers and retailers. This
study found that ECR and category management are being used to streamline costs and
to remove logistical inefficiencies. Although it is widely recognized that category
management provides a consumer focus, distributors seemingly brush aside tactics
that target individual customers in favor of efforts that target logistical efficiency.