The greys are still teens

Sir: Your feature on the Grey Pound (‘The grey pound is up for grabs’, 7 March) was really topical, and an area as misunderstood as the baby boomers when they emerged as a coherent financial power.

The products this group want are often already in place, but just have to be found in some very surprising places. Products like the easy-to-eat bar that happens to be sold for the baby; the breath freshening strip for teenagers that was taken up by people who didn’t want to damage their teeth; and the soft crunch snack that has a much less aggressive mouthfeel than ‘crispier’ crisps.

All these companies need to do is find a way of getting the message through to older shoppers who still see themselves as the same teenagers that broke the mould back then.

Colin Harper, CEO, Retail Vital Statistics

Do a better job on waste

Sir: The call for tougher food waste regulations (‘Food waste efforts aren’t good enough, says report,’, 22 January) is very welcome. The fact is that 30%-50% of all food is wasted, and half this wastage is down to inefficiencies.

Better forecasting and stock planning is the key to better economics, better ecology and improved customer service. And all this can be readily achieved through a combination of the latest supply chain management technology and improved processes around data gathering, control and transparency.

Mikko Kärkkäinen, group CEO, Relex Solutions

Austerity and organics

Sir: It is disturbing that in times of austerity taxpayer money can be used to market niche products that are the preserve of the affluent (‘Organic Trade Board begins largest ever marketing push,’, 14 March). This would be better spent on sustainable agriculture with a chance of feeding a rising population.

Simon Williams, via

Fairer rates system

Sir: Instead of being calculated by reference to artificial property rateable values, rates should be based on the value of sales (’Media Bites,, 17 March). Having a system that does not penalise retail sector in tough economic times would be fairer and provide an incentive to increase business.

Jeremy Cooper, head of retail and consumer brands, Crowe Clark Whitehill