No, I Don't Need A Receipt
According to research, drinkware accounts for about 21 percent of the sales in the U.S. promotional product industry, making it the sixth most popular category. For the most part, I think suppliers have now moved well past the BPA (bisphenol-A) issue in drinkware, now clearly advertising products as "BPA-Free." That's a good thing, of course, because BPA is the worst known endocrine disruptor and, along with other nasty chemicals like dioxins and atrazine, harm the body by either mimicking or "disrupting" normal hormone activity.
But, just when you think you're out of the woods on an issue, it pops up in a most unexpected place. As reported in a recent article in Naturally Savvy, research has found BPA in cash register receipts at many of your favorite supermarkets. A new report (PDF) studied thermal register receipts in 82 grocery stores in 12 chains found in 66 cities in 17 states. Of the 94 samples tested (some from more than one store), a whopping 27 of them had BPA above the sample reporting limit. At the top of the list: Winn-Dixie, with 10 stores' receipts with BPA concentrations above 1,000 mg/kg associated with stores located in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Right behind Winn-Dixie were Kroger and Safeway, both with 17 percent of the receipts tested having BPA above the sample limit.
We've come to expect retailers to be working with their suppliers to be providing safe and compliant products for purchase. But, who knew that point-of-purchase could be a BPA land mine, too. Think about all those toddlers begging to be allowed to hold the receipt after a visit to the local grocery store and, well, it's kind of gross to think about handing them a pile of BPA, isn't it? What to do? The easiest answer is to not take the receipt, or use cash cards that track purchases from the stores you shop, just in case you need to make a return. Even better—when merchants offer the solution of emailing your receipt, take it. It's likely safer that way.
Switching gears a bit, we've completed the second edition of the Promo Marketing supplement QCAConnect. If your print copy hasn't dropped on your desk yet, here's the link to the electronic version. For the first time, we've added distribution to select end-user buyers of promotional products, and the content has been created with that additional audience in mind. For suppliers, distributors, and now, end-users as well, the articles cover the hottest buttons of our industry—timely insight into the issues surrounding personal electronics, apparel, and supplier selection. We also spotlight the latest on-trend products being produced by QCA-Accredited suppliers. We hope you'll agree that keeping the entire supply chain informed, and up-to-date on the latest concerns and issues is important to the well-being of everyone in the industry. After you have a chance to read QCAConnect, would you let us know what you think about it?
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.