Consumer Brands Association

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Consumer Brands Association
FormationJune 1908; 115 years ago (1908-06)
TypeTrade association
HeadquartersRosslyn, VA, US
  • United States
Geoff Freeman

The Consumer Brands Association (CBA), formerly the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA),[1] is a United States-wide trade association for manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPG).

The CBA represents companies that manufacture food, beverages, household, and personal care products. As of December 2020, the CBA represented more than 1,700 brands.[2] Since the CBA's rebranding in 2020, 18 companies have joined it, increasing growth by more than 30%. As of 2021, the CBA represents 73 CPG companies with nearly 2,000 brands.[3]


The Consumer Brands Association (CBA) was founded in 1908 as the American Specialty Manufacturers Association, which consisted of 45 food and branded-product manufacturers in New York City.[4] It was headquartered at 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.[5]

Since its founding, the association has helped draft legislation such as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938, which gave the Food and Drug Association (FDA) regulatory authority and credited innovations, like the Universal Product Code (also known as the UPC bar code) in the 1970s. The Smart Label became a digital disclosure tool in 2015.

On January 1, 2007, the association merged with the Food Products Association and formed the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the world's largest trade association representing the food, beverage, and consumer products industry (GMA/FPA).

After two outbreaks of salmonella in 2006-2007,[6][7] members of the GMA made efforts "to reassess industry practices for eliminating salmonella in low-moisture products".[8]

In 2022, the association paid $9 million to settle a lawsuit by the State of Washington, for violating the states's campaign disclosure law when the association opposed a GMO-labeling ballot initiative, Initiative 522, in 2013.[9]

Advocacy initiatives[edit]

On December 5, 2013, the GMA sent a petition to the FD to support a new rule allowing food that is made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as natural.[10]

On March 16, 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama called on the GMA to help her with the Let's Move! campaign to reduce childhood obesity.[11][12]

In 2017, the association announced plans to relocate to Arlington County, Virginia.[13]

Several significant members, including Campbell Soup Company, Unilever, Mars, Incorporated, Tyson Foods, Nestlé, Dean Foods, Hershey's, and Cargill, had left the GMA since 2017, prompting a rebranding.[14]

In September 2019, the association announced it would relaunch itself as the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) in January 2020.[15] The rebranded association focused on representing the CPG industry and a new, consumer-centric agenda.[16]

In May 2020, the CBA launched the Critical Infrastructure Supply Chain Council (CISCC), an integrated resolution of 35 or more trade associations that address short- and long-term supply chain problems.[17]

CBA advocates on behalf of the CPG industry to Congress, state legislatures, and administration officials. The CBA's advocacy program focuses on:[18]

  • "Frictionless Supply Chains" is focused on promoting goods to consumers through frictionless supply chains;
  • "Packaging Sustainability" aims to increase recyclability and redesign the current US recycling system;
  • "Smart Regulations" advocates for federal regulations;
  • "Trust in CPG" commits GPG to selling consumers safe, reliable products.[19]

Programs and initiatives[edit]

  • Better Process Control School - The CBA hosts training for companies that produce low-acid and acidified foods, like tomato sauces, pickled products, and some pet foods. It fulfills FDA and USDA requirements in acidification, thermal processing, and container closure evaluation operations during the canning.[20][21][22]
  • Facts Up Front - A program of the CBA and Food Marketing Institute, this labeling system displays nutrition information on the front of food and beverage packages.
  • Hands-on Classrooms - Provides free resources for students, teachers, administrators, and parents about food safety, systems, and processing.
  • The Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) - A collaborative effort of the CBA, the National Restaurant Association, and the Food Industry Association to reduce the volume of food waste being sent to landfills, donate more food to people in need, and recycle unavoidable food waste.
  • The Smart Label platform[23] - launched in 2015, it hosts detailed information about around 80,000 products from more than 1,000 participating brands.

Board of directors[edit]


Notable members[edit]



  1. ^ "Head of grocery group talks virus, shopping". Finance & Commerce. Associated Press. April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "Industry Impact". Consumer Brands Association. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  3. ^ "Memberships jump over 30% for Consumer Brands Association". Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "About | History".
  5. ^ "Company Overview of Grocery Manufacturers Association". Bloomberg News.
  6. ^ "Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Tennessee Infections Linked to Peanut Butter (FINAL UPDATE)". CDC. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. March 7, 2007.
  7. ^ Sotir, Mark J.; Ewald, Gwen; Kimura, Akiko C.; Higa, Jeffrey I.; Sheth, Anandi; Troppy, Scott; Meyer, Stephanie; Hoekstra, R. Michael; Austin, Jana; Archer, John; Spayne, Mary; Daly, Elizabeth R.; Griffin, Patricia M.; Salmonella Wandsworth Outbreak Investigation Team (2009). "Outbreak of Salmonella Wandsworth and Typhimurium Infections in Infants and Toddlers Traced to a Commercial Vegetable-Coated Snack Food". The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 28 (12): 1041–1046. doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e3181af6218. PMID 19779390. S2CID 37566254.
  8. ^ Control of Salmonella in Low-moisture Foods (PDF). Grocery Manufacturers Association. February 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Jenkins, Don (March 2, 2022). "Food makers settle with Washington state for $9M over initiative campaign". Capital Press. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "Food industry group wants permission to label GMO foods as 'natural'". Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  11. ^ de Nies, Yunji (March 16, 2010). "Michelle Obama tells Grocery Manufacturers Association to 'Step it Up'". ABC News.
  12. ^ "Remarks by the First Lady at a Grocery Manufacturers Association Conference". March 16, 2010. Archived from the original on January 30, 2017.
  13. ^ Sernovitz, Daniel J. (February 9, 2017). "With Nestle incoming, leading industry trade association also headed to Rosslyn". American City Business Journals.
  14. ^ Charles, Dan (January 5, 2018). "Powerful Food Lobby Group Loses Members Amid Industry Culture Clash". The Salt.
  15. ^ "Bold New Agenda, New Name: GMA to Relaunch as Consumer Brands Association™". September 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "GMA to Rebrand as Consumer Brands Association". Progressive Grocer. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "StackPath". May 7, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  18. ^ "Consumer Brands Association Forms Coalition Tasked With Informing Federal CBD Policies". THCnet® | Cannabis News, Jobs, and Career Services. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  19. ^ "GMA to become Consumer Brands Association". Supermarket News. September 27, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Better Process Control School". Plone site. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  21. ^ "Better Process Control School". Cornell. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  22. ^ "Programs & Initiatives". Consumer Brands Association. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  23. ^ Marcarelli, Rebekah. "Smart Label Is Rapidly Taking Over the Retail Front". Winsight Grocery Business. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  24. ^ "Board of Directors". Consumer Brands Association. Retrieved October 29, 2020.

External links[edit]