FMI Association News

Strategic Executive Exchange: Q&A with AWG's Steve Arnold

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 24, 2015

Steve Arnold, executive vice president of marketing with Associated Wholesale Grocers, offers his perspective on how his company lays the groundwork for business building opportunities during FMI's Strategic Executive Exchanges. Read more on FMI's blog.

Wash. food industry celebrates family meals

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 24, 2015

Mitty the Mitt, FMI's resident National Family Meals Month champion, recently took a trip to the West Coast to join the Washington Food Industry Association for the 2015 WFIA Best Bagger Battle. Here's Mitty the Mitt enjoying the action and spreading the family meals message. View more.

Are you prepared for what's ahead in the pork, beef and poultry markets?

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 23, 2015

Attend the 2016 Annual Meat Conference from Feb. 21-23 for a market outlook for meat and poultry. The economic impact of changing meat, poultry and livestock supply and demand conditions provide challenges for producers and retailers alike. This session will take an in-depth look at the beef, pork and poultry markets and explore how factors including weather, animal health and changing export markets continue to affect domestic availability and prices. Understanding changes in consumer spending and worldwide economic trends, combined with the knowledge of what to expect in livestock markets, will help you prepare for the coming years. Go online for more conference information.

Thanksgiving without turkey? No need to fear, there is plenty for everyone

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 20, 2015

If you Google "first Thanksgiving" and "turkey," you will find there is a surprisingly lively debate over whether turkey was actually served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. It seems that -- while we know quite a bit about this three day, men-only affair -- we don't actually have a specific list of the dishes served. Apparently, in the days before the "food selfie," people didn't necessarily document every last morsel they ate with quite the gusto many bring to it today. Read more on FMI's blog.

FMI President and CEO Sarasin invites "Everyone to the Table" in June 2016

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 20, 2015

FMI launched its new campaign, "Everyone to the Table," for FMI Connect, food retail's premier event. The industry platform is expected to explore all aspects of the grocery business, especially the most profit-centric areas, such as fresh and prepared foods, private brands and health and lifestyle. For more information, visit the FMI Connect website.

Back by popular demand: Surveys on grocery financial leaders and internal auditors

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 19, 2015

In 2012, FMI conducted a survey among its retail financial leaders and internal auditors and presented the results at the 2013 Financial Executive and Internal Auditing Conference. By popular demand, FMI is repeating these studies and requesting input from the grocery community. We need your response to these surveys by Nov. 20. Read more on FMI's blog.

How are grocery stores using social media?

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 19, 2015

In our series interviewing food retail social media managers, we've gotten a better idea of the day-to-day operations of these brand managers and storytellers. We've also seen how social media is being used creatively by grocery stores. But how are grocery stores using social media overall and what benefits, if any, are they seeing from it? Read more.

Private brands leaders on the issues

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 18, 2015

Since FMI started the Private Brand Leadership Council, we've been honored to have Ricardo Alvarez, who has been a president and CEO for several private brands companies during his career, serving on the Council and in the role of co-chair for three years. As Alvarez steps down from his leadership role, we're excited to work with Neil Ritchey, vice president for sales and marketing with Ajinomoto Windsor Inc., as our new co-chair. I took some time to chat with both gentlemen to get their views on issues facing the grocery private brands community. Read more here.

Shining a light on women leaders in food retail

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 18, 2015

As in the previous two years, it was my privilege to serve as the guest host at the formal awards ceremony of Progressive Grocer's Ninth Annual Top Women in Grocery last week in Florida. This soon-to-be decade-old event celebrates the notable contributions women make to the grocery industry by recognizing the star performers in three categories -- Senior-Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. The complete list of winners can be found on the TWIG website. Read more here.

Our 2015 Community Outreach Awards winners

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 17, 2015

The goal of FMI's Community Outreach Awards program is multilayered. We seek to capture some of the creative and meaningful ways supermarkets interact and support their local communities and we want to showcase the good that grocers do in their neighborhoods by sharing the stories of their service. This year, FMI members and social media followers helped us do that. More than 2,000 people took part in the Facebook contest -- a component of this year's Community Outreach program -- where the nominee receiving the most votes wins our social media award. During the week-long contest, there was a multitude of shares and likes on the posts meaning the good that grocers do was not limited to their neighborhood, but traveled to wherever the Internet reaches. Thank you to all who helped spread the word about our 20 fabulous nominees. Read more on FMI's blog.

Government and food industries need to work together to make food safer

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 17, 2015

When you turn on the TV or open a newspaper or a news application on your iPad, it may seem as if the numbers of foodborne outbreaks are becoming more common. There are several reasons why the incidences of large scale foodborne outbreaks have become more widespread: One, increased supply chain complexity -- food travels further within a short period of time. And two, improved detection methods. See more on FMI's blog.

Strategic Executive Exchange: Insights and tips from Kellogg Company's Dave Jones

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 16, 2015

The Strategic Executive Exchange program, one of the most rewarding aspects of FMI's Midwinter Executive Conference, engages senior level retail decision-makers and creates an environment through which meaningful exchange with a variety of industry trading partners and counterparts in the CPG, technology and service provider industries can take place. Over the span of the three-day event, our members have found great value in the conversations establishing strategy and shaping future direction. Read more on FMI's blog.

On the edge: The art of high-impact leadership @ the Supply Chain Conference

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 13, 2015

Imagine yourself on the highest mountain in the world. You have to deal with the physiological effects of extreme altitude -- along with bone-chilling temperatures, battering winds and a climbing team that's counting on all of its members to make smart decisions. There's simply no room for poor judgment -- one mistake or misstep can result in an "unrecoverable error." Drawing on her experience as team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition, Alison Levine makes a compelling case that the leadership principles that apply in the world of extreme adventure also apply to today's rigorously competitive business environments. View more about the Feb. 22-24 Supply Chain Conference program information.

2 webinars on finalized FSMA rules

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 13, 2015

Dr. Hilary Thesmar, vice president, food safety programs for FMI, and Melanie Neumann, executive vice president of The Acheson Group, will lead two webinars that share key highlights of the three latest Food Safety Modernization Act rules, which were finalized on Oct. 30. These highlights include changes to the proposed Produce Safety Rule, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program and the Accreditation of Third Party Auditors. These unique ReposiTrak-sponsored webinars take place Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. ET and Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. ET.

The business of reducing food waste

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 12, 2015

The more daunting the journey, the more important it is to make the first step as easy as possible or else the allure of procrastination becomes impossible to resist. Recently, the USDA and EPA established a goal of reducing food waste in the United States by 50% over the next 15 years. That is a worthy goal because of the enormous economic, social and environmental benefits achieving it would accrue. It is also a bold and ambitious goal because reaching it will involve every US citizen. The road to food waste reduction will be a daunting trek, but a critical one -- best begun by taking successful small steps. Read more on FMI's blog.

Store Manager Award winners show their appreciation

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 11, 2015

At FMI Connect 2015 we introduced a new feature to the annual Store Manager Awards. We posted the photos and stories of our ten finalists on the FMI Facebook page and invited fans and followers to "like" their favorite store manager. After one week the store manager with the most likes would receive the FMI Store Manager People's Pick Award along with $500 to celebrate with their store employees who make the stores so great. The response was astounding -- with almost 5,000 likes on all related posts in one week. After a virtual tie, we were pleased to announce that Steve Gannon of Winn-Dixie and Mark Hubbard of Food City were the recipients of the first ever FMI Store Manager People's Pick Award. Read more about this year's contest.

How to help customers with food refrigeration at home

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 10, 2015

Maintaining home refrigerators at 40°F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. As part of their Go 40 or Below campaign, the Partnership for Food Safety Education has developed retail-specific tools to share the Go 40 or Below message to help shoppers avoid the "Danger Zone" and stay food safe. Learn more.

FMI's Cathy Polley -- the real deal

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 09, 2015

It is said that individuals of true integrity are those whose actions sync completely with their espoused values. Such individuals are ones whose word we can rely on completely and whom we can count on to be there in both good times and not so good times. Our world is now absent one individual I have considered since our very first meeting to be of the highest integrity because last week Cathy Polley lost her hard-fought battle with cancer.

Both professionally and personally, Cathy inspired all who came into contact with her through her vision of the role the food retail sector could play in the health and wellness of our society. She advocated for it passionately because she understood the science behind it, she believed in the value it provides and she understood the discipline it requires. Her convictions about exercise, nutrition, menu planning, and personal/professional life balance were as much an integral part of her character as was her love of family, food and dancing. Touch one strand of these and Cathy's whole web vibrated because they were each part and parcel of her very being.

Read more about Polley from FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin.

ACA automatic enrollment repeal included in federal budget agreement

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 06, 2015

On Tuesday, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-74) into law, a budget deal that provides relative government budget clarity for the next two fiscal years and suspends the debt limit until March 2017, among other things. The Budget Act also contains language that removes an Affordable Care Act requirement for businesses with more than 200 employees to automatically enroll full-time employees in health coverage after working 90 days even if the employee doesn't opt-in or choose coverage. FMI strongly supported preemptively stopping the auto-enrollment mandate and worked with both Republicans and Democrats for its inclusion in the budget agreement before agencies began writing regulations. Read more on the blog.

Last day to vote on Facebook: Help a grocer doing good win big

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 06, 2015

We know every supermarket sees itself as a vital part of the community it serves and strives to give back. This commitment to the neighborhood is a traditional part of what makes food retail such a noble enterprise. Annually we host the FMI Community Outreach Awards as a means of celebrating those stories of grocers doing good. This year, we received the largest number of nominees ever and to showcase these stories even wider we're taking these wholesome tales to social media. Read more on FMI's blog.

Grocers Doing Good Facebook contest

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 05, 2015

This week, FMI is hosting a Facebook contest to highlight the good grocers are doing in local communities across the country. As an extension of our annual FMI Community Outreach Awards, FMI has posted all 20 of our 2015 nominees with a photo and description to our FMI Facebook page under the tab Grocers Doing Good. Visitors can vote for their favorite grocer doing good and share their vote on Facebook. The contest closes Friday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. ET. The hashtag for the campaign is #GrocersDoingGood.

FMI Foundation awards scholarships to future food systems auditors

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 04, 2015

FMI Foundation today awarded 10 scholarships to students pursuing food systems auditing as a career. The program was especially competitive this year. Twenty-seven scholarship contenders vied for $30,000 in scholarships and an all-expense paid trip to the SQF International Conference where they will network with more than 650 food industry professionals. Read the release.

New best practices guide highlights ways the food industry reduces food waste

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 04, 2015

The Food Waste Reduction Allianc released an updated guide with practical steps and examples to help food manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants cut food waste. The second annual Best Practices and Emerging Solutions guide highlights ways companies can begin or expand their food donation or food waste diversion programs. The second volume provides additional insight, revisiting model practices and emerging solutions compiled from more than 30 FWRA member companies and expert partners from the hunger relief and waste management sectors and featuring new real-life examples and case studies. Download it here.

Free webinar: What is Ethical Sourcing 2.0 and why YOU need it!

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 03, 2015

Consumers utilize their stake in the market to advocate for safer, better quality products and to dictate how those products are made. Scandals connected to forced labor, child labor, pollution and lack of corporate transparency directly affect the choices consumers make, which create a ripple effect throughout the supply chain. The Ethical Sourcing Standard effectively reduces these negative risks by addressing each of the above issues. Join the Safe Quality Food Institute for this free webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 2–4 p.m. ET and learn about the SQFI Ethical Sourcing Standard. Register and learn more.

Help a grocer doing good win big

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 03, 2015

We know every supermarket sees itself as a vital part of the community it serves and strives to give back. This commitment to the neighborhood is a traditional part of what makes food retail such a noble enterprise. Annually we host the FMI Community Outreach Awards as a means of celebrating those stories of grocers doing good. This year, we received the largest number of nominees ever, and to showcase these stories even wider we're taking these wholesome tales to social media. Read more on FMI's blog.

Want to speak at FMI Connect? Here are some tips

FMI dailyLead® | Nov 02, 2015

Now through Nov. 9, the FMI Education Team is accepting proposals for education sessions at FMI Connect 2016. Each year we get dozens of great proposals, but can only accept a limited number. So, how do you get your proposal noticed? Read more.

Playing supermarket myth whack-a-mole

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 30, 2015

You see it often in a debate, one side makes a bold accusatory claim and the other side has to decide whether to actively engage and risk calling further attention to the assertion or simply refuse to honor it with a response and hope others understand it as ludicrous or false. As the association serving as the "Voice of Food Retail," FMI must make that decisive call each time we see another account pop up claiming to unveil the manipulative marketing secrets of the supermarket or purporting to blow the lid off the sneaky psychology of the grocer. Read more on FMI's blog.

Private brands go to Washington

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 30, 2015

Last week the FMI Private Brand Council held its first Washington, D.C., Summit. This event was the culmination of a year's worth of evaluating what is currently offered by the FMI Private Brand Council and industry. The group came to our nation's capital because of the growing number of issues taking place here including regulatory topics, Nutrition Facts Panel changes, GMO legislation, the Food Safety Modernization Act and consumer demands topics such as transparency. The group was able to talk to key government stakeholders and learn about FMI resources on how best to address each topic. Read more on FMI's blog.

Why we love grocery store pharmacists

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 29, 2015

According to a Gallup Poll, pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals and as healthcare experts they offer extensive patient care services including immunizations, health care screenings and traditional prescription refills. Bringing these natural health care allies into the grocery experience is a win-win for food retailers and shoppers. In fact, the FMI staff appreciates grocery pharmacists so much we recently had one to our offices to deliver flu shots! Read more on the blog.

Getting ahead in food retail

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 28, 2015

The dominant success story in food retail is so often the guy or gal who started out bagging groceries or working the cash register and who worked his or her way up to the executive ranks. Our industry tends to promote from within and to value industry experience over academic background. But in today's world that may no longer be enough. Read more on FMI's blog.

The meat of the matter

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 27, 2015

A study released yesterday on the health effects of red and processed meat consumption are based on a variety of international research reports, but it's important to note that the US government agencies responsible for a safe food supply and/or cancer groups have not changed their recommendations as a result of the IARC's announcement. The US Department of Agriculture maintains its recommendation on moderation, specifically choosing lean proteins and varying your protein choice. For resources and information, visit the FMI blog.

Recorded food retail trends webinars: Available for download

FMI dailyLead® | Oct 27, 2015

Listen to findings from the FMI 2015 US Grocery Shopper Trends Report on your own time by downloading recorded webinars from the FMI website. Three free webinars explore deep shifts in shopping and important mealtime distinctions among consumers. Learn more online.

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