Yet another year has flown by and we are already here in November. By now I'm sure your store is prepped for the upcoming holiday season and you are busy getting ready for the new year. With a new year in sight, I begin to think about all the possibilities in store for our industry in 2020.
Here at FMI we have been hard at work making sure we have the resources and knowledge you will need to address whatever might come your way. I've included a number of resources in this newsletter to help you think about how you will approach your organization's operations going into the new year. With trends like plant-based proteins and sustainability continuing to gain momentum, we are sure to see some changes in what we offer on our shelves.
New breakthroughs in technology promise to drastically change the landscape of the industry. Being ahead of the curve and harnessing the potential of these changes can pay off for those willing to put in the effort.
In 2019, we learned a lot. We have produced a number of research reports to help collect the most important takeaways from this year in our Speaks and Trends series.
As we close out the year, I think we will be able to look back and be proud of what we accomplished, and I can confidently say I'm excited to take on another exciting year with you all! Please enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. We will be back in 2020 to continue making progress with you!
Today in the food industry, there are thousands of companies riding the wave of the plant-based protein trend. Grocery stores, restaurants and even convenience stores are on the road to widespread plant-based offerings. FMI's 2019 US Grocery Shopper Trends report finds a rising number of households (33%) have at least one member voluntarily following a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian diet -- a trend which is higher for Gen Z and millennial households. At the same time, Trends finds only 5% of households with kids describe themselves as eating a completely plant-based diet, meaning the exclusion of all animal products including meat, dairy and eggs. So, how is it that plant-based meat alternatives, in a society where plant-based meats used to seem alien, are so popular? Learn more.
Refrigerant management offers an opportunity for food retailers to evaluate source refrigerants as well as examine their leak management practices. These opportunities are the driving forces behind the creation of EPA's GreenChill partnership program with food retailers that aims to "reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change." Tom Land of EPA recognized industry achievement during the Annual Awards Recognition ceremony at the conference. The award recipients are listed here.Learn more about the program.
According to the federal government, DIR fees charged to pharmacies have grown by more than 45,000% over the past 10 years. In an industry that operates on razor-thin profit margins, supermarket pharmacies have virtually no ability to absorb these unexpected costs. Fortunately, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress to prohibit retroactive pharmacy DIR fees. The Phair Pricing Act of 2019 (H.R. 1034/S.640) would require all pharmacy DIR fees and criteria for reimbursement to be determined at the point of sale, assuring patients are properly charged and protecting pharmacies from the financial uncertainties they currently face. Watch this video to learn more.
FMI's 70th annual The Food Retailing Industry Speaks report provides the food retail industry with important operational and financial benchmarks as well as insights into strategic and tactical decisions. The food retail industry is riding a number of positive growth trends even as it grapples with unprecedented challenges. We've broken down the top findings from the 2019 report, representing 36,000 stores. Download the report.
The growing acceptance of plant-based foods and product offerings is cutting across grocery categories and sales growth. Plant-based meat alternative sales increased 19.2% last year and 33% of households have at least one member following a non-medically prescribed diet such as vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or flexitarian. What is driving increasing interest in plant-based foods and alternative proteins? What does the rise of shoppers purchasing plant-based products mean for retailers and CPG manufacturers? How are plant-based products perceived and used by buyers? Learn the answers to these questions and join conversations in the following webinars: The Plant-Based Tipping Point, The Surge of Plant-Based Foods and Understanding the Plant-Based Food Consumer.
The food retail industry is continuously looking for ways to increase cost-predictability to help ensure prices stay low for consumers. This includes reducing the potential risk of costly litigation wherever possible. Recently, FMI hosted a webinar for members to examine the Americans with Disability Act, or ADA. Our Quick Reference Guide is also available to help remind members what is required under the ADA. Learn more.
When the lights go out at the grocery store, especially when it is related to a natural disaster, an action plan is needed. One of the first and most critical steps is reporting the store status. While an individual store may report its status to headquarters, how is that information being reported to federal, state and local governments? Especially during a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or flood, notifying government authorities about the status of your stores can help get your doors reopened sooner. Learn more about how you can stay prepared.
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI has almost 1,000 food retail, wholesale member companies, 85 international member companies and almost 500 associate member companies. For more information, visit