Industry News

Keith Thomas joins executive management committee [...]
Wed, Jan 16, 2019
Supermarket News
President’s role expanded; Galen Weston named executive chairman [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
Execs from Walmart, Kroger, Target share their experiences [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
By Mark Baum, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, and Chief Collaboration Officer, Food Marketing Institute For the fourth year, FMI and Oliver Wyman have teamed up to provide thought leadership on the most pressing issues facing the food retail industry. The annual edition of Boardroom takes readers directly into the C-Suite of food retail companies and investigates issues that are top-of-mind while offering insightful ideas to FMI members and those interested in the food industry, from senior executives to new hires, on how to stay at the forefront of demanding issues. This new edition of Boardroom, our most robust and thought provoking yet, captures what food retailers must do to survive today's challenges and plan for those of tomorrow. In 2018, FMI worked with members to develop and introduce its emerging issues initiative to support their long-term planning. We brought together a cohesive set of insights on the obstacles retailers will have to overcome in the next few years, making it easier for retailers and their trading partners to plan for their collective and successful future. Many of these emerging issues have been embedded into this year's Boardroom. Here's a look at what we're covering in 2019: We start with a forward-looking section on The Future of Retail, delving into how consumer preferences will further disrupt the retail industry and the opportunities that exist with this shift towards an age of information. Emerging New Consumerism discusses how consumer tastes will continue to evolve and what it will take for FMI's membership to meet those demands. Artificial intelligence and Workforce explore how retailers can make use of their most important assets to deliver on those demands. The New Marketplace reviews the requirements of changing consumer demands, as retailers must adapt the physical store to better suit customers who will increasingly avail themselves of the plethora of channels for food purchases. Finally, Food Production investigates what these changes, coupled with the increased globalization and localization of the supply chain, mean for how the industry provides high quality and safe products in a sustainable way. Below, you will find summary blurbs of each article in this year's Boardroom, which debuts at the Midwinter Executive Conference and will be available online afterwards. Sign up to receive a periodic digest about the Boardroom chapters right to your inbox: Sign Up For Boardroom Section Content feature [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
FMI News
No more locations to be built, CEO John Mackey tells employees [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
Supermarkets are leveraging value-added options to lure customers and bolster activity [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
Customers can order their food to eat on-site and can select products to take home and cook [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
Prepared foods can showcase local and specialty retail products, and vice versa [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Supermarket News
Refinancing moves help shrink debt by $1 billion [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Supermarket News
Clean labels, healthy ingredients define breakfast product mix [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Supermarket News
In other popular SN content, Sprouts announced plans to enter three new states, Wegmans prepares its first New York City opening and how much are grocery retailers earning? [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Supermarket News
From jalapeño to rainbow and everything in between, a variety of flavors can make your bakery a bagel destination [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Supermarket News
Ahold Delhaize USA chains to introduce ‘Marty’ at about 500 stores [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
Supermarket News
By Mark Baum, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, and Chief Collaboration Officer, Food Marketing Institute One of the most talked about issues in our industry is the future of the workforce. In the U.S., automation adoption will continue to increase, potentially up to 23 percent by 2030. (Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation, McKinsey, 2017) What are the implications? How do we best prepare for this? The answer is nuanced. Certain job sectors will be more affected than others—tasks with high repetition, or easily transferred to some form of automation, will likely see more seismic shifts in upcoming years. Other sectors will see more incorporation of technology into existing work functions designed to help employees do their jobs better and more efficiently. Many are now seeking what we are calling the “missing middle”; the interface between humans and machines. It turns out – we need both! We hear from our members all the time that the hiring and retention of employees is top of mind. That, combined with the complexities new technologies are bringing to the future of workforce, is why FMI has identified the future of work as the highest priority in a pillar of our revised strategic plan, in which we address the most pressing and emerging issues confronting the industry. But it doesn't stop there.          To prepare for workforce changes, we must focus on the skills shift. Vast opportunities lie in mid-career job training. According to the recent World Bank study, The Changing Nature of Work, workers will need to be good at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. These are core focus areas that FMI trains future leaders to address at the annual Future Leaders eXperience event in May. Learning to cross-collaborate while understanding the special nature of the food retail industry sits at the forefront of this event. One thing to consider in preparing for this shift in skills requirements is that maintaining and improving your current workforce is much more cost effective than it is to hire a new team, although companies will likely employ a blend of existing and new employees. Both McKinsey and Jyve, a platform that matches retail merchandising needs with skilled talent, will be sharing their insights into the future of labor at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, coming up at the end of January. Their highly anticipated breakout sessions will delve into immediate next steps grocery retailers can take to set themselves up for success. On the Midwinter keynote stage, Zeynep Ton, adjunct associate professor of operations management, MIT Sloan School of Management, will talk about how investing in a motivated and capable workforce can lead to more satisfied and loyal customers and increased financial performance. While this is indeed a time of change, embracing the emerging issue of workforce early will lead to healthy outcomes. Don't let others upset your apple carts on their terms, because we've got choices. Explore fresh ideas and solutions in partnership with our technology counterparts to create a more agile marketplace. Join [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019
FMI News
Report predicts major expansion in grocery, pharmacy [...]
Sat, Jan 12, 2019
Supermarket News
Part store and part technology incubator, the Sam’s Club Now outlet that opened in mid-November in Dallas gives a peek at what an omnichannel-optimized retail destination could look like. SamsClub.com CEO Jamie Iannone described the new warehouse clu [...]
Sat, Jan 12, 2019
Supermarket News
By Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute It is a normal part of being human to occasionally wish we had the capacity to stop time so we could better prepare for the situation in which we find ourselves. But aside from “falling back” to Standard Time, when we can physically turn back the clock, we aren't allowed the luxury of manipulating time. The best we can do is use the moments we can control, which is “now,” to prepare for whatever may befall us. So, whether it's preparing for mother nature or grieving the loss of life due to violent acts in the workplace, we can take time now to prepare for the worst; so that we are ready to respond with authority and empathy; stabilize our communities; and prompt the recovery process. This year, FMI created guidelines for asset protection professionals and those charged with business continuity to assist these key personnel in preparing for, responding to, stabilizing and recovering from two distinct and crippling situations: a natural disaster and an active shooter. When faced with a natural disaster, our primary concerns as an industry remain: protect life; secure property; assist the community; and reopen for business. Identifying a person and/or position focused on business continuity and maintaining focus during a crisis reveals new opportunities for an organized approach to public-private collaboration. Storms remind us that it's important to prepare when the sun is out. FMI's crisis management site offers a new Natural Disaster Guide for these blue-sky days. We learned a great deal working with our members this year through hurricanes Florence and Michael, specifically creating a better relationship with FEMA and coordinating resources and response teams. In an historic development, FMI is now represented as part of FEMA's strategic plan under the “Food, Shelter, Water” section of FEMA's industry-wide strategy. FEMA looks to FMI to assume a stronger role in preparing for and responding to catastrophic events. Our industry is a business about people and community, so when tragedy strikes our stores or warehouses, we feel exponential loss. According to the FBI's study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017, there were 50 shootings during this time period that were designated as active shooter incidents, which is more than double the 11.4 average number of incidents the country experienced from 2000 – 2013. With FMI's Active Shooter Guideline, we've consolidated information from both the public and private sector to assist business continuity and crisis teams. Crisis management professionals know all too well that there's no time to ask “why” during a crisis or reflect “what-could-have-been” – you just need to act, stabilize and recover. We can't turn back time, but we can prepare for a better future together.   [...]
Fri, Jan 11, 2019
FMI News
New store format caters to urban neighborhoods [...]
Fri, Jan 11, 2019
Supermarket News
By: Pat Walsh, Vice President, Supply Chain & Business Development, Food Marketing Institute We are all familiar with the forces that have led to significant changes in food retail over the last few years: e-commerce, shifting consumer trends and new digital tools, among others. There is one disruptor, however, that might not seem so obvious. A severe capacity shortage in the trucking industry is affecting the flow of food to retail businesses and having a negative impact on the consumer experience. There simply aren't enough trucks and truck drivers to get products from the manufacturer and distributor to the store. According to DAT benchmarks, in the first six months of 2018, line haul rates increased by 10 percent to just over $2.30 per mile and still fewer and fewer trucks seem to be available to ship more and more volume. The heart of the problem is a dearth of qualified truck drivers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for drivers jumped 15 percent over the last four years, compared to an average 10 percent for all private-sector workers. But that still hasn't been enough to solve the problem. The Trading Partner Alliance's supply chain executive committee and its member companies in 2018 have been working on pilot programs with a three-pronged approach to meet the industry-wide trucking capacity shortage, including efforts to: Increase asset utilization - Coming up with ways to improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain, often by employing enhanced technologies; Increase driver supply - Creating more opportunities for more people to enter the truck driving field, perhaps by lowering age limits, attracting drivers from other countries and encouraging military veterans who have the required skills; and Reduce demand volatility - Finding ways to smooth out demand and reducing the time that trucks are not on the road. Longer-term solutions include greater investment in research on autonomous vehicles, adjusting load capacities and making improvements to the highway system. The challenge to the trucking capacity shortage that is impacting the consumer experience is formidable, but there will be solutions and members of the Trading Partner Alliance are working together to find them. If you have an interest in joining TPA Task Group and our work in 2019, please contact Pat Walsh. [...]
Thu, Jan 10, 2019
FMI News
By Julie Pryor, Director, Emerging Brands, and Margaret Core, Vice President, Marketing and Industry Relations There may have never been a time when consumers craved so many new and innovative products more than they do now. Likewise, there may never have been a time when there were so many obstacles for emerging brands to overcome as they struggle for space on retail shelves, both in our stores and online. FMI is working to get as many exciting new products to the marketplace as possible with its recently inaugurated Emerge program, designed to break down the barriers for new companies looking for wider grocery distribution and more sales velocity. At the heart of the subscription-based Emerge program is moreshelfspace.org, the center of the online community for emerging brands. This portal details all the resources available to the Emerge community, including webinars, podcasts and workbooks. One of Emerge's most important assets is its network of mentors available to entrepreneurs who have questions and, due to their brands' nascency, so few answers to inquiries, such as: How do I establish a healthy broker and distribution network? How can I be a successful partner to brokers and distributors? How do I organize my supply chain and online fulfillment? Who are the buyers in my category? How do I access actionable data insights and use them to drive sales and velocity? With more than 50 mentors in the community, new entrepreneurs have access to food retail industry experts and leaders offering time and money-saving guidance and coaching. Beyond insights and advice, mentors help make experience-based connections, share links to financing sources, investors and potential trading partners, and provide practical guidance regarding the kind of financial help to ask for and when best to request it. Sales of natural products have doubled in the last decade and have now surpassed $130 billion annually. Many of the new brands looking for access to the marketplace are in this category, along with health and wellness products, which also address a growing consumer desire. Consumers hold individual views on how to eat well and food retailers can help them reach their goals in terms of shopping well -- by supporting the customers desire for nutritional products offering new sensory experiences. Julie Pryor, FMI's director of emerging brands, leads the Emerge effort assisted by a veteran community of retail and business leaders, who are Sponsors or serve on either the Champions Council or the Retailer/Distributor Advisory Council. If you know an emerging food, beverage, or GM/HBC brand that could benefit from joining the Emerge community, please encourage them to contact us!    [...]
Thu, Jan 10, 2019
FMI News
By Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute Private brands have become full-fledged brands in their own right, as evidenced by 69 percent of consumers saying it's very or somewhat important to have a good assortment of private brands in food and beverage. These own-brand products continue to make strides and hit an upward growth trajectory again. As consumers continue to explore new products based more on attributes and less on the brand providing them, retailers are quickly positioning their own brands to differentiate as a competitive strategy. The FMI Private Brand Leadership Council stays on top of these trends with the second release of the Power of Private Brands research. To dive deeper into private brand topics and insights throughout the year, the council broke up the research into four separate releases: Power of Private Brands – From the Register, which focuses on metrics and benchmarking; From the Consumer looks further into consumer preference and acceptance; From the Industry revisited key metrics with retailers and manufacturers from 2017 to benchmark improvements in collaboration and strategy; and From the World, explores European performance and debate the opportunity for the U.S. to mature to European private brand shares. In addition to premier consumer and operational insights, the Private Brand Council hosted its fourth-annual D.C. Summit, an event developed by and for private brand stakeholders. The unique style of the summit encourages share-group-style discussion on four-to-five key topics identified by the Council. In 2018, the group explored consumer trends, the shift from private label to private brand, and the change from price-only programs to consumer-needs programs. The group also explored how private brands will compete, how the industry will address data accuracy challenges, and changes needed with trading partner collaboration based on the new challenges presented by the digitally engaged food shopper. There is a strong opinion from industry that based on the current momentum from consumer acceptance, the private brand dollar share could double from the current 15 percent average to almost 30 percent in the next 10 years. It's an exciting time for private brands, and I predict 2019 will be more fast paced than 2018. More On Private Brands [...]
Wed, Jan 09, 2019
FMI News
By: Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute There's nothing stale about the fresh category in retail, which is arguably turning the food retail business on its head. It's the ultimate disruptive category when it comes to competing for share of the business and we dedicated significant resources to our fresh strategy at FMI this year. Disruption Food retailers will continue to find ways to distinguish their businesses in the marketplace by focusing on fresh. Even after years of growth, fresh foods segments are being tapped for bigger space allocations in the store over the next two years, given that shoppers continue to gravitate toward these categories, per the 2018 U.S. Food Retailing Industry Speaks operations survey. Our research suggests that retailers have found ways to further engage consumers and differentiate with fresh foods, better-for-you categories, and private brands, among key growth segments. They are advancing same-store sales and planning new investments in their businesses. These operational shifts also affected FMI's approach to its category research, adding new projects and research on departments above and beyond traditional produce categories. We created a new industry event that challenges FMI members to embrace a visionary role in food retail and establishes a relationship with executives who are investing in the perimeter of their stores. From blockchain to supply chain, our industry is poised to witness unprecedented change. Here are two strategies that were particularly noteworthy to our profession this year: 1. We established a stronger community among fresh executives: Thanks to leadership from John Ruane, chief merchandising officer and senior vice president, Giant Martins, and Rick Steigerwald, senior vice president, Lunds & Byerly's, we approved the Fresh Executive Committee to move forward with our first industry event that looks to the future of fresh and how participants see the business evolving. Eighty-five executives attended our event, FreshForward, to review forces on the global food supply, food waste, food service at retail and the evolving consumer. We created a retro atmosphere as a reminder that people's tastes change along with the times: today's consumers are more likely to download music digitally, play games online or on devices and rarely dine at a kitchen table. 2. We emphasized our reputation as the resource for Fresh The Fresh Foods Leadership Council cemented its reputation for delivering relevant consumer insights on fresh departments. We presented findings from the Power of Meat, Power of Produce and Power of Foodservice at Retail at thought leadership events across the country and garnered significant pickup in trade journals. One of our members described this research as necessary to help him determine strategies and tactics to drive sales. In addition to these analyses, we fielded research for release in 2019 specific to seafood and bakery. FMI continues to create partnerships with trade groups to widen our audience, namely our work with the North American Meat Institute via the Annual Meat Conference and the Southern Exposure Produce event. We also collaborate with data powerhouses regarding consumer insights. For instance, we again peered through [...]
Tue, Jan 08, 2019
FMI News
By Mark Baum, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, and Chief Collaboration Officer, Food Marketing Institute Change in the food retail industry is taking place at an astonishing pace and there are no indications it will slow down in the foreseeable future.  Most days in retail feel like a high hurdle race in which the hurdles keep getting moved closer and closer together, affording no chance to hit stride, but just another jump to negotiate.  Retailers will need partners to help run this new race, making it more of a relay with clearly defined lanes and zones for “baton passing.” Collaboration in the food and consumer goods industry will become even more of a strategic imperative as we look forward to 2019 and the decade ahead. Whether it's understanding supply chain demands, omnichannel, shifts in category management, the move toward organic, specialty and artisanal products, or whether it's the rise of the belief-driven buyer, the desire to meet the demands of new consumerism and transparency require that we have to change, and change together. FMI has a long history of supporting community collaboration and solving complex industry issues. For example: Making the Product Label Smart - Our 2018 FMI industry relations activities and initiatives have set us on the path to enhance adoption and implementation of SmartLabel®, which helps provide transparency and organized product labeling and ingredient information. Supporting Retail Operations - We have initiated and encouraged progressive conversations on the business opportunities in the areas of fresh foods, private brands, foodservice, and, most pressing, the need to focus on omnichannel operational imperatives. Collaboration Across the Industry - Under the auspices of the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA), an initiative with GMA, we have tackled key issues which include SmartLabel®, information accuracy and a new supply chain transportation initiative. Many FMI members have connected with and enjoyed the benefits of the tangible resources that result from these collaborations. All these initiatives have benefitted from the active engagement and participation of key FMI committees. These current Committees and Councils include: Industry Relations Committee (Board Level), Asset Protection Council, Private Brands Executive Council, Fresh Executive Council, Industry Collaboration Council, Supply Chain Council (TPA), Sustainability Executive Committee and many more. We appreciate all the FMI member executives who provide their time and talents to move our industry forward in a collaborative way. The food [...]
Mon, Jan 07, 2019
FMI News
By Sue Borra, RD, Executive Director, FMI Foundation, Chief Health and Wellness Officer, Food Marketing Institute The FMI Foundation worked to unite the food retail industry using three main campaigns: National Family Meals Month™, Unified Voice Protocol and Stir It Up! The Industry that Eats Together, Stays Together: Making Family Meals a Priority The food retail industry, with food suppliers and community collaborators, rallied behind FMI Foundation's National Family Meals Month™ (NFMM) this past September. Encouraging families to enjoy one additional meal per week at home, this event has become a national movement in only four years. More than 200 companies have joined the movement since its inception. In fact, participation jumped dramatically in September 2018 with: 20 percent increase in retailer participation; 40 percent increase in supplier participation; and 37 percent increase in community collaborators. The NFMM movement is also catching on with consumers. In a nationwide survey, Nielsen, who has been tracking awareness since 2015, found that the percentage of consumer who saw the campaign was 28 percent -- up from 13 percent just last year! That's a 115 percent increase in awareness in one year! The message of family meals has spread well beyond the food industry. Many of our local leaders have also recognized the importance of enjoying family meals at home. In 2017, two states proclaimed September as Family Meals Month. This past year, six states joined the movement: Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The future vision for the family meal movement is that food retailers, suppliers and community collaborators will continue to help families achieve one more meal each week at home. Significantly, we will encourage this practice year-round while shining a celebratory light on the event each September. Unifying our Voice to Improve Consumer Trust Unified Voice Protocol is an initiative created by the FMI Foundation in 2017 to proactively create an environment of trust in the food and consumer goods industries, so that consumers can purchase products they desire with full confidence in those who provide them. Pilot Project I: Consumer Beliefs about Sustainability Related to Poultry Production Practices For its first pilot project, FMI Foundation tested the Unified Voice Protocol by addressing two current animal welfare issues, cage-free eggs and slow-growing broiler chickens. Key findings included that 60 percent of consumers would be willing to pay a premium for cage-free eggs if the premium is less than $.40/dozen. In addition, we learned that consumers have very limited knowledge on the topic of slow-growing broiler chickens. Results from these studies have been presented to FMI members, food and agriculture stakeholder groups, and have been submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Issue for Pilot Project II: Gene Editing The issue that has been prioritized for the second Unified Voice Protocol pilot project is Gene Editing. Gene-edited foods will be entering the marketplace soon. Given the scientific complexity of biotechnology, misunderstanding regarding bioengineering language and the possibility for gene editing to be confused [...]
Fri, Jan 04, 2019
FMI News
By Sue Borra, RD, Executive Director, FMI Foundation, Chief Health and Wellness Officer, Food Marketing Institute Q: What are the biggest food retail success stories of 2018? A: Health and Wellness, Fresh Foods and Private Brands (FMI Speaks, 2018) Health and wellness is at the heart of almost every food retail success story this year. Significantly, according to the 2018 Food Retailing Industry Speaks research, industry executives identified the consumer health and wellness proposition (81 percent) and leveraging food to manage/avoid health issues (72 percent) as the top two trends creating a positive impact on business. In addition, they identified fresh foods and private brands as their top differentiation strategies to increase their competitive advantage. FMI's 2018 health and wellness program combined each of these three trends to generate more opportunities for food retailers to showcase health and wellness in their fresh foods and private brand strategies. Food Retail Fresh Departments are Ripe for Health and Wellness “Fresh” is the fastest growing sector of supermarkets in recent years. Not surprisingly, health and wellness are innate parts of “fresh.” To illustrate opportunities for integrating health and wellness programming into fresh food retail departments, including meat, seafood, produce, deli, and fresh prepared, FMI's Health and Wellness Council teamed up with FMI's Fresh Foods Council to develop Best Practices and Excellence in Fresh Department Health and Wellness Programing. This new resource details key elements of success to create a culture of health and wellness in fresh departments to meet shopper needs. In turn, use of these elements will: drive sales and loyalty; develop new profitable partnerships and resources; and create food retail examples of excellence from better-for-you products to strong partnership programs. Private Brands are Profiting from Consumer Health and Wellness Today's shoppers expect food retailers to be a trusted partner in health and wellness. Private brands are delivering on this personal quest for well-being. To provide guidance on incorporating positive nutrition attributes and wellness messaging in private brands, FMI's Health and Wellness Committee partnered with FMI's Private Brands Leadership Council. This partnership resulted in a new report, Delivering Health and Wellness with Private Brands, which helps retail private brands capitalize on consumers' desires for healthier lifestyles. Consumers are Prioritizing Health and Well-Being in Food Retail This year's new report Power of Health and Well-Being in Food Retail: An In-Depth Look Through the Shoppers' Eyes relays the compelling story of the ways consumers are looking to food retail as an ally in supporting their health with products from center store to the perimeter. Topics – such as consumers' perception of food as medicine, shoppers desire for organic and free-from products, and future need for personalized health at retail – provide a helpful road map for food retailers to better meet the health and well-being demands of customers. Health and Well-Being is Defined as a Core Competency at FMI Almost all FMI activities – from food safety and government relations to research and education – touch upon some aspect of [...]
Fri, Jan 04, 2019
FMI News
By Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations - Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute The age of the digitally engaged food shopper has arrived, with each day seeing more shoppers moving from experimenting with online food shopping to fully embracing it. Total digital maturation in online grocery shopping is a mere five to seven years away according to research prepared by FMI and Nielsen. We all know that. This research indicates consumers could be spending as much as $100 billion on online groceries by 2022. Within the next five to seven years, 70 percent of U.S. consumers will regularly purchase consumer packaged goods online. Consumers today have tools that give them access to detailed information about the products they are looking for. Those digital tools also enable them to buy the products and services they want in ways that are disrupting the traditional food retail model. Research from Nielsen and FMI over the last three years indicate that not all food retailers are as prepared as we could be to meet the needs of the digitally engaged food shopper and are at risk of missing the opportunity to serve this growing sector. This past year, FMI's initiatives to supply food retail with the information it needs to rise to the digital challenge has been enhanced with help from new partners like AT Kearney, Eversight, Precima and the NPD Group. In conjunction with Nielsen and our new partners, FMI has created easily accessible vehicles to assist food retailers on their journey toward the digital integration necessary to meet the needs of today's tech-savvy consumers. On the FMI Digital Shopper site – FMI.org/DigitalShopper – we have added more insights, making the continuing-the-assessment tool even more valuable. We have also added a supplemental workbook entitled “Finding the Profitable Path to Your Digitally Engaged Grocery Shoppers,” that will guide you through steps to determine if you are indeed adopting digital tools at the pace required by your shoppers. In conjunction with the workbook, a series of videos has been added to the bank of resources. These videos cover the five most significant imperatives that must be met in order to achieve omnichannel success, which are: Evaluating the People, Processes and Technologies of the Digital Shopper. Do you have the skill set required for success in the digital era? What about your staff? The people you hire and the organizational structure you use are key to implementing any effective strategic plan for omnichannel success. Content organized by A.T. Kearney How to Treat Your Data as an Enterprise Asset. What kind of data do you collect and how do you use it? Mere data management isn't enough. Are you extracting the greatest value possible out of your data strategy? Content organized by Nielsen How to Adopt an Integrated Forecasting Model. There is a delicate balance required to get the right [...]
Thu, Jan 03, 2019
FMI News
By Carol Abel, Vice President, Education, Food Marketing Institute People learn in different ways. Some of us are visual learners. Others better retain information by hearing things explained. Another group learns best from performing its own research. Some prefer having a hands-on experience and others just want quick 1-2-3 take-a-ways. In 2018, FMI's education team experimented with maximizing our reach by providing the food retail industry with multiple ways of learning. Fresh Thought Leadership We developed a totally unique thought leadership experience for fresh foods executives in 2018 called FreshForward. This invitation-only event enjoyed a format focused on collaboration and was set in a colorful, creativity-stimulating venue. All was designed to spark new ideas for succeeding in fresh. Technology Bits and Bytes Appropriate to challenges facing the food retail industry, adoption, understanding and mastery of technology were key themes throughout our education content in 2018. More than twenty technology-focused education sessions, keynotes and breakouts were embedded in our conferences. Starting in January 2018, we hosted Ocado representatives at the Midwinter Executive Conference as they introduced us to their warehouse-revolutionizing robot technology. Education events throughout the year included multiple sessions on applications of technology including: Ways to improve the supply chain; Artificial intelligence; New in-store technologies that will change future store designs; and Legal considerations associated with technology and omnichannel shopping for food companies. Training Food Retail Leaders of the Future Recognizing that the food retail industry workforce is evolving, we completely revised our Future Leaders eXperience. Working with a new partner, Root, Inc., we built an interactive, hands-on program that walks emerging leaders through exercises to understand their roles, build their teams, communicate the big picture and set clear expectations. A cornerstone of the program includes a custom-designed module that depicts the changing dynamics of the retail food industry in a learning map demonstrating the evolution and complexity of the industry and the centrality of the consumer to our success. Overall, if the FMI 2018 education programs were to be summarized in three words, they would be: innovation, technology, and leadership. These words highlight themes that ran throughout the 16 live events, 59 webinars, and two certificate programs FMI offered to the industry in 2018.  And they set the stage for much more to come in 2019.   [...]
Wed, Jan 02, 2019
FMI News
By: Sam DiCarlo, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Administration, Food Marketing Institute As a former catcher, I've always had a special place in my heart and head for Yogi-isms – the collection of oddball statements attributed to baseball Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra. The appeal of Yogi-isms is that, while funny, they often have a Zen wisdom to them. One of his most famous, which he adapted into the title of one of his books, was, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Interpreting his words in the context of financial matters, I think they invite us to keep options open and not be afraid to diversify, but also to keep moving forward. Providing the retail food industry with the myriad products and services that FMI offers requires resources—both human and financial capital. To avoid being a one-pronged fork, any well-run business endeavors to diversify its revenue sources and FMI is no different in that regard. Our Diverse Revenue Sources While membership dues provide the majority of funding for FMI, more than 30 percent of our revenues are derived elsewhere. FMI's conferences, education meetings, the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute and investment revenues provide most of these non-dues revenues. Our Diverse Expenditures Our expenditures help us serve the different needs our membership and the various aspect of the food retail industry, thus they are spread out over a number of areas. Thirty percent of FMI's program expenditures are for Government Relations work and another 29 percent are for Industry Relations efforts. The remainder incorporates Member Relations, Communications and Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Research. Our Financial Health After paying all the bills and netting out 2018 program expenses, it appears FMI will run a surplus of more than $650,000 this year. This surplus is important in this current industry environment of change and disruption as it provides a secure revenue source for future spending, as FMI seeks to better address emerging issues and opportunities as they arise. NOTE: Revenue Sources are net of related expenses. For example, Conferences and Education revenues are net of all expenses for labor, A.V., Food and Beverage, etc. [...]
Mon, Dec 31, 2018
FMI News
By Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer and Senior Vice President, Industry Relations and David Fikes, Vice President, Communications and Consumer/Community Affairs, Food Marketing Institute Unless you've been in a coma, kidnapped by aliens or trapped in a sensory deprivation chamber for the last few years, it's not news that the food industry is experiencing disruption at an unprecedented pace. Challenges and opportunities presented by these game-changing innovations must be addressed and embraced by food retailers and their trading partners if they are to survive, indeed, to thrive, in this climate of accelerated change. This is where FMI adds significant value for its members and their trading partners. Over the last two years, FMI, with the help of our strategic partners at Oliver Wyman, has led an initiative to identify emerging issues that have the greatest potential to affect the food industry in the next three years. Insights gleaned from focus groups, breakout sessions with the Board of Directors, a survey of FMI members, and interviews with forward-looking executives in the food industry resulted in the identification of five major categories of emerging issues: new consumerism, artificial intelligence/technology, workforce, new marketplace, and food production. A white paper was developed that takes a more in-depth look at this initiative. It offers a more detailed view of the contents in each category, citing the ways the areas overlap and interface in critical aspects. The white paper also provides some initial ideas about the role FMI anticipates playing in the various categories and a bit about how we plan to help our members address these challenges and seize the opportunities they provide. This past year, these five major categories of emerging issues formed the foundation of the 2018 Future Leaders curriculum developed by Root, Inc., and were the organizing components of the visually based exercise, Know Your Industry. In addition, this initiative is helping inform FMI's Strategic Plan and set its future agenda. Having identified the highest priority emerging issues, FMI will continue providing more analysis and insight into how the content of the five areas is morphing and expanding. The new strategic plan has a specific implementation directive that will shape how FMI can best leverage its core services to deliver value to its members, whether through government relations, food safety, thought leadership on total store collaboration, or by serving as the voice of food retail. [...]
Fri, Dec 28, 2018
FMI News
By David Fikes, Vice President, Communications and Consumer/Community Affairs, Food Marketing Institute Without a doubt, we are knee deep in the age of radical personalization, with consumers anticipating food retailers' ability to know and serve each customer's shopping preferences regarding cost, convenience, taste, experience, health and wellness, food safety and social responsibility positioning. The escalating level of knowledge that retailers need to have about their customer base means three things for consumer research: 1) It is more important than ever, 2) it needs to be instantaneous, and 3) the traditional ways of clustering research data along established demographic lines must be reassessed and revised because these classifications, by their very nature, fly in the face of the word ‘personalized.' Or as one millennial proclaimed to me following a trends presentation, “No two of us are alike, so quit talking about us as if we're a monochromatic mass.” She was right -- where personalized service is expected, demographic classifications must be reclassified. This personalized thinking is touching every aspect of FMI's consumer affairs activities. Here are three ways personalization has been intertwined into consumer affairs at FMI: 1. Issue Management The consumer expectation for personalized attention is influencing the number and the diversity of customer concerns that FMI members are being asked to address. The topics covered in our monthly calls with the Communications and Consumer Affairs Council, and through our issue alerts, reflect the diversity of subjects that are potential areas of customer inquiries. A sampler of issues covered includes: glyphosate, gene editing and CRISPR technology, International Labor Rights Forum's Taking Stock report, the endangered Vaquita porpoise, animal antibiotics, standard of identity concerns with plant-based milk and numerous animal welfare topics. 2. Unified Voice and Consumer Attitudes Regarding Sustainability Related Poultry Practices The pilot program of FMI's Unified Voice Protocol brought together the FMI Foundation, the Animal Agriculture Alliance and the Foundation for Farm and Agriculture Research to fund research exploring consumer attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and willingness-to-pay for the sustainability related poultry practices of cage-free eggs and slow-growth broilers. Jayson Lusk, Ph.D., a food and agriculture economist at Purdue University, lead a research team conducting two separate online studies at the end of 2017. The findings – available to all FMI members - provide important data for two groups of food retail companies: 1) those who have made a commitment regarding the sale of cage-free eggs or slow growth broilers and seek benchmarks to evaluate those commitments and 2) those considering making a commitment regarding the sale of cage-free eggs or slow growth broilers. 3. 2018 Community Outreach Award Winners The oft-unspoken work that supermarkets quietly perform in support of their local communities is a proud and accepted part of what it means to be a food retailer. This role of community leader becomes more obvious in times of crisis and natural disasters when neighborhoods turn to their local grocery for more than food but come to see their food retailer as a beacon of resiliency, shining with the hope of a return to normalcy. FMI [...]
Fri, Dec 28, 2018
FMI News