Industry News

Desert Aire has published a new technical resource that details the environmental control needs of grow rooms and indoor farms and the reasons for the success of Desert Aire's purpose-built, dehumidification-based GrowAire™ systems. [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
ACHR News
Renovate America and Greenworks Lending announced a national partnership to spur efficiency and renewable-energy investments on commercial buildings. [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
ACHR News
By Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute I was recently invited to participate on a Heritage Radio Network “Eating Matters” segment where I was interviewed by the program's host Jenna Liut about the trend in “local.” Jenna and I discussed the degree to which locally-grown demand has risen and how these consumer trends are playing out in the food retail industry. The program's 85th episode, “Supermarket Sweep,” aired on Sunday. Listen here   [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
FMI News
Recently, the Trump administration announced plans to defund Energy Star. The administration claims it is not a priority for taxpayer dollars and actually lumps it into the category of ‘lower priority and poorly performing programs.' But, 25 years of Energy Star experience tells a much different tale. [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
ACHR News
Demand for air source heat pumps is forecast to increase 2.5 percent per year through 2021 to $2.1 billion. Air source heat pumps comprise a significant amount of total heat pump demand, largely due to the easier installation requirements and lower initial costs than geothermal heat pumps. Air source heat pumps also compete more directly with other HVAC equipment and are a viable heating and cooling option in most buildings. [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
ACHR News
AAON Inc. announced that the board of directors has promoted Mikel D. Crews to the position of vice president of operations. In this newly created position, Crews will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations at the company's Tulsa facilities, reporting directly to Norman Asbjornson, CEO, and Gary Fields, president. [...]
Tue, Mar 28, 2017
ACHR News
AFPRO Filters shares the vision of Eurovent Middle East that high quality air filtration is key for the Middle East region. Therefore, the company announces it will join the Eurovent Middle East as the newest member. AFPRO Filters stands out in the world of air filtration as it manufacturers its own glass fiber filter media for a maximum particulate matter (PM1)/fine dust protection according the latest global ISO16890 standard. [...]
Tue, Mar 28, 2017
ACHR News
The Hydraulic Institute (HI) announced that Taco Comfort Solutions' pump test laboratory in Cranston, Rhode Island, recently received approval through HI's Pump Test Lab Approval Program. [...]
Tue, Mar 28, 2017
ACHR News
Mowery announced that the American Hospital Association Certification Center (AHA-CC) has designated Project Manager William Sutton as a Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC). The CHC is a national credential that distinguishes an individual as being among an elite group of over 900 health care construction professionals who currently hold the certification. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
Diversified Heat Transfer (DHT) continues to expand its U.S. presence with two new manufacturer representative firms. Mechanical Sales Inc. will cover Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Western Idaho; Sam DeSanto Co. Inc. will cover Virginia for the commercial and industrial markets. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
While many educational sessions were presented at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo, perhaps the most popular was the course on global HVAC trends offered by the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA). [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
Several leading compressor manufacturers weighed in with insights and advice for contractors and technicians as they learn how to work safely with the equipment utilizing these so-called alternative refrigerants as they transition into primary refrigerant choices. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
Compressor burnout is a very specific mode of failure that may be caused by high temperatures in the motor windings or discharge area of the compressor. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
What do contractors and their customers need to know when discussing variable-speed versus variable refrigerant flow (VRF) compressors? What benefits does each technology offer to customers and what applications are these technologies best suited for? [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
BACnet Intl. recently developed The BACnet Institute, an online center for BACnet educational resources that provides an easy path to BACnet information and learning for everyone involved with BACnet systems as well as forums to share knowledge. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
NEBB announced that the latest edition of its publication ANSI-NEBB Technical Retro-Commissioning of Existing Buildings Standard S120-2016 is an approved American National Standard, now available for sale in both print and electronic versions. [...]
Mon, Mar 27, 2017
ACHR News
By: Sue Borra, RD, Chief Health and Wellness Officer for FMI and Executive Director of the FMI Foundation  Today's shoppers are looking for healthy, easy meal solutions, and since March is National Nutrition Month and National Frozen Food Month, it is an excellent time to take a fresh look at frozen foods. Frozen foods currently represent 6.2 percent of sales at food retail. When you consider that frozen foods can offer shoppers A) a nutritious option and B) a convenient meal solution, the opportunity to make frozen foods aisle part of your grocery store's health and wellness offering is clear.  Last fall Emma Gregory, RD, manager of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Frozen Food Institute and I conducted a webinar for retail dietitians on “Helping Shoppers take a Healthful Look at the Frozen Food Aisle.” Emma shared data from nutrition and menu modeling studies that show how frozen foods are a nutritious and cost-effective choice for consumers. She refers to freezing as “nature's pause button” and describes how fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak ripeness and then quickly flash, frozen—locking in the nutritional benefits. In addition, she notes that this process also insures nutrition equivalency or even greater value of many nutrients when compared to fresh items. To help educate shoppers, the American Frozen Food Institute has produced a Supermarket Dietitian Toolkit, Shopping the Frozen Aisle, which provides background resources for dietitians and helpful materials to share with shoppers. Join the conversation on social media with #MarchFrozenFoodMonth. [...]
Fri, Mar 24, 2017
FMI News
By: Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, Chief Food and Product Safety Officer and Vice President, Food Safety Programs  With a May 2017 compliance date quickly approaching, it seems that still the biggest question out there regarding the Foreign Supplier Verification Rule is ‘Who is the FSVP Importer?' Although the rule defines FSVP importer, in many instances more than one party may meet the definition of the FSVP Importer. When there are several parties who can act as the FSVP importer things become more gray and the question becomes ‘Who should be the FSVP Importer?' rather than ‘Who is the FSVP Importer?' The FDA FSMA rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) requires that U.S. importers of food have programs in place to verify that their foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as foods produced in the U.S. The goal of FSVP is public health protection. When more than one party meets the definition of the FSVP importer, who should be the FSVP importer? The FSVP Importer should be the party who meets the definition in the rule and can best assure that the imported food is produced in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as food produced in the U.S.   The best way to make that decision and to agree which party involved with importing the food will perform the functions of the FSVP importer is through communication with your supply chain partners. Your communication should consider: Which party is in the best position to assure the foreign supplier produces food that meets U.S. standards and is as safe as food produced by a U.S. supplier? Which party is most likely to have knowledge of food safety practices? Which party has control over the supply chain of an imported food? Which party controls the finances of the imported food (owner or consignee)? Which party controls the goods? Which party can best ensure that supplier verification activities are conducted for each food imported into the U.S.? Business arrangements are complex and circumstances will vary depending on a number of factors. No matter how much we try to simplify the decision making process, the key to achieving compliance with the FSVP rule, is to clearly identify the FSVP Importer. Once an FSVP Importer is identified, FSVP importers will need to further communicate with foreign suppliers and supply chain partners. Communication is essential to determine how compliance with the rule can best be achieved and is critical to ensure that the appropriate information is available throughout the entire supply chain. The FSVP importer is responsible for complying with all FSVP requirements and is ultimately the party that FDA will hold accountable; therefore, fulfilling your FSVP rule obligations begins with identifying the FSVP Importer! And always remember, the goal FSVP as well as the other FSMA rules is food safety. In [...]
Wed, Mar 22, 2017
FMI News
By: Elissa McLerran, Public Policy Communications Manager, Food Marketing Institute It is no surprise that the supermarket industry is passionate about food. Every day our stores ensure customers have access to safe and affordable food and sell hundreds of healthy and delicious products. But do you ever stop to think about how that banana or gallon of milk makes it to the shelf and eventually to your table? That's where farmers and ranchers come into play. Grocery stores are fortunate to work with some of the world's best farmers and ranchers as supply chain partners to ensure that the products we have on the shelf are top quality. Today, on National Agriculture Day, FMI celebrates the entire supply chain from the ground to the refrigerator. Like supermarkets, production agriculture has changed a lot over the years. What once was an extremely manual labor-focused industry has advanced into a more mechanized and technical one. Because of modernization and the tremendous work America's farmers and ranchers do, we are able to have the luxury of abundance in choice in the supermarket aisle. Whether you shop based on dietary restrictions, budget maximization, or simply on taste preference, farmers and ranchers are able to fulfill consumers' desires, and grocery stores help in catering to their customers' needs.  At FMI, we take the responsibility of food and nutrition very seriously. As discussions for the 2018 Farm Bill gear up, we look forward to engaging in dialogues with both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to continue supporting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), work to reduce food waste, reduce consumer confusion in stores, and help shape Farm Bill policy to make the supply chain efficient, affordable and more transparent from farm to supermarket to plate. We appreciate all the hard work people across the agriculture industry do to feed, clothe and fuel our nation and our world.  [...]
Tue, Mar 21, 2017
FMI News
By: Doug Baker, Vice President Industry Relations for Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute Next time you're visiting a friend or family member's home, I dare you to take a peek in their pantry or refrigerator and see how many private brand products you find. My guess is you'll discover quite a few. You may even lose count. That's because, according to the recently released Power of Private Brands report, nearly all U.S. households (96 percent) are purchasing some form of private brand product at retail outlets that sell food. But there is a private brands enigma going on. According to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2016 report, while 98 percent of food retailers report using private brands as a differentiation tactic, the strategy only scored 6.6 on a 10-point scale for successfulness. This indicates that while most food retailers are utilizing a private brands strategy to set themselves apart from competition, many are experiencing mixed results and the success of the strategy remains undetermined. FMI's Private Brand Council looked at this conundrum and decided to undertake a multidimensional view of the private brand business by conducting numerous forms of research and analysis. At the heart, the group wanted to know, “What really is the Power of Private Brands?” The resulting report, Power of Private Brands, includes analytics from research partners Information Resources Inc. and Daymon, and looks at the issue through four different lenses: from the Register; from the Consumer; from the Industry; and from the World. If you're looking for insights and how to improve your private brands strategy then this report is a must read to get a 360-degree perspective. At the same time, FMI is hosting a series of webinars on the Power of Private Brands with insights from the researchers and experts. Click below to register and learn more for each webinar and download the full report at www.fmi.org/PrivateBrands.  March 29, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Looking Deeper for Answers April 20, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Understanding Disruption May 17, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: New Partner Perspectives June 21, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Bringing Scale to Personalization   [...]
Mon, Mar 20, 2017
FMI News
By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute Statesmanship, humanitarianism and entrepreneurialism are qualities we associate with great leaders who help to cultivate corporate purpose. In the food retail industry, these attributes define the type of leader who can advance his or her career from a motivated grocery bagger to the visionary in the corner office. Not all industries offer the caliber of self-evolvement opportunities that is such a vital part of the tradition of the food retail industry. Nor can other industries  point to having such a strong culture of empathy as that fostered by food retailers; we employ a diverse workforce, we feed people with the most affordable food in the world, we are community philanthropists, we provide the ingredients that enable family dinner table chatter and the customer comes first – always. As an association guided by a network of grocery executives, many of whom can relate to an inventory-manager-to-executive-role story, FMI has a vested interest in communicating the attractiveness of this vital industry. As such, we are investing heavily in professional development and leadership as manifested in the rebranded event, Future Leaders eXperience. The new format allows for cross-functional, cross-company and cross-industry interactions that will not only cement long-lasting personal and business relationships, but also will motivate young professionals by encouraging closer relationships; offering opportunities to emphasize peak performance; promoting the diversity of people, skills, career paths and companies; and upholding FMI as an organization that offers strategic insights to understand the customer to better compete. We must nurture the next generation of industry heroes. Rabb, Albers and Wegman are names synonymous with pioneering, and each year, FMI recognizes industry trailblazers, outstanding food retail professionals and the contributions grocery stores are making every day in their communities. Our first set of 2017 executive award recipients accepted their honors at the Midwinter Executive Conference in January: Former Publix Super Markets Inc., CEO and current chairman of the board of directors Ed Crenshaw received FMI's highest honor, the Rabb Award. Publix has been consistently recognized as one of the top companies to work for 19 consecutive years, and it's Ed's remarkable leadership that has nurtured Publix's reputation for two decades. Joe Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County, Inc. and chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp., received FMI's Wegman Award for exercising entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising. Joe is a straight talking, honest broker of goods and services and he inspires our industry to maintain its relevance by his keen commitment to doing what is right for the customer. FMI honored the Hershey Company by giving two of its industry veterans – J.P. Bilbrey, president, CEO and chairman of the board, and Tom Joyce, retired vice president, global customer and industry affairs – an award celebrating excellence in trading partner relations and consumer and community service, the William H. Albers Award. In [...]
Wed, Mar 15, 2017
FMI News
By: Daniel Triot, Senior Director, FMI-GMA Trading Partner Alliance An estimated 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported, including 60 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables.  According to 2016 Power of Produce, consumers continue to demand fresh produce.  Additionally, there is a growing consumer desire for transparency.  Shoppers want to know more information about the food and production of the food they are purchasing.  For the supply chain, the pressure to meet consumer demand for high quality produce with more product information coincides with new food safety regulations.  This complex situation is causing retailers and supply partners to ask, “How does the food industry create a more transparent and traceable supply chain?”     To increase the speed and accuracy of executing product recalls of fresh produce, the produce industry introduced a supply chain wide adoption of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). PTI is an industry-wide effort to achieve electronic traceability in the supply chain through the adoption of standardized process. The Initiative establishes standardized barcoded labels that contain the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) from the brand owner, Batch/Lot Number from the company packing the case as well as optional data such as pack/harvest date and country of origin. According to Ed Treacy, vice president, supply chain efficiencies, of the Produce Marketing Association, nearly 60 percent of all fresh produce cases are labeled with barcoded case labels adhering to the standards outlined in the PTI.  During a recall or a food safety investigation, having product traceability is critical to be able to quickly identify and remove implicated products from the supply chain. However, the benefits of traceability go beyond food safety.  In more ways than one, these scannable labels are proving to create more efficiency and affordability for retailers. Today, retailers are using this information to help sales, increase freshness in their stores, enhance product rotation, better implement their Quality Assurance process, and decrease inventory mistakes with receivers. There are a number of reasons why the demand for traceability has been on the rise including regulatory requirements like the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP).  The FSVP rule requires importers to verify that their foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as the FSMA preventive controls or produce safety regulations.  However, in order to verify the foreign suppliers' food safety practices, FSVP importers will need to have greater visibility of the supply chain as well as have access to more information about where the imported food is coming from and how it is produced.  A Fortune 500 company focused on transportation and logistics shared its insight on FSVP, “One big change to watch for as FSVP goes into effect will be the declaration of a new party at the time of import.  Foreign food can be imported into the United States by a domestic Importer of Record or by a foreign Importer of Record, but beginning May 2017 under FSMA the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [...]
Tue, Mar 14, 2017
FMI News
By: Lucas Darnell, Director of Membership, Food Marketing Institute As an award winning and competition BBQ pitmaster, it's always an exciting time for me at FMI when we release the Power of Meat report. In the 2017 report, the concept of “getting meat right” is evident in the way retailers and stores are focusing on the powerful meat category.  As someone that is in the meat department in different channels almost every day, this focus is exciting! As a frequent meat shopper, I have two different approaches to the meat category at the grocery level.  If I'm cooking at home or for competition, I generally make my meat purchases at the supermarket because I can depend on their quality and variety. In addition, “premiumization” in the meat department can often mean the difference between first or second place in a BBQ competition.  I'm not alone in my dependence on grocery stores for my meat selection with 62 percent of shoppers naming the supermarket as their primary outlet for meat and poultry purchases. Conversely, if I'm cooking BBQ for a large amount of people, such as a birthday party or major sporting event, price becomes a bigger issue.  I will switch to either supercenters or clubs, which account for 59 percent and 53 percent of those shoppers that will switch because of their everyday low prices image. Often times the biggest differentiating factor for a pitmaster is customer service.  If the butcher behind the counter at the supermarket can help me pick out product, order special product or make informed recommendations on new products a bond of loyalty will be established.  Finding that perfect cut of meat makes me happy shopper, which means I'm going to continue to frequent that store and most likely do my total food shopping there. The Power of Meat offers plenty of perspective on the meat department through the consumer's eyes.  I encourage you to download the report today. [...]
Mon, Mar 13, 2017
FMI News
By: Elizabeth Tansing, Director of State Government Relations, Food Marketing Institute With President Donald J. Trump's recent address to a Joint Session of Congress, there is no better time to highlight the similar speeches occurring across the states. With the exceptions of Louisiana and Ohio, whose governors will address their constituents later in the year, 48 governors have laid out their budget plans either through a “State of the State” speech or simply a “Budget” address. These speeches offer a glimpse into the Governors' priorities for the legislative session. With 33 Republican governors, themes tend to trend right with slashing income taxes, property taxes and eliminating red tape for businesses, but most states are looking to improve their infrastructure, increase job growth, bump up funding for K-12 education, reform pensions, address opioid addiction, attract tourists and fill budget gaps. Not every governor specifically stated how they were going to pay for tax reform or new or increased funding, but those that did suggested broadening the tax base to eliminate unnecessary loopholes; a DMV license increase, an expansion of the tobacco tax, a motor fuels tax hike and a rise in road tolls – the latter two justified as being able to snare out-of-staters, just passing through.   Trends typically flow throughout regions of the country, and it is always interesting to see how everything shakes out. FMI has compiled the key highlights from every “State of the State” address delivered so far in 2017 into one document. View the 2017 Governors' State of the State Addresses. [...]
Thu, Mar 09, 2017
FMI News
By: Sue Borra, RD, Chief Wellness & Health Officer Executive Director, FMI Foundation and Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, Vice President, Food Safety Programs, Food Marketing Institute  This year's National Nutrition Month theme, Put Your Best Fork Forward, is a nice reminder that making small shifts in food choices, one forkful at a time can result in big changes towards a healthy diet.  This theme is an excellent vehicle to increase the variety of foods shoppers can explore. Encouraging a variety of new fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and protein sources are just a few of the suggestions to help shoppers have healthier menus for their family meals. National Nutrition Month is the perfect time for shoppers to try out new, healthy recipes at family mealtime. Here are a few examples of the creative ways that Retail Dietitians around the country are celebrating National Nutrition month with their customers: Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Hannaford Supermarkets “Put your Best Fork Forward” personality quiz. Shoppers who complete the quiz have a chance to win gift cards and coupons for their favorite healthy brands.   Festival Foods' Mealtime Mentors are offering great recipes and ideas that show eating healthy can be delicious and nutritious with #NationalNutritionMonth and #RDNday. Have questions about preparing healthy meals? Ask Festival Foods' Dietitian Team.   Shoppers could “March into Wellness” clinics at their local ShopRite stores to sample a variety of treats including pumpkin seeds, healthy bars and snacks made from quinoa. The in-store demonstrations showed customers that healthy family meals can be affordable and tasty.   Martin's Super Market's Mission Nutrition School Contest prepares a school toolkit that provides teachers with an opportunity to win items to educate students about nutrition. Twenty-five classrooms will be selected to win a toolkit from their local Martin's Super Markets.  As Registered Dietitians working for the Food Marketing Institute, we believe that every month can be nutrition month in food retail. Finally, today is National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day so please join us in thanking all the Retail Dietitians who help millions of shoppers lead healthier lives and enjoy more family meals all year long! [...]
Wed, Mar 08, 2017
FMI News
By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, Food Marketing Institute   We live in a transformational time where social media can be used to share information widely, spark conversations on even the most unusual issues, and reach audiences previously outside our reach. We have available tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs to share information, news and developments with both our industry colleagues and our customers. We also use these forums to learn what is on the minds of our shoppers. Thanks to modern technologies, engaging with customers, friends, elected officials and the media has become much easier, more efficient and more powerful.  In the midst of this time of advancement, Congress seeks to repeal the 2010 debit reforms that have resulted in consumer savings of more than $30 billion. Repeal would remove competition from the debit card networks and increase hidden swipe fees, even though U.S. merchants already pay $79 billion annually, more than any country in the world. Retailers can use social media as a powerful driver to share their perspectives on the impact these hidden swipe fees have on their business operations, and we know that for some, these fees constitute one of their highest operating expenses. To assist FMI members in our collective advocacy efforts on this topic, I created a video we will share via social media. I encourage FMI members to use the tools right at your fingertips to engage in the dialogue about this issue, both on social media and throughout your networks. You too can make a short video to tell your story about how swipe fees have affected you and your business. In addition, contact your legislators and tell them how important it is to preserve these sensible debit reforms. For more information on debit routing and swipe fees, visit www.unfairswipefees.com. [...]
Wed, Mar 08, 2017
FMI News
By Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute Meat has been the traditional center-of-the-plate feature for years, but no one bothered to ask it where it's from, how it feels or even who invited it to the party. Consumers must think they've been rude dinner guests – satisfied by a superficial relationship with their food without really getting to know it. As consummate hosts, food retailers increasingly seek opportunities to share more information about the proteins that their shoppers desire, and in the meantime, inspire sincere dinner conversations. In Power of Meat 2017, an annual consumer insights study by FMI and the North American Meat Institute, the research validated that consumers are looking for a more engaging story of their meat purchase, with shoppers taking particular notice of attributes such as organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free, grass-fed and other special characteristics. Arguably, there's no better time than during the current economic deflationary period to engage in a dialog with the shopper about their purchase when consumers have the opportunity to experiment with new types of meat and cuts. The research showed how transparency in meat and poultry production practices and product ingredients are fueling double-digit growth. Shoppers report high interest in expanded assortment as well as claims relative to better treatment of the animal and the environment. For the first time in 12 years, shoppers who have bought natural or organic meat (48 percent) exceeded those who have not, at 41 percent. Just 10 years ago, that gap was 50 percentage points.   Undoubtedly the discussion among shoppers is changing, and therefore it's critical for food retailers to ask themselves strategic questions as they engage with consumers, such as: Do you measure conversion rates or set goals? Are you aware of your true competitive set? Does your meat case match your core shopper? Are you striving for operational excellence? Are you telling your brands' stories effectively? As you evaluate your answers to these questions, consider your audience. We can all agree that the loyalty gained by telling a story behind the products in our aisles is priceless, but the power of the consumer dictates the power of the meat purchase – indicative of an average shopping trip without fresh meat equaling $33, versus an average trip with fresh meat tallying $83. Food retailers have every opportunity to change the conversation and the demand curve through both education and information. For a copy of the report made possible by Sealed Air's Food Care Division, visit www.fmi.org/freshfood. Register for The Power of Meat webinar on Thursday, March9 at 2 p.m. ET.  [...]
Tue, Mar 07, 2017
FMI News
Latest digital edition focuses on cold chain advances and the potential of Chinese air conditioners [...]
Fri, Mar 03, 2017
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
By: Jordan Pietrak, Manager, Education, Food Marketing Institute The Food Marketing Institute's newly re-envisioned Future Leaders eXperience puts the focus on future generations of food industry leaders. By the same token, it will also celebrate the 2017 Store Manager Awards, giving much-deserved recognition to those that continue to drive our food retail industry forward. Brian Hayes, a store director for Super Saver in Lincoln, Nebraska, earned recognition as an outstanding store manager in 2015. As a previous winner, Hayes shared his advice with rising food retailers: “I think the award deservedly recognizes one of the most difficult jobs in our industry,” explained Hayes. “Of course, I might be completely biased since I've been doing the job for 20 years. A store manager oversees all of these small standalone businesses underneath one roof, and it requires a multitude of skills to do so effectively.” Hayes began working in a grocery store as a part-time cashier while in college, and before he knew it, he worked his way up to store manager and now has spent 29 years with the company. “Well, it wasn't like I was a kid in grade school saying, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a grocery dude',” Hayes joked.  “This career chooses you.” As a store manager, it's important to have the ability to identify and maximize your team's talents. “So many amazing people work in retail,” explained Hayes. “I like to match their skills with the right job. I always say that one person's “Oh, man, I really have to do THAT?” is another person's, “COOL, I'd love to do that!” Hayes advised store managers to work hard, work smart, foster relationships on your team and engage your customer base. For Hayes, working with customers and his team is one of the most enjoyable parts of his job. “Our associates and our customers are really where I find joy each and every day,” said Hayes. “As I age, it's been increasingly fun working with high school and college associates. They keep me young and it's a fun challenge to influence them to perhaps choose a career in grocery!” When it comes to running a great store, Hayes stressed the importance of “doing things right AND doing the right thing.” He encouraged managers to mentor other employees, and put people before profit, because when you do the profit will follow. After winning FMI's Store Manager Award in 2015, Brian took on a larger role within the company's store chain, and now has managed his fifth store for Super Saver. Hayes takes great pride in his work and the multiple teams he has worked with over the years. “More than anything [winning a Store Manager Award] validated my career,” Hayes explained. “But I also definitely viewed it as a team achievement. I work with tremendous folks.” Want to nominate an outstanding store manager like Brian Hayes? Recognize their work by nominating them for FMI's Store Manager Awards by March 6! Learn more at www.FMI.org/StoreManagerAwards. [...]
Fri, Mar 03, 2017
FMI News
By: David Fikes, Vice President, Consumer/Community Affairs and Communication, Food Marketing Institute  The FMI and GMA initiative calling for a voluntary industry-wide streamlining of Product Code Date Labeling language has taken the big step of agreeing on the terminology – “BEST if used by” for shelf stable products when the date label conveys quality information and “USE by” for select perishables when the date is carries more of a message of material degradation or potential safety concerns. The announcement a few weeks ago garnered almost universal acclaim from consumer groups, government entities and a wide-ranging variety of media outlets for bringing some clarity to something that has confused consumers for years.  Bringing the industry together to agree on a common date-label language was a crucial first step, but it was only that; a first step. Much work remains to be done to bring this acclaimed initiative to fruition. There will be cross- industry task forces assembled to continue the work in three important areas:   Developing guidance regarding what products should utilize which set of labeling language, especially concentrating on offering direction on which products should appropriately use the more safety oriented “USE by.”  We want to provide clear guidelines, while respecting the need for a voluntary system to remain flexible. Determining the industry posture regarding proposed legislation making product code date labels federally mandated and regulated. Beginning to shape a national consumer education campaign so that when we have reached critical market penetration with the new streamlined product code date labels we can promote the initiative with information for  shoppers  promoting proper  understanding and  use of the labels. The working group that developed the language drew upon experts from every food manufacturing and supermarket category and operational department. Likewise, these asked to serve on these various task forces will be representative and cross functional, but we will also be drawing more heavily upon the particular disciplines required for each task. For instance, the guidance task force will, of necessity, have numerous food safety, regulatory and supply chain operations experts. The second task force will draw more heavily upon the government affairs professional in the food industry. And finally, the third will rely heavily upon the communications, marketing and consumer affairs practitioners within GMA and FMI member ranks.  Borrowing  the wonderful words of Mr. Frost, regarding this initiative, “we have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.”     [...]
Thu, Mar 02, 2017
FMI News