FMI Updates: News, Blog, and Events

IdeaXchange: The puzzlement of competition
At a key point in the Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical The King and I, King Mongkut of Siam sings of his exasperation in being unable to reconcile various learnings by declaring, “Is a puzzlement!” I know the feeling. And I am hoping the readers of IdeaXchange can help me tease out some possible answers to a puzzlement I have.
I’m Giving Thanks
Thanksgiving remains among my favorite holidays. Not only does it bring together two of my favorite things, family and food, but it also - against many assaults - retains the flavor of its roots as a day set aside to reflect on our lives and express gratitude for the bounty of the earth and for the gift of loving relationships.
Washington Food Industry Celebrates Family Meals
Mitty the Mitt, our 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.
Strategic Executive Exchange: Q&A with AWG’s Steve Arnold
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Jones, vice president of industry initiatives at the Kellogg Company, on the importance of engaging in collaborative business meetings each year. As a longtime participant in the Strategic Executive Exchange (SEE), Dave had great insights and tips to share on ways to make the most of the program. I thought it would benefit our members to hear the SEE perspective from the other side of the trading partner table. Steve Arnold, executive vice preside...
Thanksgiving Without Turkey?: No Need to Fear, There is Plenty for Everyone
It is important to remember, though, that turkey is pretty much the star of Thanksgiving dinner, and like any celebrity it gets treated a little bit special. Supplies of turkeys destined for Thanksgiving tables are locked in early in the year, and store buyers make sure that they will have more than enough in stock so that no shopper need go home empty handed.
How Are Grocery Stores Using Social Media?
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?
Private Brands Leaders on the Issues
I’ve been lucky to work with some true leaders in the private brands space during my time at FMI. Since FMI starting the Private Brand Leadership Council, I’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, I’m excited to work with Neil Ritchey, vice president for sales and marketing with Ajinomoto Wind...
Shining a Light on Women Leaders in Food Retail
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 (TWIG) 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.
Our 2015 Community Outreach Awards Winners
We had an exceptionally strong field of candidates this year and our judges complained of wanting hazard duty pay because their task so taxed their brains. In a contest where all are winners it was difficult to determine the cream of the crop, but the final tally did reveal leaders in each of our categories. Our winners in our youth development, food insecurity and health improvement categories truly demonstrate the dedication and generosity grocery stores give to their communities. And the winn...
Government and Food Industries Need to Work Together to Make Food Safer
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published its food safety Vital Signs Report. Instead of highlighting a single microorganism, this year’s report takes a more holistic approach, focusing how the food industry and local, state, and federal agencies can work together in order to stop multistate outbreaks. The Vital Signs report analyzes data from the CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System between 2010 and 2014. The surveillance system monitors food, microorganisms, and ...
Strategic Executive Exchange: Insights and Tips from Kellogg Company’s Dave Jones
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Jones, Vice President of Industry Initiatives at the Kellogg Company, a longtime participant in the SEE program, on the importance of engaging in the collaborative meetings each year. He was able to share some insights and tips on ways to make the most of the program.
Back by Popular Demand: Surveys on Grocery Financial Leaders and Internal Auditors
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 November 20, 2015.
The Business of Reducing Food Waste
The Food Waste Reduction Alliance has recently released a new tool to help with the business of reducing food waste. The second annual FWRA Best Practices and Emerging Solutions guide highlights ways companies can begin, expand or enhance their food donation or food waste diversion programs. With success-proven case studies from grocery stores, food manufacturers, and restaurant and foodservice operators, this guide can help food retailers keep food out of landfills, and to reduce food waste at...
Store Manager Award Winners Show Their Appreciation
We’ll be launching the 2016 Store Manager Awards on November 16, 2015. But before we do that, we wanted to check in with our FMI Store Manager People’s Pick Award winners to see how they celebrated with their employees.
How to Help Customers with Food Refrigeration at Home

By: Ashley Eisenbeiser, Manager for Food Safety and Technical Services, Food Marketing Institute

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...

ACA Automatic Enrollment Repeal Included in Federal Budget Agreement
Eliminating mandatory auto-enrollment does not reduce individuals’ access or eligibility for health care coverage, but it removes the potential for redundancies. The auto-enrollment clause would have resulted in unwanted dual-enrollment for those employees receiving health coverage through other means and would have forced both employees and employers to pay dual premiums.
Help a Grocer Doing Good Win Big
From November 2 – 6, 2015 all our 2015 Community Outreach Award nominees will be posted to the FMI Facebook page under the tab: Grocers Doing Good. We invited you to visit, read through the extraordinary stories of how grocers are making the world a bit better and vote for your favorite. The story with the most votes come Friday, November 6 at 5:00 pm ET will receive $1,000 donation to help their program grow
Playing Supermarket Myth Whack-A-Mole
The rationale behind the myth busting web page is to provide our members with resources to confront the misperception being perpetuated every time they hear or see it, so we don’t have to play whack-a-mole on an ongoing basis. If we challenge the myths with facts, we lesson the likelihood of repetition. Also, because most myths have a glimmer of truth about them, if we provide a balanced response perhaps it will highlight the facts, inform the public and address an issue rather than distort it.
Private Brands Goes to Washington
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 (FSMA), and consumer demands topics such as transparency. The group was able...
Why We Love Grocery Store Pharmacists
October is American Pharmacists Month and a great time to recognize the important role grocery store pharmacists play in creating supermarkets health care centers for customers. But they are not alone. I recently spoke at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo about how my professional colleagues, dietitians, are joining pharmacists in making food retail healthcare the new norm.

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