We invite you to read through our 2017 accomplishments and resources for members outlined below. DOWNLOAD THE PRINT VERSION
2017 has been a year of big accomplishments for FMI, but something of a Lego-experience since these huge achievements are the sum of many, many small steps and tiny pieces coming together. Over the next few weeks, FMI will devote its blog platform to offering a step by step, department by department review of the past 12 months.
The infinitely complex game of baseball can actually be reduced to three simple components; hit the ball, throw the ball and catch the ball. Likewise, finance can be very complicated, but it too can be reduced to the answer to three simple questions: Where does our income come from? What is the money spent on? What does the subsequent bottom line look like?
On the road again. This phrase embodies the commitment of FMI staff to meet our members where they operate in order to share FMI programming and to learn what we can do to serve them better. FMI staff wrapped up a successful 2017 with more than 120 in-person member visits.
The private brands work FMI performed in 2017 focused on transparency, research and exploring lessons learned and opportunities from other countries. While perhaps not as catchy as Julius Caesar’s “Veni, vidi, vici - We came, we saw, we conquered,” there is some truth to the notion that last year, we learned, we got clear, we explored new opportunities.
In much the same way that shoppers no longer interact with stores as they once did, FMI members want different ways to learn. They seek experiences that will help them master practical tools, exposure to trends with insights they can apply quickly and connections with potential partners and resources that can help them solve challenges. To address these new ways our members consume information, in 2017 we instituted a number of changes to FMI education programs.
The grocery industry is at a critical tipping point. In January 2017, Nielsen and FMI embarked on a multi-year initiative to explore this unprecedented digital transformation. Initial findings from FMI’s The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper study demonstrated that shoppers are already highly engaged with purchasing food online; however, retailers and manufacturers have yet to develop profitable e-commerce strategies that meet today’s consumer expectations.
This is where FMI adds significant value to its members and their trading partners. Through our Emerging Issues initiative, we identify issues that have the greatest potential to affect the food industry in the next three to five years.
While food trends may change as quickly as your Instagram feed refreshes, health and wellness in food retail continues to grow into a mainstay in food purchase decisions. Food retailers report the top two trends they believe will most positively impact sales and profits are, first, consumers’ desire to place health and wellness as a value over price or brand loyalty (82 percent) and, second, consumers’ desire to use their food choices to manage and avoid health issues (77 percent).
2017 was a record-setting year for the FMI Foundation. In January, the Foundation launched a completely re-designed fundraising event that included a lively cooking competition designed to accentuate the FUN in Fundraising and celebrate the good grocers do to support family meals.
FMI’s 2017 work in clarifying shopper expectations of transparency, addressing consumer concerns and highlighting community service helped better frame the food retail picture and sharpened industry focus on the customer’s craving of personalized service.
Raise your hand if you’re a fan of the long-running TV show Jeopardy! Isn’t it satisfying when you can answer the question, especially if the contestants are stumped? Considering all the disruption today in the food industry, don’t we wish we had the answers to all of today’s challenges?
Food retailers are embracing their roles as arbiters and curators of these food experiences, so we recognize the need to challenge FMI’s ways of communicating the priority issues of food retail to better depict our members’ dynamic marketplaces.
The definition of sustainability has evolved enormously over the past decade, expanding into the broader concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). When we talk today about sustainable supply chains, it doesn’t just cover the environmental and energy issues at the core of FMI’s early work on the topic, but also areas like human/labor rights, sustainable sourcing, animal welfare, and food waste.
Food retailers understand that the fresh experience is dictated by the new expectations of a more engaged consumer, so it’s important for FMI to keep its finger on the pulse of the shopper, helping food retailers navigate consumers’ demands – and aspirations – for their produce, meat, seafood, bakery and foodservice items.In order to better know our audience and the environment, our organization commissioned notable research across the fresh departments.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) shifted the food safety mindset from reactive to proactive. SQFI has responded by making changes and updates in 2017 to help companies nurture a food safety culture that is preemptive and positive.
Each year, FMI’s Food Protection Committee (FPC) establishes initiatives that serve as the focus of the committee’s work for the year. Its initiatives focused on dealing with new regulations, managing recurring food safety problems and tackling basic cleaning and sanitation practices in constantly busy store environments.
While tax reform is probably the most significant legislative item for 2017, the broad range of legislative and regulatory items that FMI and the industry were able to influence – both offensively and defensively – demonstrates the diverse portfolio of issues FMI covers and bears all the unique characteristics of a heavily regulated industry.
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