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  • Havana Daydreaming ….Not So Fast

    Dec 18, 2014
    EggnogWhen President Obama announced yesterday that he was taking steps to begin normalizing relations with Cuba, many Americans no doubt abandoned their seasonal “vision of sugar plums” in favor of  a decidedly more adult dream – shelves overflowing with Cuban cigars, rum and cheap sugar.  The President’s actions, however, are unlikely to make these dreams a reality – at least in the near term.
  • 2014 in State Legislatures: What Grocers Need to Know

    Dec 18, 2014
    State Legislative IssuesWith the holidays right around the corner, the vast majority of state legislatures have closed up shop, their business complete for the year. In just a few short weeks, though, many will reconvene for the 2015 legislative session, and the fun will start all over again. But before it does, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the chaotic year that unfolded in statehouses across the country.
  • Ask the FMI Librarian: A Food Retail Research Present

    Dec 17, 2014
    Ask the FMI Librarian As 2014 comes to an end, now is a good time to review research produced by FMI. This year we produced four major reports focused on the consumer. As a group, this research provides insight into shifts in the consumer universe and yields some important implications for food retailers. 

  • Q and A with John Zogby Speaker at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference

    Dec 16, 2014
    John Zogby John Zogby, founder of the "Zogby Poll" and the Zogby companies, is an internationally respected pollster, opinion leader and best-selling author. His 2008 book, the Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream foretold many aspects of today’s consumer. John will be joining us at FMI’s2015 Midwinter Executive Conference to discuss societal impacts of the new consumer and I took some time before the event to get to know him a bit better. 
  • Clearing Up Fish Fears

    Dec 15, 2014
    Clearing Up Fish FearsIt’s a myth heard often—pregnant women need to watch the amount of seafood they eat. But nutrition science today tells us that the benefits for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding from eating seafood far outweigh any risks. In fact, in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, HHS and USDA recommend that “women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume at least 8 and up to 12 ounces per week of a variety of seafood per week, from choices lower in methyl mercury” taking into account evidence relating to fish consumption to improved infant health and developmental outcomes.
  • What is the Future of Food?

    Dec 11, 2014

    Future of FoodHave you seen the new movie Interstellar yet?  Will we have to go to a different galaxy to feed the future?  Not if we’re smart. Lately, there is an incredible escalation of interest from individuals and all public sectors about how we will provide food security for the 9 billion people we’ll need to feed in by 2050.  I’ve been on calls, webinars and running to meetings all over the country on sustainable agriculture, food security and food waste and in my mad dash from plane to plane, I’ve collected a potpourri of interesting tidbits to share.

  • Food Retailers SPEAK: Fresh is a Market Differentiator

    Dec 10, 2014
    Fresh is a Market DifferentiatorSimilar to The Street, when the food retail industry speaks, we certainly listen at FMI. Our Food Retailing Industry Speaks report is in its 64th year, and an emphasis on perishables has been consistently the top retail differentiation strategy by virtually all retailers and received a rating of 8.3 out of 10 as their most successful strategy. 
  • Q and A with Doug Stephens Speaker at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference

    Dec 09, 2014
    Doug Stephens We’re focusing on how consumer empowerment is reshaping the role of the food retailer at FMI’s 2015 Midwinter Executive Conference and I can’t think of a better person to speak on this subject than Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet and retail industry futurist. I recently got the chance to talk with Doug and learn more about what he plans to share with us.
  • Champions for Food Safety

    Dec 08, 2014
    Together: A Food Safe AmericaLast week I had the pleasure of attending the National Consumer Food Safety Education Conference where several hundred food safety educators, researchers and public health leaders gathered to discuss the newest concepts and tactics to promote consumer food safety behaviors.  FMI was invited to present our views as a “Champion for Consumer Food Safety” as a part of a plenary session.
  • Time for A Private Brands Change

    Dec 04, 2014
    Time for a Private Brands ChangeAt the recent FMI Private Brands Business Conference, I heard from FMI members and attendees one very common theme—it’s time for change. As a category, U.S. private brands are seeing slowing growth, especially compared to the private brand industries in other countries. What’s needed is to move our private brands industry from transactional-based relationships to more collaborative relationship.
  • Fresh Profile: Q &A with Pete Leung of Brookshire Grocery Company

    Dec 03, 2014
    Pete Leung from Brookshire Grocery CompanyWe’re building our Fresh Community at FMI and taking the time to profile some of our members who are on the Fresh Executive Council. I recently got the chance to chat with Pete Leung, senior vice president for category management with Brookshire Grocery Company.  

  • USA Today Op-Ed on Menu Labeling

    Dec 02, 2014
    FMI in the newsUSA Today sought out FMI to provide an Op-Ed of the Food and Drug Administration’s recent final regulation on menu labeling. 

  • FSMA Series: Supplemental Proposed Rules

    Dec 02, 2014
    FSMA Series: What Food Retailers Need To KnowThis is the last blog post in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) series, and I thought it was only appropriate to end with the most recent updates on FSMA implementation. It’s quite rare for an agency to republish proposed rules and the changes are an important step in ensuring that final regulations are risk-based and practical for all regulated industries affected by FSMA. It also signifies the importance of submitting comments to highlight and explain industry concerns with government regulations. Overall, the supplemental rules are more targeted, flexible and risk-based. Comments are due to the FDA December 15, 2014.
  • What Food Retailers Need To Know About Grocery Apps

    Nov 26, 2014

    Food Retailers and Grocery AppsMy favorite app is my DC Metro commuter app. I check it each morning before leaving for work and it shows me when to expect the next train and it alerts me to Metro system delays. My DC Metro app is the perfect combination of convenience and usefulness that makes it a key tool in my daily life. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) have teamed up to dive deeper into grocery apps and help food retailers better understand what makes them successful.

  • 4 Features of the New SafeMark Manager eLearning Course

    Nov 25, 2014
    Safemark Visual LearningThe four new learning features of the training are just some of the changes that improve the learning experience, while equipping food managers with innovative tools to reduce the risk of foodborne illness and meet regulatory requirements.  In addition, the course prepares retail food managers for theSafeMark™ Food Protection Manager Certification Exam offered through the National Registry of Food Safety.
  • There is No Shortage of Thanksgiving Turkeys

    Nov 24, 2014
    Price Chopper Supermarkets Thanksgiving DinnerAs Thanksgiving nears, the story of Ben Franklin and the Great Seal is now being crowded out by yet another turkey myth  - that there is a shortage in the supply of turkeys that is not only driving up prices, but could also leave some consumers empty-handed come Thursday. It makes for terrifying headlines – Thanksgiving without Turkey! – but if you read past the lead-ins, you’ll find out that the story just isn’t true.  So, to save you time and concern, here are the facts.
  • Ask the FMI Librarian: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year For Grocery!

    Nov 21, 2014

    Ask the FMI Librarian What does the holiday season mean for grocery stores? In 1939 Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of the Thanksgiving holiday from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last Thursday in November to allow retailers the benefit of more holiday season shopping days.  It wasn’t a popular decision. 

  • Consumers Buying Food with a Retailer

    Nov 20, 2014
    Midwinter 2015At FMI's 2015 Midwinter Executive Conference, to be held January 24-27, our educational focus will be on the diverse ways consumer empowerment is reshaping the role of the retailer. Consumer thinking appears to be shifting from a mind-set of buying food FROM a retailer to an attitude of buying food WITH a retailer.  This attitude is surfacing in several key retail areas.
  • FSMA Series: Produce Safety Rule

    Nov 20, 2014
    FSMA Series: What Food Retailers Need to KnowWe all know that produce is an essential component of a balanced diet, and the safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables helps us maintain healthy diets. Over the last decade, foodborne illness outbreaks associated with contaminated produce led to widespread recognition that we need a proactive, modern food safety system that prevents food safety problems instead of reacting to outbreaks. Congress recognized this and reacted by including produce safety standards in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
  • The Types of Grocery Shopping App Users

    Nov 19, 2014
    Online Grocery ShoppersOn my weekly grocery store trip, I see more and more people using grocery apps. They browse the aisles with smartphone in-hand and I see them checking off shopping lists or using coupons. But just who are these grocery shopping app users and what makes the apps appealing to them?