By Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer, Food Marketing
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Often, in my conversations with senior merchandising executives they lament how much harder it is to track the pulse of the consumer, which is indeed a food retailer’s lifeline. The shopper profile is changing as quickly as the business environment, so it seems daunting – and nearly impossible – to get an accurate read on a shopper when faced with a number of complexities and this contradiction: 203 million consumers claim to be primary shoppers among just 123 million households, according to 2015 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends research.  

Some food retailers have embraced digital strategies to better understand this paradigm, but we are witnessing disruptive technologies that require new ways to apply business logic – both operationally as well as with the shopper. The mixture of disruption and embracing data led to the oft-cited buzzword, omnichannel, and the opportunities for food retailers who are trying to keep pace with this rapidly changing environment are as complex as the shopper.

Big Data is supposed to offer critical insights, but what’s the Big Deal when you don’t know where to begin? Well, I’m convinced we’re working on a very Big Idea.

Technology at checkout FMI and Stagnito Business Information (SBI), publishers of Progressive Grocer and Retailer Leader, are working on a revolutionary program designed for senior retail, CPG executives as a means to learn, share, engage and grow together in a collaborative environment during FMI Connect 2016. It’s called Pulse, Technology Enabling the Path to Modern Retailing, and the two-day program will offer a comprehensive look at tech-driven shopper insights, consumer trends and integrated technology solutions applied to merchandising, marketing, and the associated supply chain.

Pulse will take place June 22-23 during the FMI Connect Expo and showcase modern retailing presentations by industry experts; boardroom briefings connecting specific tech solutions to retail opportunities in small groups; and personalized Connect Business Exchange (CBX) meetings to drill down on specific, tech-driven insights aimed at optimizing the path to purchase.

Join us in June in taking the pulse of the shopper and better collaborate for a stronger business model. Stay tuned for more information at