By: Margaret Core, Vice President, Marketing and Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute
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Rapidly evolving technologies are having a profound effect on the grocery industry, impacting everything from the customer experience to the supply chain, like in the area of micro-fulfillment. Earlier this year, we hosted a group of FMI members on a field trip to Sedano’s in Miami to see first-hand the partnership between Sedano’s and Takeoff Technologies, Inc. and to witness how micro-fulfillment works.

As robotics is becoming more commonplace in grocery stores and warehouses. I’m excited we will continue great dialogue and interactions with FMI’s participation in the second annual Groceryshop conference, taking place next month, from September 15-18, 2019, at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

It will be great to have a chance to hear from innovators creating these disruptive technologies--as well as the forward-thinking brands and retailers adopting them. We are excited to see more robotic applications and some of the most cutting-edge use cases for robotics via an immersive, 360-degree experience in the Groceryshop Exhibit Hall.

Groceryshop brings together 3,000 leaders from established and emerging brands, grocery retailers, investors and more who want to understand and embrace innovation. Nearly every session on the Groceryshop agenda including the FMI sessions, will touch on technology in some capacity, providing attendees a unique opportunity to learn about the latest innovations that pertain to their roles within their organizations.

For a look at the myriad ways artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are revolutionizing the industry, Groceryshop commissioned Coresight Research to create a framework to help companies understand what these solutions can do. Attendees will gain solid grounding in the fundamentals, as well as specific examples to illustrate the spectrum of AI use cases in grocery. In this piece of Groceryshop Original Content, the Groceryshop team will provide an in-the-field look at how three innovative startups—RightHand Robotics, Takeoff Technologies and Bossa Nova Robotics—are using robotics to tackle very different challenges in the grocery supply chain. 

Technology is also transforming the in-store experience, as physical retail adopts aspects of the ease, convenience and personalization of ecommerce. On the Technology-Enabled Store session, executives from Sonae, Schnuck Markets and GIANT Food Stores will share how they evaluate store-based technologies to ensure they are investing in solutions that improve the customer experience and deliver a return. 

A variety of technologies and solutions has grown up to support grocery and CPG operations—increasing efficiency and transparency in areas like supply chain, fulfillment, distribution and logistics. I am looking forward to the Groceryshop session, Rapid-Fire Review: 10 Technologies Transforming Operations, where three industry leaders will help the audience understand the real impact of some of the most talked-about technologies in the market—and audience members will get to share their views as well.

In the Emerging Technology Spotlight, attendees will also hear from the Founders and CEOs of 20 early-stage technology startups on as well as the leaders of sixteen later-stage, venture-backed startups on the Disruptive Technologies track. Speakers on these tracks have pioneered solutions ranging from more accurate demand forecasting for fresh food to real-time personalization.

There is a lot going on in this space and we are keeping our fingers on the pulse so we can share, make connections for FMI members and the community. We encourage you to join us to learn from these and other exciting speakers in Las Vegas this September.

On Monday, September 16th, FMI is supporting the Second Annual Friends of the Future Reception for retailers immediately following the Groceryshop business session. RSVP to attend here.

We hope to see you at Groceryshop!

Photo Credit: SpartanNash