By: Farleigh Lichstein, Director, Education, FMI and Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, FMI


The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting consumer behavior has put unprecedented pressure on the meat retail industry, resulting in dramatic changes that have asked us all to think differently and creatively to solve problems. The innovation displayed throughout the entire meat industry provides us with clear lessons learned as we move forward.

FMI and the North American Meat Institute took inspiration from the retail meat industry, rolled up our sleeves and innovatively redesigned the 2021 Annual Meat Conference (AMC), happening virtually March 22-25, 2021. We think you’ll find that one aspect of AMC remains true—it is the don’t miss event that allows retail meat industry colleagues to confer on the pressing issues of today.

Here is a sneak peek at three key features of the 2021 Annual Meat Conference:

Lessons from Leadership

Now is the time to gain insights from leadership, so we’ve designed a rare opportunity to hear directly from retail meat industry leaders on how they plan to make the industry even stronger in 2021 and beyond. This CEO roundtable will include:

  • Susan Morris, executive vice president, COO, Albertsons Companies.
  • Jon Nash, president, Cargill Protein North America.
  • Nicholas Bertram, president, The GIANT Company.
  • David McDonald, president and COO, OSI Group.
Changing Consumer Trends

The consumer of today is not the consumer of last year or last month or even yesterday, things are moving that quickly. Technology, the pandemic, ecommerce and more are changing how shoppers interact with the meat department. Lets face it, the sales of last year were overwhelming, and we need to keep that momentum going. During a closing session panel, speakers will discuss how retailers, wholesalers and suppliers can stay ahead of the consumer retail trends in 2021 and focus on a profoundly changed consumer engagement environment. Panelists include:

  • Dhamu Thamodaran.
  • Lisa Selk, vice president, market meat products, Hormel Foods.
  • John Beretta, group vice president, meat & seafood, Albertsons Companies.
Networking, Networking, Networking

We know strolling the aisle of the Annual Meat Conference exhibit floor is a favorite aspect of the in-person experience: You never know what new products you might find or who you might network with. Well, we’re hoping to bring a similar networking opportunity to the virtual event.

The virtual platform for the Annual Meat Conference features easy appointment scheduling and the ability to chat with exhibitors and fellow attendees with the click of a button. We think you’ll be surprised by how much networking you’re able to engage in virtually.

Now is the time for the retail meat industry to learn together and to reconnect with business partners in a meaningful way. We look forward to seeing you “virtually” soon, so don’t miss this year’s AMC!

Register for 2021 Annual Meat Conference