By Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO, FMI
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Two weeks ago, the food industry held the first-ever Supermarket Employee Day—a celebration designed to recognize employees at every level for the work they do to feed families and enrich lives. Like any good celebration planner, we sent out invitations, set up a festive ambience and hoped our guests would arrive. The celebration we witnessed far exceeded our expectations.

Nearly every type and level of FMI membership participated in our inaugural event, including retail, wholesale, associate, university and college, and international members.  Additionally, state associations, trade association partners and even local governments joined in the appreciation-fest. Here are just a few examples of some of the celebrations we witnessed:

  • Eleven states issued Supermarket Employee Day proclamations, includingEmployee Post Facebook Alabama; Arizona; Delaware; Kentucky; Michigan; Minnesota; Oklahoma, Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Virginia and Wisconsin. Two localities, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Troutman, North Carolina, added their special flavor with regional proclamations.
  • Local programs reflected the innovative energy of our industry and celebrated grocery workers in diverse means: some invited customers to nominate supermarket heroes, while others provided reward sweepstakes, a number offered video tributes and many hosted celebrations at company headquarters. Additionally, there were appreciation campaigns up and down the supply chain, engaging social media campaigns and more in-store activities than we can list without this blog challenging the word count of “The Brothers Karamazov.”

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  • We saw trade media and local news coverage sharing how your companies gave back to your associates and communities with acts of kindness and service.

    Retailers gave gift cards for meals and offered gift cards to local restaurants that were suffering from the pandemic, while many CEOs and local store managers took to video to thank both headquarters leadership and store-level employees.

  • The social media hashtagIGA on LinkedIn #SupermarketEmployeeDay has garnered almost 1,000 results so far, translating into a potential reach of 10.4 Million.

Thank you for all you did to make the inaugural Supermarket Employee Day a smashing success. Plans for next year’s celebration are under way, and it is not TOO soon TO mark your calendars for 2.22.22!