By: Sue Borra, Chief Health and Wellness Officer for FMI and Executive Director of the FMI Foundation
I want to take you back in time to September of last year. That’s when the FMI Foundation was pleased to host the first ever National Family Meals Month,™ a new movement for the food retail industry around encouraging families to share one more meal at home per week. While the celebration lasted all month long the building of the family meals movement took place all throughout last year and, based on what we saw in September, it’s still going on.
In its first year, National Family Meals Month™ achieved significant momentum around its key priorities. We issued a pledge challenge and retailers and suppliers raised their oven mitts at the 2015 FMI Foundation Gala, garnering the support of almost 100 companies and organizations for our inaugural campaign in September. The success of the National Family Meals Month™ campaign was in large part due to the approachable theme, customizable participation parameters and messaging that could fit into existing programs.
As we gear up for September, we’re planning on having lots of family meals discussions during FMI Connect in June. But before we get to Chicago, we’re hosting a webinar so you can hear how food retailers, producers, and consumers banded together to participate in National Family Meals Month™ and the resulting social media waves. Join us on June 1 at 3:00 pm ET for the National Family Meals Month: The Story of a Campaign that Turned into a Movement free webinar.
During FMI Connect, be sure to stop by the Health & Lifestyle Zone where you’ll be able to learn more about our 2016 National Family Meals Month™ plans and even take a picture with Mitty the Mitt! We’re also hosting a session on Wednesday, June 22 at 9:00 am called How Do You Get a Seat at the Table for National Family Meals Month? that will highlight our 2016 campaign plans and offer ways for retailers and suppliers to raise your mitt and commit to helping families share one more meal together each week at home.
Throughout the month-long celebration we witnessed food retails engaging customers, their employees, store dietitians, local media outlets, bloggers and more on the topic of family meals and solutions available within their aisles. The engagement paid off: During September we saw more than 2,500 social media post about National Family Meals Month™. On Twitter alone, the campaign earned approximately 21.5 million impressions. What was more astounding is that as September went on we saw the engagement on social media crescendo.
Visit www.FMIFamilyMeals.com to learn more, find resources and join the movement.