WASHINGTON, DC — January 21, 2003 — Groundbreaking new research from McKinsey and Co., a new products showcase and co-location with the Fancy Food Show will highlight the 2003 FMI Show, May 4-6 in Chicago. New education program topics addressing contemporary industry concerns, an expanded Group Advantage Program and compelling new consumer and industry research from FMI accent the event.

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive annual food industry trade events in the world, the FMI Show is a global trade event that recognizes the needs, challenges and opportunities of food retail and distribution businesses.

Fancy Food, Supplier Diversity and 1,000s of Exhibitors Highlight Convention Floor

“The exhibit floors will be more alive and dynamic than ever before, with hot new product promotions, an expansive menu of events and activities for attendees and interesting, fact-packed Close-Up sessions,” notes Brian Tully, FMI senior vice president of conventions. “And with the Fancy Food Show right next door, the 2003 FMI Show provides more value and expediency than ever for these tight budget times.”

More than 1,000 companies from around the world will be exhibiting at the 2003 FMI Show, showcasing a vast array of consumer products, equipment and services — many on display for the first time. Retailers and wholesalers will be shopping for goods that will be hot with consumers in the coming year, and for technology and equipment that will enhance top-line results. Thumb printing identification and other biometric systems; case-ready irradiated meats; shelf-stable dairy products; exotic produce from five continents; and new product lines from some of the world’s best known brand names are just some of the items that will be on display.

In response to requests from attendees and exhibitors, this year the show will feature a new products showcase to spotlight a select group of consumer products on display in the exhibit hall. Details of the showcase will be released in the next few weeks.

The FMI Show will co-locate with the Fancy Food Show, one of three annual specialty food shows held by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). Featuring hundreds of gourmet, specialty and natural foods companies, the Fancy Food event will be held directly across from the FMI Show and on the same days.
FMI is offering attendees a “one fee for all” on each day of the joint shows. The exhibit
floors for both events will be open to all registrants at no additional charge. Attendees will be able to move freely between exhibits and events at both shows. However, separate fees will be charged for the education components of the Fancy Food Show.

The FMI Supplier Diversity Program, an initiative designed to connect women- and minority-owned businesses with retail buyers, returns after attracting a record 50 companies in 2002. Now in its sixth year, the program allows supplier participants access to an exhibit package of services for a fixed fee.

Part of the convention floor will be dedicated to the U.S. Food Export Showcase, sponsored by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). Over 35 states will host pavilions to spotlight regional food companies with high-value processed food products for the global export market. NASDA will present their offerings to buyers from more than 100 countries.

The FMI exhibit hall will be open 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. every day except Tuesday, when it will close at 3:45 p.m. in time for the show’s closing session.

Education Program Addresses Top-of-Mind Industry Issues in Interactive Formats

“The broad and diverse education program offers attendees an opportunity to consume information in different ways depending on their needs and even the time of day,” says Michael Sansolo, FMI’s senior vice president of education, research and industry relations. “Attendees will not just attend the sessions but in some, like the learning labs, they’ll be a part of them. The hands-on approach afforded by these new sessions allows participants to learn and experience firsthand the concepts being discussed.”

The program will kick off with the signature Supermarket Industry SPEAKS presentation on Sunday morning, featuring state-of-the-industry data and the newest research on consumer and food retailing trends.

In addition to SPEAKS, five other super sessions focusing on strategic and global industry issues highlight the program. The sessions will be fast-moving, broad in scope, global in application and in tune with current market realities. Super session topics include:

  • A Culture of Continuous Innovation: Tom Kelley, general manager, IDEO and author of The Art of Innovation, will examine how an organization can shift from being customer-focused to user-centered, and how companies everywhere can learn to build the products and services customers crave — even if they don’t know how to ask for it.

  • Consumers, Technology and the Economy: A Look to the Future: A panel of experts explores current trends and economic factors affecting the retail food industry today and well into the future.

  • The Key to Commercial Success: Making Your Store and Your Brand an Integral Part of the Community: Scott Bedbury, CEO, Brandstream and a former brand executive with Starbucks and Nike, as well as author of A New Brand World, joins Ron Pompei of Pompei A.D. to look at best practices for marketing and branding your store in a community.

  • Leadership Tools for Maintaining Corporate Values, Goals and Ideology: Three industry CEOs share their philosophies on how they have taken their companies, brands and products from a vision to a way of life for their customers.

  • Winning in a Value-Driven World: Strategists from McKinsey & Co. will close the show on Tuesday with groundbreaking research that describes fundamental shifts in the marketplace and innovative methods of capturing consumer dollars. Moderated by Phil Lempert, CEO of SupermarketGuru.com and Food Trends Editor for The TODAY Show, the session will culminate with a discussion of ways companies can win the battle for shoppers with clear, focused marketing statements and consistent execution at store level.

The super sessions will be complemented by 28 Close-Up sessions in two exhibit hall theatres, and five Learning Labs.

Close-Ups, a series of fast-paced, to-the-point workshops held on the exhibit floor, focus on contemporary food retailing issues. Featured facilitators include industry experts, authors, marketing executives and others. Session topics for 2003 include private label, ethnic marketing, organic foods, aisle management, new product trends, global retailing and Sunrise 2005.

Learning Labs allow attendees to experience a more interactive, intensive approach to contemporary industry issues. Limited to 150 persons, each Learning Lab session will consist of a three-hour, multipart presentation with opportunities for peer networking. Subjects to be covered include making the customer/store connection; building traffic sales in the center store; bigger profits for smaller operators; defending against competitive channel encroachment; and coaching store managers for increased profits.   Pre-registration is required. Learning Lab
registration forms can be downloaded from the show Web site at www.fmi.org/events/may.

Expanded Group Advantage Program Offers New Incentives

FMI is offering the Group Advantage Program, a comprehensive package of benefits intended to serve unique, specific requirements of individual companies regardless of size. Groups of 10 or more receive discounted hotel, airline and rental car rates; assistance in booking blocks of hotel rooms; shuttle bus transportation and recognition in the official FMI Show Guide.

New this year is the Group Gold Advantage Program. Groups of 30 or more retailers and wholesalers will be able to avail themselves of their own business conference meeting room near the front of the North exhibit hall. These furnished rooms will be available for the exclusive use of the company/companies for the duration of the show. FMI staff will serve an intermediary role in scheduling business/operational review meetings with trading partners in these team rooms. Personal concierge service will also be provided.

In addition, FMI staff can assist companies participating in the Group Gold Advantage Program with developing workshops tailored to specific group needs. Programs could focus on a wide range of critical issues and challenges.

Superior Service Awards Honor Outstanding Store Managers

Opening day of the 2003 FMI Show will feature the Store Manager Superior Service Awards, a global program recognizing food retail managers who provide extraordinary community or customer service. Contestants submit stories, which are then judged by a panel of experts convened by FMI. Grand prize winners — two from the U.S. and two from abroad — receive free registration to the show, three nights of hotel accommodations and tickets to the annual FMI reception and dinner. Entry information can be obtained from Gretchen Plessman at 202-220-0811 or gplessman@fmi.org.

The FMI Show — The Place to Be in 2003

The 2003 FMI Show will be an event like no other, offering unprecedented service and customized benefits. Participants of all sizes will find value, efficiency and productivity in this once-a-year gathering of industry leaders from all over the globe.

For more information, contact FMI convention services at 202-452-8444; call FMI’s Fax-on-Demand Show Infoline at 1-800-890-SHOW (7469); or visit the 2003 FMI Show Web site (www.fmishow.org) for details about exhibitors and workshops, and to register online.