WASHINGTON, DC — January 24, 2005 — Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today unveiled details of dramatic new plans for the 2005 FMI Show, May 1-3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.

For the first time, the annual convention will be divided into focused product segment areas: meal solutions, ethnic foods, technology, general merchandise/health and beauty care (GM/HBC) and a general category featuring a mix of consumer products, capital equipment and b-to-b services. More than 40 education sessions following the theme of “New Ideas Easy to Apply” will augment the experience, along with an expanded New Product Showcase and two high-profile awards programs — the global Store Manager Superior Service Awards and the community-minded Neighborhood Partnership Awards.

Joining the FMI Show again this year are four additional food industry events: the United Produce Conference & Expo, presented by the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association (UFFVA); All Things Organic, presented by the Organic Trade Association; the Fancy Food Show, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT); and the U.S. Food Export Showcase, presented by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

“This new, high-energy, multifaceted FMI Show offers timely strategies for growing the customer base and giving consumers the conveniences they need in today’s
very busy lifestyles,” stated FMI Senior Vice President Brian Tully. “With a diverse exhibit floor, complemented by an expansive education program, the 2005 FMI Show is an unmatched idea-packed, one-stop shopping opportunity for food retailing and wholesaling leaders.”

“Our objective is to provide clearly defined value by giving attendees an experience at the FMI Show that will translate into differentiating value to consumers.”

Focused Product Segments Showcase Thousands of New Products

The exhibit floor will offer in-depth exposure to fast-growing product categories that address changing customer needs while simultaneously offering significant profit potential. The focused product segments for this year are:

  • Meal Solutions: Includes convenience foods and prepared foods that require little or no preparation on the part of the consumer, as well as the in-store equipment, supplies and services to produce them.

  • Ethnic Marketplace: Showcases one of the fastest-growing product categories in retailing today, with foods and beverages from around the world.

  • Technology: Features Fresh Item Management Systems, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Biometrics, Forecasting Systems and other technologies that contribute to improved operational efficiencies and better customer service.

  • General Merchandise/Health and Beauty Care (GM/HBC): Contains cosmetics, bath accessories, pharmacy, home remedy products and other non-food products that offer high profit potential.

  • General Exhibits: Includes consumer products, capital equipment, b-to-b services and companies offering multiple product categories.

Expansive, Diverse Education Program Spotlights New Age of Retailing

The 2005 FMI Show education program launches with the signature Supermarket Industry SPEAKS presentation on Sunday morning, May 1. The session provides a fast-paced look at consumer and industry trends that are shaping the industry, along with breakthrough research.

Along with SPEAKS, eight other “super sessions” addressing key strategic and global industry issues headline the program. Super session topics this year include the changing business of food retailing, new products, reinventing grocery retail in a value driven world, product freshness and the total store image, successful loyalty strategies, the discipline of execution and driving profits in a competitive environment.

The super sessions will be complemented by nearly 30 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. This year, Close-Up themes will be directly linked to the product segment areas. Featured speakers include industry experts, retailers, marketing executives and others. Session topics for 2005 include ethnic food trends, pharmacy strategies, RFID, data synchronization, profitability from perishables, private label, meal solutions operations, consumer-based pricing, ethnic marketing and merchandising, intelligent shopping carts, foodservice industry product trends, competing with dollar stores, the low-carb craze, health and wellness trends that drive sales, electronic shelf labels and new product trends for 2005.

Learning Labs allow attendees to experience a more interactive, intensive approach to current industry concerns. Limited to 150 persons, each three-hour Learning Lab includes operationally focused presentations and allows for the exchange of practical ideas with peers and industry partners. Subjects to be covered include building a meal solutions business, retail success strategies for independent operators, retail technology, store manager development and relationship building between retailers and suppliers. Pre-registration is required and some workshops may be restricted to certain business types.

New Product Showcase and Retailer’s Choice Awards

Anchoring one wing of the FMI Show exhibit floor will be the New Product Showcase, a destination location featuring the latest offerings by suppliers represented at the show. Products are grouped by category, and suppliers are identified with special booth signage
and notation in the official Show Guide. Top products featured in the Showcase will be recognized by the Retailer’s Choice Awards, in which retailer/wholesaler attendees will vote, by category, for Best in Show.

Customized Programming Offers Opportunities for Key Retail Segments

FMI is offering unique, customized approaches for three key industry segments: large and regional retailers, wholesalers and independent operators and international retailers.

National and regional food retail companies bringing groups of 30 or more to the show will be afforded solutions to their specific company needs and requests. Participating companies will have a total experience tailored exclusively for them using a “menu” approach. Program features include private conference suites, enhanced supplier preparation, pre-show planning assistance, special networking opportunities at the show, professional development opportunities and motivational speakers or targeted subject matter for training.

Special Features Available to International Guests

FMI has expanded the international component of the show to maximize the benefits for this growing segment. New features include pre-show planning assistance, such as
assistance with Visa applications, coordination with exporters at the show and more materials translated into six languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Simple Chinese and Traditional Chinese); in-language show floor tours with stops at specific exporting exhibitor booths, specialty pavilions and partner exhibit floors; on-site access to consolidators; an international networking reception; private conference suites; and
new exhibitors. Returning features include the International Trade Center and simultaneous interpretation in Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Chinese and Korean for the Super Sessions.

Awards Programs Honor Superior Customer Service and Community Support

More than 500 candidates are expected to compete for FMI’s 5th Annual 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. Eighteen finalists (six each from three separate categories based on store size) will receive free registration to the show and three nights of hotel accommodations. Three Grand Prize winners will also be awarded $1,000 each. Entry information can be obtained from Gretchen Hritz at 202-220-0811 or ghritz@fmi.org.

Recognizing community excellence, FMI will present the 2005 Neighborhood Partnership Awards (NPAA) at the show. Focusing on youth development, community partnerships, health initiatives and hunger-related programs, the NPAA program is a national competition developed by FMI to recognize retail and wholesale member companies for initiatives that revitalize and invigorate communities.   Winners will receive cash grants for their programs.

The FMI Show — New Ideas Easy to Apply in 2005

The 2005 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 world. For more information, please visit the 2005 FMI Show Web site (www.fmishow.org) for details on exhibitors and workshops, and to register online.