Latest Research Will Be Presented at FMI’s Future Connect Conference in May

Arlington, VA — March 2, 2009 — The economic recession is dramatically changing consumer shopping habits – changes that could be longer-lasting, according to Thom Blischok, president of consulting and innovation at Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), the leading global provider of consumer, shopper and market insights for the consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and healthcare industries.

     Blischok will present the latest IRI consumer research during his presentation, Evolve With the Changing Shopping Experience at Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Future Connect conference, May 4-6, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX. Blischok will share his recommendations for retailers, wholesalers and suppliers that will help build shopper loyalty, protect and potentially increase market share and safeguard revenue and income streams.

“We’ve identified major changes in shopper rituals that will impact manufacturing and retailing strategies during the current recession and in the future,” Blischok said. “Shoppers are now overwhelmingly more focused and organized when planning their shopping trips,” he said. As a result, IRI research shows that shoppers are altering their diets at home as an additional strategy to save money; this “downturn diet” results in both positive and negative behaviors. The research found that people are buying healthier snacks and staying away from less healthy foods. Consumers are reducing costs by cutting out supplements, stating they can’t afford organic food and staying away from luxury items.

     Future Connect is a leadership education conference that will feature the latest research and thought provoking educational sessions aimed at current and aspiring leaders from all levels of retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies. Blischok is one of more than two dozen speakers addressing how retailers need to identify talented leaders for the future as the Baby Boomer generation retires. IRI research and other focused educational sessions will also address how companies can best position themselves to thrive once the economy recovers.

Attendees will develop skills and gain knowledge in many areas including:

  • Strategic planning

  • Mentoring

  • Team-building

  • Smashing silos

  • Managing a diverse workforce

  • Maintaining work-life balance

Executives from more than 35 supermarket companies, representing 91 percent ($488.7 billion) of total supermarket sales, are attending Future Connect. After the conference, attendees will continue to build their leadership skills through ongoing educational opportunities leading up to the next Future Connect in 2011.

For more information on FMI’s Future Connect, visit

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About Information Resources, Inc.
IRI is the world's leading provider of consumer, shopper, and retail market intelligence and insights supporting 95 percent of the FORTUNE Global 500 consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and healthcare companies. Only IRI offers the unique combination of integrated market information, automated and predictive analytics, innovative enabling technologies, and domain expertise. With IRI, leading retailers and manufacturers are able to quickly discover breakthrough insights driving smarter decisions and actions across the enterprise for breakthrough results. Companies around the world depend on IRI for improved productivity, stronger brands, and dramatic revenue growth. For more information, visit