ARLINGTON, VA — March 26, 2009 — Facebooking, blogging, texting, Twittering, and watching videos on YouTube and mobile devices are all ways consumers are creating, receiving and sharing information. Retailers and manufacturers who want to be in touch with their shoppers need to reach them through these new methods of communication.

A session at Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Future Connect conference, May 4-6, 2009, in Dallas, TX will address new media: Communicate Through New Media in the Internet Age, presented by Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, and George Wishart, global managing director, The Nielsen Company.
“The ways in which consumers communicate will have significant implications on the types of media messaging required to reach tomorrow’s consumer,” said Hale. “The growing importance of social networking and blogging is opening new avenues for segmenting and reaching consumers.”

     New research from Nielsen uncovers how individuals respond to product and in-store stimuli, which are already helping manufacturers design more appealing packaging and assisting retailers with breakthrough store and shelf layouts to enhance the shopping experience.

Future Connect is the first food industry conference devoted to developing industry leaders who will navigate the complex and challenging future. Retailers are sending managers and executives to hear the most up-to-date research from Nielsen and others.

Three educational tracks — operations, executive and senior executive — will bring peers together to focus on strategic planning, mentoring, managing diversity, team-building and maintaining work-life balance. The highly interactive and collaborative format mixes strategically focused general sessions with hands-on, university-style case studies and work groups.

After the conference, attendees will continue to build their leadership skills through ongoing educational opportunities leading up to additional leadership sessions at the FMI Show 2010 and the next Future Connect conference in 2011.

For more information on FMI’s Future Connect, visit