FMI talks rebrand, plus other takeaways from FMI Midwinter

Leslie Sarasin, CEO of FMI, speaking at FMI Midwinter

The newly renamed FMI — The Food Industry Association, which is set to modify its focus to further include private brands, highlighted what the name change signals at its FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix.

CEO Leslie Sarasin told attendees at the event that the new FMI is different in more than just name. Rather, she said, it signals a shift in how they work with members and who they work with, notably opening a wider tent to include newer and nontraditional food retailers.

Take for example the Midwinter event itself,  which draws senior-level executives from some of the largest and most progressive food retailers and CPG companies. However, it is also noteworthy to name who isn’t there: Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Aldi, Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy. The new FMI expects to be more inclusive of those retailers, Sarasin said.

“Driven by consumer relevance, we are in the business of food, wherever it is bought, sold or produced, and we are well-positioned to represent everything in the shopping basket — and work closely with every participant in the marketplace,” Sarasin said when the rebrand was announced.

During the event she piggybacked on a need to change: “Our path of self-discovery and adventure to redefine ourselves has revealed our need to unlearn some things, question everything and stop doing things the same ways simply because that’s the way we’ve always done them.”

Read more on the change presented at FMI Midwinter here from Retail Leader.

Other Midwinter takeaways

Progressive Grocer further covered key takeaways from the FMI Midwinter conference, including: Be more customer-centric, focus on the Generation Z shopper, keep diverse shoppers from many ethnic backgrounds in mind, don’t fear technolgy, and seek disruption.

Read the coverage here.

Lastly at the event, FMI honored six food industry leaders from PepsiCo, Festival Foods, W. Lee Flowers & Co., H-E-B and Wakefern Food Corp. See the winners here.