Today, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) announced a three-year agreement to co-locate the organizations’ respective trade shows: United Fresh 2014 and FMI Connect, the Global Food Retail Experience. Registration opens today for the June 10-13, 2014 events in Chicago.
“Our partnership with United Fresh brings a vine-ripe vibrancy and fresh-picked energy to FMI Connect’s focus on the total store experience,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI’s president and CEO. “Forward-looking research affirms what we are seeing at store level – food retail customers are seeking to increase their knowledge and use of fresh products, making the produce sections critical points of differentiation among food retailers.”
Forty-one percent of FMI’s 2013 U.S. Grocery Retail Trends consumer respondents ranked better quality and variety of fresh foods, inclusive of produce, as the third-most influential factor behind price and selection for choosing a primary store, a supermarket that may not be the closest in proximity to the shopper’s home. Sarasin noted, “United Fresh and FMI’s seasoned collaboration strengthens our ability to provide event-goers with solutions to growing basket size; increasing customer trips; improving margins; and increasing market share.”
“Today, there’s no question that fresh produce is a key differentiator for retailers in every channel,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “With consumers increasingly looking for fresh produce for snacks, in ready-to-eat meals, and every cooking occasion, United Fresh 2014 will be a must-attend forum for retailers large and small who want to seize the produce opportunity for growth.”