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“Supermarkets are unique providers of health and wellness to their customers,” said Food Marketing Institute (FMI) president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, while announcing the first Supermarket Health & Wellness Conference, to be held May 11-13, 2010, at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev., and developed by the FMI Health & Wellness Advisory Council. “They offer shoppers food, pharmacy and knowledgeable nutrition experts in one location to help their customers better manage diseases, lower stress, improve nutrition and enhance the quality of life through healthy eating.”
The inaugural Supermarket Health & Wellness Conference is designed to assist the industry in developing strategies and tactics to capitalize on emerging health and wellness opportunities across the entire store. The conference includes:
- Educational sessions to help build collaborative cross-department teams, develop health and wellness programs, and market to the evolving shopper.
- Business appointments between retailers and suppliers to discuss new products and services.
- Strategic Collaborative Exchange meetings to allow senior-level strategic dialogue between supermarket executives and their industry partners.
Suppliers have the opportunity to host private meetings focused on creating collaboration around storewide initiatives such as health and wellness programs. “Our shoppers are looking for health and wellness benefits in the foods they eat and the medications they take,” said Helen Eddy, assistant vice president of health and wellness at Hy-Vee, Inc. and co-chairman of the Health & Wellness Advisory Council. “The Health & Wellness Conference is aimed at helping retailers create a shopping experience that meets the needs of today’s customers.”
“Health and wellness is taking center stage at the grocery store,” said Thom Blischok, president of global innovation and shopper marketing at Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and co-chairman of the advisory council. “There is a fundamental shape-shift occurring as shoppers are now making purchasing decisions in the home before they get into the store based on what is best for them and their family. It is an incredibly exciting and opportune time for retailers to show their customers the health and wellness benefits that can be found throughout the supermarket.”
FMI formed the Health & Wellness Advisory Council last year. It is made up of executives from retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies with a wide variety of responsibilities, including nutrition, pharmacy, grocery, health and beauty care, consumer affairs, and technology innovation. The council’s top priority was to launch a health and wellness conference with business opportunities and educational programming for retailers and suppliers. The conference will be held in conjunction with FMI 2010. Anyone who registers for the Health & Wellness Conference will have full access to FMI 2010 and a chance to experience a strategic industry overview at the most comprehensive education and exhibit event in North America.