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WASHINGTON -- Food Marketing Institute (FMI) yesterday unveiled details of the 2005 FMI Show, which will be held May 1 to May 3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.
For the first time, the annual convention will be divided into focused product segment areas: meal solutions, ethnic foods, technology, general merchandise/health and beauty care (GM/HBC), and a general category featuring a mix of consumer products, capital equipment, and b-to-b services.
More than 40 education sessions following the theme of "New Ideas Easy to Apply" will augment the experience, along with an expanded New Product Showcase and two high-profile awards programs: the global Store Manager Superior Service Awards and the community-minded Neighborhood Partnership Awards.
Joining the FMI Show again this year are four additional food industry events: the United Produce Conference & Expo, presented by the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association; All Things Organic, presented by the Organic Trade Association; the Fancy Food Show, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade; and the U.S. Food Export Showcase, presented by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
"This new, high-energy, multifaceted FMI Show offers timely strategies for growing the customer base and giving consumers the conveniences they need in today's very busy lifestyles," said FMI s.v.p. Brian Tully in a statement. "With a diverse exhibit floor, complemented by an expansive education program, the 2005 FMI Show is an unmatched, idea-packed, one-stop-shopping opportunity for food retailing and wholesaling leaders."
Along with the signature SPEAKS session, eight other "supersessions" addressing key strategic and global industry issues will headline the education program. Supersession topics this year include the changing business of food retailing, new products, reinventing grocery retail in a value-driven world, product freshness and the total store image, successful loyalty strategies, the discipline of execution, and driving profits in a competitive environment.
The supersessions will be complemented by nearly 30 Close-Up sessions in two exhibit hall theatres, and five Learning Labs.
FMI is offering customized approaches for three key industry segments: large and regional retailers, wholesalers and independent operators, and international retailers.
For more information on the 2005 FMI Show, visit http://www.fmishow.org.
In other FMI news, the organization, on behalf of its supermarket members operating almost 15,000 in-store pharmacies throughout the United States, has commended the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the issuance of final regulations to implement Title I of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The extensive HHS regulations, which are currently under review by FMI, set standards for the new prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
"This timely initiative is very important to FMI members with pharmacies and to all senior citizens who have their prescriptions filled in a supermarket pharmacy," said John J. Motley, FMI s.v.p. of government and public affairs, in a statement. "This coverage will help make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible to the nation’s 40 million seniors and persons who are disabled, beginning Jan. 1, 2006." During the 108th Congress, FMI and its member companies worked closely with the House and Senate leadership, and strongly supported legislation to establish a new Medicare outpatient drug benefit for seniors.