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    Live From FMI Midwinter: National Family Meals Month

    FMI Foundation announces September marketing initiative calling for grocers to 'Commit to the Mitt'

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    Numerous studies have underscored the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of eating together as a family. Yet, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only about 30 percent of American families share dinner every night.

    Seizing on an opportunity for grocery retailers, the Food Marketing Institute took the occasion of its 2015 Midwinter Conference this weekend to announce a September marketing initiative with the nation’s grocers aimed at highlighting food retailers’ unique family meal programs and their commitment to bringing families back to the table, one meal at a time.

    Cathy Polley, FMI Foundation’s executive director and FMI VP of health and wellness, symbolically called association members to "Commit to the Mitt," brandishing a ceremonial oven mitt before the cheering crowd.

    Family Mealtimes Critical

    The initiative was introduced Saturday night during the FMI Foundation’s annual gala event, held on the first night of the Midwinter Conference at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach. Polley explained that National Family Meals Month will provide FMI members with both the platform and tools for showcasing their mealtime resources.

    “Our members are doing more than ever to inspire and support home cooking, from quick dinner solutions, cooking classes and nutrition advice, to shortcuts like pre-prepped ingredients and freshly prepared entrees,” Polley said. “FMI’s resources will give members a new way to showcase these creative meal programs throughout September.”

    With family mealtime at a critical intersection, this month-long FMI member communications campaign will give the grocery industry a unified theme and turnkey promotional tools to encourage consumers to lean on their local supermarket to prepare one more family meal per week at home.

    “Food retailers are known supporters of their communities and proponents of neighborhood values,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “Their commitment makes them a logical and reliable font of resources and meal solutions encouraging families to eat more meals together – an activity with known societal benefits. This campaign highlights how food retailers and wholesalers fulfill their mission of feeding families and enriching lives.”

    Beginning in February, FMI will offer its members a free downloadable toolkit featuring customizable promotional and social media materials that enable grocers and consumer product brands to easily integrate National Family Meals Month marketing into their existing promotional schedules. Members can access the toolkit on FMI’s Family Meals website.


    Watch for further updates from FMI Midwinter at Progressivegrocer.com and on Twitter: @pgrocer, @jimdudlicek and @JoanPGrocer

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing.

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