By: Marjorie DePuy, Senior Director, Supply Chain and Sustainability, Food Marketing Institute
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Although customer-facing technologies often grab the limelight, some of the most impactful technology shifts are those increasing the speed, efficiency and transparency with which products move through the supply chain. These technologies will build the supply chain of tomorrow. Understanding modern logistics issues and supply chain technologies is key for business leaders who want to thrive in a transforming grocery industry. The opportunity to further examine the cutting edge of grocery logistics is one reason I’m excited FMI will be participating in the second annual Groceryshop conference, September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Groceryshop will convene 3,000 leaders from established and startup CPG brands, grocery retailers, investors and more to educate and prepare them for the full spectrum of industry innovation.

Groceryshop opens with a Delivery and Logistics track including a session entitled New Insights on Logistics and the Supply Chain, featuring presentations by top consulting firms and industry analysts highlighting technologies and strategies grocery retailers should be evaluating to optimize their supply chains and meet customer demand. Stewart Samuel, program director, North America for IGD, will share research examining key grocery supply chain innovations around the world.

Two keynote presentations will be featured in the Delivery and Logistics track. Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations at Walmart, speaks about technologies his company is using to streamline grocery pickup and delivery. Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer at Instacart, offers his perspective on the future of grocery delivery in the face of changing consumer expectations.

The closing session titled Technologies Transforming Delivery and Logistics, features leaders of four groundbreaking startups:

  • Daphne Carmeli, founder and CEO of Deliv, highlights her company’s crowdsourced approach to last-mile delivery, and the need for a broad and diverse fulfillment ecosystem.
  • Lidia Yan, CEO of NEXT Trucking, discusses how technologies like her firm’s mobile app-based solution are eliminating inefficiencies in the transportation of goods.
  • Karl Siebrecht, co-founder and CEO of FLEXE, shares how flexible, on-demand warehouse space is helping brands and retailers address demand for next- and same-day delivery.
  • Leif Jentoft, co-founder of RightHand Robotics, presents challenges of automating picking and packing, and the potential for improved robotic gripping systems to expedite fulfillment.

We encourage you to join us to learn about these and other disruptive trends, technologies and business models that will become part of the supply chain of tomorrow.

FMI will host sessions on Monday at Groceryshop as well. Individuals from established retailers and brands may qualify for complimentary tickets plus up to $750 in travel/hotel reimbursement as part of the Groceryshop Hosted Retailers & Brands Program.

Attend Groceryshop

By: Steve Markenson, Director of Research, Food Marketing Institute
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If your answer was four, then you were below average. But why are grocery shoppers going to so many different stores?

This year’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report found that the average shopper visits 4.4 different retail banners in a typical month, up from 4.1 last year. While shoppers do spend a significant share of their food dollars at their primary store, very few spend all their grocery dollars at one retailer. In fact, only 13% of all shoppers are loyal to just one food retailer. So, what are the other 87% doing?

These shoppers are spreading their grocery dollars across several channels and retailers to address their families’ needs and desires. As we learned from one of our ethnographic interviewees, “The whole ‘one-size-fits-all’ thing – or lack thereof – is the whole reason why I have to go to all these places.” Shoppers see the process of selecting and shopping across all these stores as a form of personalization, leveraging the strengths and specialties of each retailer. Rather than simplifying shopping, consumers are adopting increasingly complex strategies to support aspirations to eat well and achieve the balance of individual and household eating needs. Let’s look at some of these strategies:

Primary Bulk Shopping

For most grocery shoppers (92%) there continues to be one primary store where they do the bulk of their shopping. For about one-half of shoppers, that primary store continues to be a supermarket.

Stock Up Strategy

Many grocery shoppers use warehouse, supercenters or discount stores to stock up on bulk and center store products. These retailers may not be part of the weekly grocery shopping but are visited every few weeks or monthly.

Specialty Item Visits

There are stores that shoppers visit for products or brands that are unique to that store. A shopper explained to me that she makes a special trip to one store for a certain cereal her son likes, but she also shops for healthy snacks that she cannot get anywhere else.

Quality Item Pickup

Still, others do some of their grocery shopping at certain stores because of their organic or natural foods selection or perceived higher quality of produce, meat and/or seafood options.

Need it Now Trip

Then there are the quick or fill-in trips for the basics, such as milk, bread or eggs. These are often driven by convenient locations to work, school or home.

Importantly, we find younger generations are visiting the most food retailers a month. Gen Z visits 6.2 retailers per month and Millennials visit 5.0 retailers per month to meet their household grocery needs. So, this will be a trend that FMI will be watching in the future and one food retailers should consider. Perhaps the question retailers should ask themselves is, “How can I get a larger share of my grocery shopper’s spend?”

Dive deeper into the report with our online learning options:

Download U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends

By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations and Hannah Walker, Vice President, Political Affairs, Food Marketing Institute
Tropical Storm Barry

As we collaborate on this post, the current storm in the Gulf of Mexico has just been deemed Tropical Storm Barry by the National Weather Service. That classification may change, and the potential impact of the storm is shifting rapidly; however, we know Tropical Storm Barry will likely produce a lot of rain and subsequent flooding that will disrupt the food retail supply chain and communities. Here are some important points to keep in mind as you prepare for Tropical Storm Barry with key resources.

Key Crisis Resources

Here are the three-must-have resources for food retailers during any natural disaster crisis:

Additional Crisis Resources

We have a number of general crisis management resources on our Crisis Management webpage including a Natural Disaster Guide. As the storm develops, we’ll curate and post additional resources related specifically to food retailers.


Food SafetyThe security and quality of food remains top of mind, and a written Food Safety Emergency Plan should identify the food products and equipment temperatures that should be monitored and documented, including the frequency and tools needed and the criteria for discarding food.

Consumer Food Safety Messages—Now is an important time to share food safety information with shoppers.’s Food Safety in a Disaster or Emergency webpage includes information to share with consumers on how to keep food safe before, during, and after emergencies, such as natural disasters, or the loss of power. Additional toolkits and resources are available from the Partnership for Food Safety Education. These are helpful messages to share on social media and in store with shoppers as reminders while they prepare for the storm. You can also follow the real-time conversation on social media by using the hashtag #barry

FMI Crisis Management Resources

By: Julie Pryor, Director, Emerging Brands, Food Marketing Institute
Summer Fancy Food Finds

Walking the aisles at the Summer Fancy Food Show, where FMI had a booth showcasing the SQF Food Safety Program and FMI Emerge for companies growing their grocery shelf presence, we picked up on five key trends to share with food retailers and FMI Members. We were impressed with the new food and beverage experiences and ideas going to market.

1. Heritage Flavors

Bold flavors of Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt are being reimagined for U.S. food markets. We found a whole host of companies offering new to the U.S. products to include Yolele Food offering chips made from fonio, a West African grain. Volta Foods makes and sells food products inspired by West Africa to include Sheto, a popular condiment/hot sauce. Hapi African Gourmet’s founder is from Cameroon and has products including a peanut sauce and sunbutter which can be prepared with grains, veggies, root veggies, meat, poultry, seafood and bread. Ginjan is based on a thousand-year-old African recipe, cold pressed from pure and organic ginger, pineapple, lemon, vanilla and anise. The Ginjan Bros’ are an early stage start up producing a line to be consumed cold, hot or mixed into cocktails. Another spice blend that captured our attention was Mom’s Magic Masala All-Purpose Indian Fusion.

2. Convenient Seafood

According to FMI’s Power of Seafood 2019 report, only 21% of consumers are classified as frequent seafood eaters. There is an opportunity to expand seafood products offerings to meet in the shoppers seeking healthier, more sustainable sources of protein. Could seafood be the next snacking trend? We found more evidence of convenient, ready-to-go seafood on the show floor such as products from Freshe, Wild Planet, Love the Wild, and Season Brand.

3. Plant-based Items including Oat Milk, Pickles, Biltong and more

“From dairy and meat alternatives to plant-based snacks, plants are not going anywhere, and I am excited to see what new forms they may take,” said Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, global food analyst from Mintel. We found lots of products with a health benefit focus to include:

Check out these brands and more at the Fancy Food Show product marketplace

4. Beverages and Waters

Functional and fruity beverages are in. We found Fentiman’s sparkling raspberry beverage, another sparkler named Weyla with a blend of fruit, herbs and botanicals from Render Foods, and an organic and artisanal sparkling grapefruit limonadier crafted by French supplier, Lorina. Several beverages that caught our eye included CBD Honey Drop Lemonade, a probiotic from Revive Kombucha with a refreshing fizz of sparkling water, Fizzy Fox’s Sparkling Shrubs made from apple cider, sparkling water and real, organic ingredients, and Fruit & Birch water from Treo.

5. Emerging Brands

We are proud of the community that has joined FMI Emerge and were excited to see so many of them at the show. These brands are stretching distribution and growing on retail shelves. We hope you will take a look at the brands and reach out for samples and conversations.


By: Melaina Lewis, Manager, Communications, Food Marketing Institute
Gen Z Millennial Grocery Shopping

As an older Millennial sibling, I could share a million examples that demonstrate how I differ from my younger Gen Z brother. I like calendar appointments; he prefers his days to be unplanned. I tend to be tidy; my brother lives with a mountain of water bottles under his bed. Knowing these fundamental personality traits, I tested how different – or similar – we are in the grocery aisles. So, we headed out to the grocery store and I learned personalization is key.

According to 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, 53% of shoppers use a regular full-service supermarket “almost every time” they shop.

My brother preferred to visit one store that met all his needs. He’s an ardent grocery list shopper and follows a strict shopping flow in store. In less than 15 minutes, we hit the dairy, snack, and pasta aisles without any stops in the deli or bakery. However, my shopping style has evolved to include more channels and banners to meet my needs, and I always make a stop at the bakery and prepared foods sections.

Younger shoppers ask stores to deliver an engaging experience on many fronts, including convenience and discovery, Trends reports.

Both high-quality, affordable products made it to the top of both our grocery priority lists. I paid more attention to products with ethical concerns and my brother shopped with an environment-friendly lens. Overall, we both appreciate stores that make shopping effortless (in terms of both an efficient shopping experience and availability of healthy convenience foods), information available, healthy options and opportunity to explore.

Trends finds online grocery channels now reach Gen Z to almost the same extent as it does Millennials.

Back in 2017, my digital grocery shopping habits had moved from curiosity to comfort. Today, my online grocery basket has shrunk. I prefer shopping the physical aisles over virtual pages. I trust my grocer to help me personalize my grocery experience. While my brother’s attention has shifted more prominently to online grocery shopping. He wants a personalized online shopping experience that is as fast and efficient as his Spotify playlists. He desires whatever food he wants, whenever he wants it, delivered directly to his door.

Whether it’s online or brick-or-mortar shopping experiences, we both want convenience and a tailored experience that meets our individual needs. Customized shopping presents opportunities and challenges that retailers will need to weigh, but personalization strategies have become the new competitive landscape in food retail.

Download U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends

By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Industry Relations – Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute
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According to FMI’s 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, 43% of shoppers now report buying groceries online at least once in the past year. With this in mind, food retailers need to understand how the physical store changes will set them up for omnichannel opportunities and how technologies will help them deliver on integrated experiences. That’s why FMI will be hosting sessions and participating at the second annual Groceryshop conference, September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The event brings together 3,000 leaders from established and startup CPG brands, grocery retailers, investors and more to educate and prepare them for these changes.

On the first day of Groceryshop, attendees will hear about the number of ways physical grocery stores are changing within a session track dedicated to the Future of the Store. In the opening session on New Store Formats and Footprints, forward-thinking companies will discuss how they’re trialing new store locations, testing new store concepts and layouts, and broadening store experiences to engage shoppers. Perspectives on future store formats will be shared by Jean-Marie Tritant, president of the U.S. for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, a leading shopping center owner based in France. He’ll discuss how U.S. malls—like their European counterparts—are increasingly bringing in grocery retailers as tenants.

During the Experiential Stores session, leaders from innovative consumer-facing startups and established grocery chains will dive into how grocery retailers are creating new physical environments that allow shoppers to experience their products in more immersive and memorable ways. Mike LaVitola, co-founder & CEO of Foxtrot Delivery Market, will share his modern-day convenience store that combines in-store events and coffee-shop vibe with grab-and-go essentials for time-crunched shoppers. Chris Potestio, vice president at Stew Leonard’s, will showcase how the family-owned grocery retailer that’s renowned for its interactive stores, designs its locations to delight both parents and kids.

Finally, leading grocery retailers and manufacturer brands will share best practices for deploying emerging technology solutions that are helping improve the in-store customer experience. The Technology-Enabled Store session will cover groundbreaking technologies that are making the store smarter, more interactive and more efficient, from revolutionary monitoring techniques for inventory and foot traffic, to self-checkout solutions and digital signage. This session will feature Bruno Mourão, head of IT strategy & architecture at Sonae, who will discuss how the leading Portugal-based retailer is incorporating technology into its stores.

Those interested in learning even more about the transformation of physical stores should be sure to attend a joint keynote on Sunday afternoon featuring Amy Shecter, CEO of Glamsquad and Sri Rajagopalan, senior vice president, eCommerce & digital sales at Revlon. This wide-ranging conversation on the future of beauty sales will feature insights from Glamsquad on its services-oriented partnership that’s live in CVS stores, BeautyIRL.

Attend Grocershop

Photo Credit: SpartanNash

By: Marjorie DePuy, Senior Director, Supply Chain and Sustainability, Food Marketing Institute

At June’s TPA Transportation Summit, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez acknowledged that our audience of logistics and transportation experts “fuel and feed the economy.” Administrator Martinez charged the group to consider, “How can data and technology drive the industry forward?”

Over the course of the two-day event, industry partners came together to learn and share emerging practices, particularly around detention (dwell) time. We heard real-world examples of data-driven decision making and technology that is addressing dwell time at the distribution center. Kellogg’s shared that they have moved from the bottom to near the top of the list as a shipper of choice by evaluating their network for optimization opportunities in operations, technology and paperwork and reducing their turn times for drop trailers and live loads.

Supply chain leaders from Coca-Cola, Giant-Eagle and Land O’Lakes shared highlights from their recent TPA pilot activity to understand and reduce dwell time at select facilities. Aided by advisors at McKinsey & Company and Four Kites, the team (including Wegman’s and their carrier partners) evaluated data from select warehouses on a weekly basis for six months, meeting to brainstorm for solutions and ideas. They looked at physical attributes in the yard, technology for drivers and warehouse staff, manpower utilization and shift alignment with scheduled loads and broader topics like culture shifts in management.

The result of the pilot project and collaboration is the realization of the potential to create two to four percent additional capacity by improving the dwell time within their control. Don’t let the ‘small’ number fool you. This has big potential.

Effective transportation management founded in collaboration is key to a healthy supply chain in food retail. I’d add now, in an era of urgent focus on reducing carbon footprints, that we need to look within our four walls, in our shipping lanes, and across our supply chains for opportunities to collaborate, improve, remove empty miles and reduce wasted waiting time all along the road from farm to fork.

By: Francis Griffin, Intern, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Sustainability, Food Marketing Institute

NFMM parchment Family dinners played a significant role in my life for as long as I can remember. Although each family member had different schedules partnered with individual time restrictions or scheduling challenges, we came together at the end of each day to unwind and reconnect over a meal. These nights have shaped my family’s dynamic, and are one of the main reasons that our relationships are as healthy and strong as they are today. During my first few weeks as an intern, I helped to further an outstanding initiative throughout the United States: Proclaiming Family Meals Month in Every State.

State resolutions/proclamations are an excellent way to support the National Family Meals Month™  programs and are being implemented by the retailers and suppliers across the country. Promoting family meals is a win for all constituents including consumers, communities, and food retailers. Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin officially celebrated Family Meals Month in September 2018 by establishing state proclamations, resolutions, or bills. On May 2, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) signed a resolution proclaiming September 2019 as Family Meals Month, thanks to the good advocacy of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association.

There are a few pathways to declaring September as Family Meals Month in your state.

Resolutions are one option. A legislative resolution expresses the views of the majority of one or both houses of the Legislature. While resolutions require a legislative process, and all the uncertainties that may entail, they can have the benefit of permanency. A resolution can declare September of every year to be Family Meals Month.

Governor Proclamations are another pathway. Proclamations recognize days, weeks, or months for a single year that draw attention to noteworthy issues/causes among citizens of the state. Proclamations typically require much less process than resolutions. Depending on the state, they can be requested during or out of legislative session by a state resident and in some cases, a non-state resident, by simply filling out a form on a governor’s website. In fact, eighteen states have no residency requirement for submitting resolutions. In some states, these requests can be submitted as late as a month before the desired date of the proclamation. For example, while Louisiana requires fourteen business days, Colorado requires six weeks. However, proclamations are only good for one year and will need to be renewed annually.

When’s the Right Time?

There’s still time to start the proclamation process in your state for 2019 or to begin legislative planning for the 2020 state sessions, and your success will help to elevate National Family Meals Month™ across the nation.  To see samples of state bills and proclamations, click here.  And be sure to check-out this video of the 2018 campaigns. We hope to include your state along with Tennessee in the 2019 sizzle reel.

You can find more resources here and please feel free to reach out to the FMI Foundation ( for more information.

Congratulations to the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association in their efforts toward proclaiming September 2019 as Family Meals Month!

The following article originally appeared in The Produce News.

By Rick Stein, Vice President, Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute 20151208-FMI-085-WEBv2

It’s summertime, and the living is easy – and so is the opportunity to merchandise locally-grown, in-season produce.

Now that growing and harvesting season is in full swing across most of the country, the time is ripe to leverage fruits and vegetables sourced from nearby farms and orchards outside of perennial growing areas like California, Arizona and Florida. Many of those products are a natural part of summer: Independence Day is just as synonymous with fruit salad as it is fireworks. For many Americans, June means asparagus, July means cherries and peaches and August means sweet corn, cantaloupe and tomatoes, to name a few examples.

The 2019 Power of Produce report confirms the importance of local, in-season produce to today’s shoppers. Nearly half (44%) of shoppers say they buy local whenever possible and more than half want a wider assortment of locally-grown produce. In fact, interest in expanded seasonal assortment jumped from 40 percent in 2017 to 53% in 2018. These items resonate with a cross-section of customers: seasonal positioning is attractive to Baby Boomers, while the term “locally grown” is especially important to younger shoppers, like Millennials and Gen Z.

As shoppers are naturally engaged with the produce department during the summer months, growers and grocers can work together to make the browsing and buying experience as satisfying and repeatable as possible. For example, using both the terms “locally-grown” and “in-season” broadens the appeal of fresh fruit and vegetable products and displays to shoppers of all ages.

These terms can also be cross-marketed to a foodservice area of a grocery store. Stores that make smoothies can promote the fact that the raspberries were just picked and bursting with flavor. An in-store café can let customers know that the vine-ripened tomatoes in the salads and sandwiches were sourced from a regional grower and are also available over in the produce department to buy and take home.

Another way to bolster produce sales at the store is to enhance the farmstand experience. As local farmer’s markets remain popular – the 2019 Power of Produce report shows that more than two thirds of shoppers periodically buy produce there – grocery stores can stay competitive by understanding what draws people to farmer’s markets and responding in their own way to those interests.

For instance, consumers cite freshness as the top reason to shop at farmer’s markets, something that a grocer can also tout by calling out their speed-to-market, assortment of locally-sourced items and support of local farmers. Supermarkets can replicate the look of a farmer’s market by creating a pop-up farmer’s market event in the parking lot or store entrance or adding fun farmer’s market touches like chalkboards listing that day’s produce and where it was grown.

Meanwhile, as people want to know more about their food and where it comes from, telling the story of the produce, the farm and the farmers is an increasingly important element of merchandising. Shoppers like hearing background on what’s available, whether via point-of-sale signage or a conversation with a produce department employee, and they trust their supermarket to ensure that what they are buying is safe and of high quality.

On that note, communication, as always, elevates the produce-buying experience. Back in the day when I was working in a grocery produce department, a certain customer would regularly come in and pick up a huge watermelon and knock on it. I’d tell her, “If it knocks back, you need to let me know!” She loved that and always remembered me. If I was working in that same produce department today, I’d add that the watermelon came from a farm within a 50-mile radius of the store and would share some fun facts about watermelon planting and harvesting.

We know that the power of produce is strong, in that nearly 100 percent of shoppers purchase fresh produce. In peak season, that power is even stronger, so seize it and reap the fruits of stronger shopper connections and sales.

Download 2019 Power of Produce 

By: Hannah Walker, Vice President, Political Affairs, Food Marketing Institute

20151208-FMI-626-WEBI’m not an antitrust lawyer, but this year it feels like I play one on T.V., as they say. For decades here at FMI, we have advocated and fought to tackle the oppressive swipe or interchange fees our members are charged every time someone pays with a debit or credit card. In addition to our regulatory and legislative work, FMI has been monitoring and reporting on an antitrust case filed fourteen years ago by a number of retailers against Visa and MasterCard and the largest issuing banks.

Let’s briefly rewind. In 2005, before I had a smartphone and still watched movies on DVD, a group of retailers sued the card networks (Visa and Mastercard) claiming antitrust violations that illegally inflated swipe fees, or interchange, that merchants pay on every purchase transaction and which banks use to fund consumers’ credit card rewards.

Fast-forward to September 2018, the U.S. District Court preliminarily approved a proposed monetary settlement of a maximum of approximately $6.24 billion and a minimum of at least $5.54 billion in the class action lawsuit. The U.S. District Court previously divided the merchants’ claims into two separate classes, one that focused on monetary damages and the other on making changes to Visa and Mastercard’s rules and business practices. This settlement is for the class focused on monetary damages, the litigation on the card rules and practices continues. Under the settlement, Visa, Mastercard, and the bank defendants have agreed to pay billions in class settlement funds.

Retailers included in this lawsuit have the legal rights and options explained below:

  1. Exclude themselves from the Settlement Class. Merchants that exclude themselves will not get any money from this settlement but can individually sue the Defendants on their own at their own expense, if they want to.  Merchants that wish to exclude themselves must make a written request, place it in an envelope, and mail it with postage prepaid and postmarked no later than July 23, 2019, or send it by overnight delivery shown as sent by July 23, 2019, to Class Administrator, Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement, P.O. Box 2530, Portland, OR 97208-2530.
  2. Object to the settlement. The deadline to object is July 23, 2019.  To learn how to object, visit or call 1-800-625-6440.  Note: Merchants that exclude themselves from the Settlement Class cannot object to the settlement.
  3. Eventually file a claim for payment. To receive payment, merchants will be required to fill out a claim form. Claims cannot yet be filed.  If the Court grants final approval, and if that approval is affirmed on any appeals, the Court will approve a claim form and set a claim deadline. Claim forms will then be mailed to all identified merchants.  When the time comes to file claims, merchants can submit them via mail or email, or may file online at

To learn more about the case and terms of the settlement visit the case’s settlement page and FMI’s settlement webinar or contact Hannah Walker.