The FMI Midwinter Executive Conference is a dynamic, invitation-only annual gathering, designed for senior-level executives in the food retail industry. This prestigious event is one of few that allows for such a diverse group of top industry leaders, including retailers, wholesalers, independent operators, suppliers and manufacturers, to converge to share insights relevant to the success of their business. We had the opportunity to attend this year’s FMI Midwinter Conference and here are 3 quick trends to look out for in 2016.

  • The New Norm – Health & wellness, transparency of ingredients and corporate responsibility have replaced the three historical factors of taste, convenience & price as consumers’ lifestyles have changed, according to Jack Ringquist, principal and global consumer products leader for Deloitte. Their study suggests that all generations are adopting this new norm and forcing retailers to adjust as well. This presents a grand opportunity specifically with millennials, as this generation presently holds the greatest purchasing power.
  • Attracting the Right People– Talent acquisition and development is becoming increasingly more important to large corporate organizations as only about 15% of young professionals are interested in working for large companies. Various large companies are invoking strategies and tactics giving employees flexible hours and helping create life experiences. For example, American Express is allowing employees to experience new places including international exposure by supporting mobility, Starbucks is supporting free college education and Accenture is enlisting employees in business groups to support innovation across the world.
  • New Character Same Story – E-commerce is undeniably growing in numerous markets, still growth, revenues and margins are being challenged. Even with delivery charges added, margins are still being eroded. There’s an array of models that CPG manufacturers and retailers are test driving such as click and carry, pure online retailers, and personal shoppers. However, it is still unclear which model will successfully meet the consumers’ needs in terms of speed, convenience, selection, and cost while achieving sustainable profitability.


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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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