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Scenes from FMI Connect 2015

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From left: FMI's Leslie Sarasin, Randy Edeker and Jerry Garland with IGA's Dave Bennett

FMI's Leslie Sarasin

Alex Morton and Robert Baldwin of TABS Group

Coca-Cola's Pam Basciani

Catalina's Mike Ebert, Angie Kimes and Paige Vesuvio

Leslie Sarasin of FMI

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CHICAGO — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) held its FMI Connect annual conference and trade expo this week, drawing stakeholders from across the food retailing industry.

The event, held June 8 to 11 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, drew more than 13,000 attendees and 420 exhibitors, including supermarket and other grocery retailers and distributors, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, marketers and a host of equipment and service providers.

And attesting to FMI Connect’s scope, 55 countries were represented at the conference and trade show.

More than 1,600 one-on-one business meetings were held through the conference’s Connect Business Exchange, and the event featured over 110 sessions, research, networking and food occasions, FMI said.

This year’s conference focused on food retail competition, improving efficiencies and identifying consumer engagement strategies, with a central theme of inspiring food retailers to help shoppers choose their store as their resource for one more family meal each week at home.

Keynote speakers included FMI president and chief executive officer Leslie Sarasin, who highlighted the findings of FMI’s 2015 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report, with a particular focus on the cultural concerns impacting family eating patterns and influencing supermarket business practices. In addition, Carey Lohrenz, thef U.S. Navy’s first female F-14 fighter pilot, and CBS sportscaster Greg Gumbel spoke about leadership and team building. Gumbel engaged a panel of top coaches from college sports, including basketball coaching legends John Calipari and Rick Pitino.


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