The Food Marketing Institute is rebranding as FMI – The Food Industry Association, which the association says will more accurately reflect its strategy to more broadly represent the whole retail food marketplace and an interconnected supply chain.
FMI is the second industry association to rebrand this month, following GMA's move to CBA, which marks another reflection of the changing face of the grocery business.
FMI’s new brand identity comes out of a “long, fun, introspective year,” said Heather Garlich, VP of media and PR for Arlington, Va.-based FMI, who said the association looked across the industry as a whole and the emerging omnishopper to create an organization that would reflect the new food industry.
Garlich confirmed to WGB that "FMI is our full and official name. Together, simplifying to ‘FMI’ and migrating to a more descriptive tagline ‘The Food Industry Association,' sets a clearer, easier-to-tell and more powerful message about who we are as an organization."
“FMI provides the most productive forum for connecting and holding constructive dialogue across the food industry,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in the association’s announcement regarding a renewed focus. “Driven by consumer relevance, we are in the business of food, wherever it is bought, sold or produced, and we are well-positioned to represent everything in the shopping basket and work closely with every participant in the marketplace.”
FMI board Chairman Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp., said the move is an offshoot of reflections over the past two years that “inspired a recommitment, a renewal of vows among the FMI membership. We’ve even changed who can be a member in the association as a logical step in a direction we’ve been traveling for years, offering greater parity between retailers and their product supplier partner members at the board of directors level.”
FMI began accepting product suppliers as associate members in the early 2000s, Garlich said, but the new strategy allows them to be eligible for a seat on the board to give them a larger voice in the association. An early visionary for the association, Esther Peterson, who was VP of consumer affairs for Giant Food Inc., talked about being a purchasing agent for the consumer. Garlich notes the rebranding reflects the new retail food industry, in which the purchasing agent for the consumer is changing.
However, some things are remaining the same. The new logo, with three interconnected rings, reflects the unchanged tenets of FMI: collaboration, education and advocacy.
FMI maintains its position in the following strategic areas:
Effectiveness on Public Policy
FMI plays a pivotal role in serving as the central voice of the food industry, leading the charge with legislative and regulatory bodies to bring attention and make progress on the issues that affect its members. FMI has a long track record of success, from affecting legislative bills to arguing for causes at the highest level, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Commitment to the Issues That Matter
FMI boldly tackles the issues that matter most to its members, helping illuminate today’s priorities and identify the next ones on the horizon. FMI employs thought leaders on mission-critical areas for the industry, such as food safety, and has the expertise and focus to serve as a go-to source for thinking, information and education.
A Forum for High-Impact Industry Dialogue
FMI has a long-standing, close relationship with senior executives at the leading food industry companies, as well as other industry associations, and provides a uniquely powerful forum for bringing the right industry participants together to share best practices, problem-solve and operationalize for results.
Dedication to Consumer and Operational Insights
FMI is regarded as the foremost thought leader in consumer and operations research. For decades, FMI has acknowledged and respected the role of the shopper. FMI envisions the future for both a physical and digital shelf where an omnichannel shopper will be the ultimate influencer in how the food industry does business.
“It’s exciting that we’re still here, just rolling out in new and different ways,” Garlich said. “There’s strong equity in FMI and we’re listening.”