“Consumers want what they want, when they want it,” Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet said during her keynote address.
“Sometimes they want to shop in their pajamas. Sometimes they want to leisurely stroll through the store with a glass of wine in hand looking for education and inspiration,” said Karet while speaking about the transformative omnichannel retail world that’s created a “new marketplace.” Karet, who served as chairwoman of this year’s FMI Midwinter Conference, also touched on a variety of other topics during her keynote, such as diversity, workforce, food safety and food waste.
FMI Foundation’s signature fundraising event celebrating family meals—Stir It Up—invited food retailers and suppliers to team up to prepare the best ethnic-inspired cuisines in a friendly cooking competition. Event participants voted for their favorite family meal in five categories: healthiest, easiest, tastiest, most affordable and best culinary adventure.
During the New Marketplace Realities session (from left), FMI's Mark Baum moderated an insightful panel discussion featuring Justin Dye of Ripkurrent, Tom Furphy of Replenium and Scott Moses of PJ Solomon, who shared their views on the macro dynamics unfolding in the retail food sector. While discussing prioritizing investments that are increasingly required by retailers to compete in today's rapidly changing grocery business, Dye, who is a board member of New Seasons Market, urged the audience to "think about what you’re going to stand for and what you’re going to invest in."
John Ross (right), president and CEO of IGA Inc., congratulated Mark Batenic, IGA Inc. chairman, who was honored during the event with FMI’s Herbert Hoover Award, which recognizes a food industry leader’s dedication to service and outreach, including his work with store owners.
Chef Robert Irvine served as the emcee of the FMI Foundation’s Stir It Up fundraising culinary competition during the 2019 Midwinter Executive Conference in Miami. Well-known for his Food Network shows “Restaurant: Impossible,” “Dinner: Impossible” and “Worst Cooks in America,” Irvine was featured as WGB’sBreakroom guest in its January issue.
WGB's sole female 2018 Grocery Game Changer, Donna Tweeten, EVP and chief marketing officer fpr Hy-Vee Inc., along with the West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer's chairman, CEO and president, Randy Edeker, whom FMI awarded with its 2019 Sidney R. Rabb Award in honor of his commitment to the consumer, community and the industry.