- The Food Marketing Institute announced Tuesday it has rebranded itself as “FMI - The Food Industry Association.” The move is a response to an evolving food retail industry and a “more interconnected supply chain,” according to an announcement from the organization.
- “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,” Leslie Sarasin, FMI's president and CEO, said in a statement.
- FMI said it will maintain its core focus areas, which include legislative work, providing consumer and operational insights, thought leadership and serving as a forum for industry dialogue.
In a blog post published Tuesday, Sarasin said the rebrand reflects FMI’s efforts in recent years to broaden its membership and support food business decisions across the supply chain.
In an accompanying video announcement, FMI stated the move also reflects shifting borders and alliances in the industry.
“As the lines between retailer and supplier roles become more tightly drawn, and the distinction between brick and mortar and e-commerce becomes less visible, our association encompasses a more diverse landscape,” the announcement stated.
The rise of online shopping has been one of the most significant changes to impact grocers in recent years, and FMI has adjusted to that evolving channel. The organization now counts online retailers among its members and has developed industry research like its prediction, in cooperation with Nielsen, that grocery e-commerce will become a $100 billion business within the next few years.
FMI has advocated closer collaboration between suppliers and retailers, making the case that data and insights sharing between the two parties can lift sales. The organization also has developed regular reports charting shifting consumer preferences in categories such as produce, meat, seafood and prepared foods.
"We have refocused our lens and embraced the broader food community over the last several years," Sarasin wrote in her blog post. "I’m confident in what we’ve become as an organization; our goal is to work toward the overall progress of the food industry, through advocacy, collaboration and education.
The FMI’s announcement comes just a few days before the organization hosts its Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.