You can talk about the lux Friday night gala or the Saturday keynote breakfast and tradeshow, but many will tell you the workshops and the annual “Power of Produce” survey presentation in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute are the real power players at the Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure expo and tradeshow in Orlando, FL March 7-9.
Friday morning, the educational sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. with an all-star look at “The Healing Benefits of Produce” with panelists Dr. James Hébert of the University of South Carolina, Lee O’Donnell of Orlando Health and Jennifer Patzkowsky of Publix. This will be an informative examination of the benefits surrounding a plant-based diet. The experts will discuss the educational, medical, and retail perspectives of the role produce plays in fighting major diseases, as well as chronic ailments, and how supermarkets play an important role in advocating for healthy eating. SPW Editor & Publisher Chip Carter will moderate.
Later that morning, FMI Vice President of Fresh Foods Rick Stein [ABOVE, left] will unveil the produce industry’s premier research vehicle, the annual “Power of Produce” report. This innovative union began with a successful workshop collaboration during SEPC’s Southern Innovations show in 2017.
The 2000 suppliers and 500 buyers in attendance at Southern Exposure will put the information in that report to good use.
“Our fourth exploration into the Power of Produce provides valuable data and consumer insights that support our grocery members’ strategies, sales and profits in a $60 billion category,” says Stein. “This year, we will unveil several surprises regarding how and where consumers are purchasing their produce and we’ll share shopper trends that are decidedly driving growth in the category: Organic; locally grown; value-added; produce-based beverages; and private brand products. We are pleased to partner with such a distinguished group of industry professionals and debut this analysis at Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure.”
The “Power of Produce” identifies the biggest trends in consumer purchasing and consumption of fruit and vegetables from planning the purchase, channel choice and preparation, all the way through recommendations to improve shopping the produce department.
The 2019 edition includes many new topics, including hydroponics, plant-based beverages, packaging and local sourcing and aims to equip the produce industry with ideas to fuel growth.
For food retailers looking for the latest trends and ways to differentiate, this report gives insights into the shopper’s produce purchasing process and the real power produce can bring to their store’s business. For grower/shippers, the study identifies shopper wants and needs in products, growing attributes, packaging, marketing and more.
The analysis, conducted by 210 Analytics and supported by data from IRI and Nielsen, also reveals strategies for food retailers to consider as they bolster their produce merchandising and marketing programs. This research, revealed exclusively during Southern Exposure, is made possible by the generous support of Burris Logistics and Yerecic Label in addition to the Southeast Produce Council, creating a dynamic unification within the produce industry.
“We are thrilled to bring the Power of Produce debut to members of the Southeast Produce Council during Southern Exposure,” SEPC President and CEO David Sherrod [ABOVE, right] says. “FMI has built a reputation among our members as one of the most trusted sources in the supermarket business. This collaboration between our associations has been mutually beneficial to both groups, and we look forward to working on more projects with FMI in the future.”