The two trade associations that serve the food industry agreed a year ago to collocate in 2014 and then announced late this September in a teleconference they would extend the partnership through 2016.
“We are really, really pleased about the partnership with United,” says Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “This brings a vine-ripe vibrancy and fresh-picked energy to FMI’s Connect focus on the total store experience.”
United Fresh serves the fresh produce industry while FMI is the food retail industry trade association.
The collocated shows will take place June 10-13, 2014; June 9-11, 2015; and June 21-23, 2016.
In the early 2000s the two shows collocated for a few years in Chicago and then again in Dallas in 2012.
“Having not only the physical location together, but also the intellectual collocation is really going to make a difference for both of our members,” says United Fresh President Tom Stenzel.
Stenzel contends the partnership success between the companies is evident in the increased number of produce exhibitors present at the event.
According to Sarasin, industry research showed consumers were keen to learn about fresh produce and retailers about how perishables fit into their competitive strategy. This partnership will serve to help expand knowledge bases and firm up strategic plans to counter retail issues, she says.
“You will have a focus on fresh and perishable, and not only where the United booths are,” Sarasin says.
The shows will also feature a Fresh Marketplace Expo and a Fresh Tech Expo with adjoining, but independent, booths.