The Food Marketing Institute announced today (Sept. 28) it's canceling its 2017 FMI Connect show, originally scheduled to be held in Chicago next June. The show's attendees were grocers and in recent years vendors tilted heavily toward grocery technology, but food processors remained as exhibitors at the annual show.
"At FMI we continue to believe that events designed to bring together the entire food retail industry and their partners for meaningful conversation, education, exploration and networking are desired and needed, but we have concluded these gatherings should occur in a framework that differs from the current FMI Connect design," wrote FMI CEO Leslie Sarasin.
Some kind of show will go on. FMI Connect 2015 shared McCormick Place with United Fresh (the produce show) InterBev Beverage, Sabor Latino and International Floriculture Expo. United Fresh said it's going ahead with its June 2017 show with partners International Floriculture Expo and Global Cold Chain Expo. United Fresh said this June's co-located shows had 7,500 attendees and 650 exhibitors.
"We must design new occasions more appropriate to the faster paced rhythms of food retail, and in unique formats more attuned to the specific needs of our industry," Sarasion continued. "With the elimination of having to fill football fields’ worth of space as 'The Show' configuration required, FMI will be liberated to explore new, focused and more flexible events."
A couple decades back, the FMI Show was "the" show, with every major food & beverage processor unveiling its new products to grocers walking the aisles.