The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) this summer launched a subscription-based online community for emerging food and beverage brands that offers education, mentoring, nurturing and access to sources of capital.
The program, called Emerge (www.moreshelfspace.org), will “help these brands grow sustainably by expanding their distribution and enhancing their operations, financing and sales,” the original FMI announcement said. “This collaborative community environment will host mentors, offer education, manage supportive outreach and provide access to investors.”
The benefit to grocers – FMI’s main constituency – is “our retail members can become better equipped to meet increased consumer demand for products focused on a variety of attributes such as local sourcing, health and wellness, artisanal and global cuisine,” said FMI’s president/CEO Leslie Sarasin.
The association noted its research indicates a continued move toward organic and local and items that focus on managing health and wellness.
“Shoppers are demanding new sensory experiences,” Sarasin continued, “and the health of our industry depends on our ability to satisfy consumers’ desire for new tastes by providing exciting new products.”
Julie Pryor, FMI’s director of emerging brands, will be the program’s director.
To find out more about FMI Emerge, see www.moreshelfspace.org.