It's not certain that an event as big and sprawling as the Food Marketing Institute's convention in Chicago last week could have an actual theme, but if one did emerge, maybe it was the theme of optimism. The feeling of optimism at the convention wasn't of a type that asserted completely happy days are here again. Instead, it seemed that a mood of cautious but palpable optimism about future business conditions was in the air. Tim Hammonds, presiding over his first FMI Chicago convention as ...

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