CHICAGO -- Retailers face an increasingly difficult battle to win over an evolving customer base and to compete against fast-growing alternative formats, attendees were told at the Food marketing Institute Conference here last week. "You have to be distinctive, and you have to have a niche" to compete in today's marketplace, said Jeff Noddle, the newly elected chairman of FMI in an address at the show's opening session. "You have to be true to your niche." Noddle, who also is chairman and ...

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