ARLINGTON, Va. — Next week the Food Marketing Institute will take its Health & Wellness Conference, April 3-5, solo as a stand-alone meeting at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Fla.
Last year FMI inaugurated the conference in conjunction with the 2010 FMI Show in Las Vegas.
What was the FMI Pharmacy Conference, last held in 2009 as a co-located event with the Global Market Development Center's Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference, has morphed into a meeting more focused on integrating wellness in the supermarket setting.
“It's the total store delivery of health and wellness, of which pharmacy is a key component, that we want to support and inspire with our conference,” said Cathy Polley, FMI's vice president of health and wellness, in an email response to questions regarding the conference.
“The supermarket provides the unique assets of food, pharmacy and know-ledgeable nutrition experts in one location to help America's grocery shoppers better manage diseases, lower stress, improve nutrition and enhance their quality of life through healthy eating.”
With conference presentations last year coming at the back end of the FMI Show, attendance at 2010 sessions was spotty.
Polley said attendance this year was “looking strong” with more retailers registered. Companies are bringing their health and wellness teams in order to maximize the benefits of this year's event, she noted.
The Orlando venue should allow for better interaction and discussion among conference attendees. “The hotel property itself allows us a more intimate setting for meetings and education sessions,” Polley explained.
Wellness Innovation Zone is new this year. The exhibit concept is described as a fun, interactive learning and idea-sharing experience. “They [attendees] should bring their questions, ideas and experiences and be prepared to answer the challenge, ‘How might we…?’”
FMI will also host an NCAA championship game dinner party, April 4. This is a first-time dinner that happens to be timed to the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, April 2-4. It will be held in “a fun and relaxed setting for all conference-goers to mingle, have fun and open doors to new business opportunities.”
Conference speakers from pharmacy, medicine, nutrition, marketing and the food industry will focus on collaborative partnerships in health and wellness. Supermarket Guru and SN contributing editor Phil Lempert will moderate the conference.
Speaker lineup includes:
• David Katz, an authority on nutrition, weight management and prevention of chronic diseases, will talk food as medicine and make the case that diet has the potential to be among the most potent of medicines.
• Susan Pittman, partner, FoodMinds, and Susan Borra, FMI's senior vice president of communications, will update attendees on the new FMI/GMA Nutrition Keys Front-of-Pack Labeling Initiative, in a session on “The New Nutrition Environment.”
• Marcee Nelson, founder and president, and Gretchen Goffe, senior vice president, both of the Pink Tank, will discuss healthy products and how best to position health to the female shopper.
• A panel consisting of Laura Cranston, executive director, Pharmacy Quality Alliance; Jess McCullough, manager of field clinical services, Rite Aid Corp.; and Mark Conklin, clinical pharmacy specialist, Highmark, will discuss how a health plan and technology company collaborated to scale and deliver performance reports to network pharmacies and test the effectiveness and return-on-investment of specific adherence interventions based on Pharmacy Quality Alliance quality measures.
• Bob Arnot, physician, author and former chief medical officer of NBC News, will examine the changing health care landscape and what it means for food retailers and how fixing the system will change American health care outcomes for the better.