More than 35 produce buyers are scheduled to attend Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Connections: Retail event, which is scheduled to take place March 25-26 in Philadelphia.
Registration is limited to 200 for the networking and education event that connects produce suppliers and business solution providers with U.S. and Canadian supermarket retailers and wholesalers.
A consumer panel will make a return appearance. Author, consultant and commentator Brian Numainville, principal of Retail Feedback Group, will moderate the “Up Close and Personal – Hear from the Consumer” session March 26. He’ll guide PMA’s group of consumer panelists as they discuss drivers behind their purchasing decisions, and will help provide insights retailers can use to shape customer perception of products. Numainville is a leading expert on consumer-centered market research and co-author of “Feedback Rules!: 52 ways to listen to your stakeholders.”
In addition, PMA will once again crowdsource education session topics for its afternoon Experience Exchange Breakouts on March 26. The breakout sessions give retailers and suppliers an opportunity to converse, collaborate and explore potential solutions to industry challenges. Each breakout will feature a retailer guiding the conversation but be prepared for open dialogue.
What’s New at Fresh Connections: Retail 2020
March 26 will begin with a networking breakfast and brief welcome before a panel of retailers discuss how suppliers and buyers can collaborate on “Improving Supply Chain Challenges – One Opportunity at a Time.”
Anthony Totta, founder and CEO of FreshXperts, is scheduled to moderate the retail panel discussion. Totta is also founder, CEO and a produce consultant for Grow My Profits, LLC.
PMA also announced that Roxi Beck, consumer engagement director at The Center for Food Integrity, will join the panel. Beck’s work with the center focuses on directing strategy and activities for consumer-facing initiatives related to food. She’s also vice president, client services and creative support for Look East PR, which provides research, communications and PR counsel focusing on consumers and the food industry. Beck will participate in the Networking Lunch and Research Pod Activity, which will feature an on-demand station with research related to retail trends focused on sustainability. Beck will also guide one of the afternoon Experience Exchange Breakout discussion groups on March 26.
In addition, PMA will have information on hand at Fresh Connections: Retail about the eat brighter!™ Sesame Street character marketing program.
Day one of Fresh Connections: Retail on March 25 begins with an optional volunteer opportunity with Philabundance, a hunger-relief organization that serves 90,000 people weekly in nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Fresh Connections: Retail will also include a PMA thinkTANK with industry leaders who focus on topics relevant to retail. The session is one of a series planned this year, where PMA thought partners will engage in vibrant dialogue around a variety of topics and pressing issues facing the fresh produce and floral industry.