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Ideas and solutions exchanged at PMA Fresh Connections: Retail

IMG 9336At PMA Fresh Connections: Retail, attendees shared ideas, experiences and potential solutions with peers and partners throughout the produce world. Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of PMA, opened the event, which took place in Philadelphia, April 10-11, by discussing the growing popularity of the plant-based diet, emphasizing the fact the produce industry has a great opportunity to take advantage of the trend as, “we are the original plant-based diet.” Burns also discussed the emotional connection people have with their food and the potential use of social media to promote produce while making that connection.

Brent Schwartz of Kingdom Fresh Produce and Donald Grandmaison of LEF Farms.

Following Burns’ opening remarks attendees broke out into concurrent educational blocks. In the first session attendees chose among Experiential Shopping – “Retailtainment,” Food Safety, Produce as the Competitive Advantage, Seasonal & Local and Retail Trends. Sessions in the second educational block were Experiential Shopping – “Retailtainment,” Conenience Isn’t Just an On-Line Order, Driving sales in Core Categories, Organics – What’s Next? and Retail Trends.

The event was attended by 180 members of the produce industry, including first-time participants from Coborn’s Inc., Longo Bros. Fruit Markets Inc., Sprouts Farmers Market, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. and Whole Foods Market.