ARLINGTON, VA. - The 2021 edition of FMI – The Food Industry Association’s Power of Produce will be revealed on April 7 at the Southeast Produce Council’s (SEPC) Southern Exposure event. 

“We are excited to once again debut the Power of Produce to the industry during Southern Exposure,” said David Sherrod, SEPC president and chief executive officer. “This year’s study will provide unique insights into produce purchases throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, how the people of the produce industry shone and how we can improve as an industry moving forward.”  

With more Americans cooking more meals at home than ever before, the industry can embrace unique engagement opportunities for the produce department as a shopper solution.  

At the Southern Exposure education session, three produce retail and foodservice industry leaders will add real-life market insights to the study findings with the help of moderator FMI Vice President of Fresh Foods, Rick Stein. Panelists for the session include Gary Baker, produce director at Merchants Distributors, Inc., Price Mabry, director of produce and floral at HAC, Inc. and Mike Roberts, director of produce operations at Harps Food Stores, Inc. 

“Today’s produce shopper has a lot on their mind—from health and well-being to addressing cooking fatigue,” said Stein. “Food retailers and suppliers have an opportunity to support shoppers in their health and well-being goals and offering culinary experiences around produce. At the same time, we see an increase in online produce sales, which opens a whole new way to meet shopper’s produce needs. It’s an exciting time for the produce industry and I’m looking forward to diving into the Power of Produce findings at Southern Exposure.”     

With attendee health and safety top of mind, the Power of Produce education session will be in a room double the historic session size with seating socially distanced. Personal protective equipment and sanitation stations will be provided on-site as well as temperature screening at the session entrance.