Once again this year the year the Food Marketing Institute’s conference FMI Connect will include a Private Brand Summit. The even is being held June 10 -13 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Over the course of several days, FMI will offer a variety of exciting events and educational opportunities, including:

  • A robust education program, including the Private Brand Summit.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton will present the opening keynote to the general session on Tuesday afternoon.
  • An exhibit hall with more than 900 booths.
  • The Retail Experience of the Future: Get a closer look at the picture of how food retail is expected to change over the next 2 – 10 years.


What Do Industry – Leading Private Brand Programs Look Like?
Concerned that your program is not keeping up with the industry’s top performers? Wonder if your program is meeting industry and consumer demands? Track the industry’s best practices and benchmark your program to ensure you keep pace with consumer demands and industry competition. Survey results of retailer programs across the country provide insight and education on every aspect of managing a private brands program. Make sure you’re prepared and staying in sync with the quickly changing landscape of the private brand marketer.

Speakers: Shawn Buckner, Vice President, Grocery, Meijer, Inc., Pam Boynton, Chief Strategy Officer, Federated Group, Inc., Mike Hackbarth, Vice President, Private Label, The Fremont Company, Steven Lichtenstein, Vice President and Group Publisher, Stagnito Media; Publisher, Private Label >Store Brands, Joe McKie, Owner, Joe McKie Private Branding, Doug Baker, Vice President, Private Brands, FMI

Men on a Mission: Understanding the Male Shopper
Think you understand the male shopper? Think again. Participate in this interactive session with your colleagues as we unveil the study results of the male shopper behavior. Findings explore and identify in-depth information about the specific types of occasions men are shopping for; what they are looking for in those occasions; their overall satisfaction with how their needs are being served; and how retailers and suppliers can better develop private brand products and merchandising that will build and strengthen long-term loyalty with this new brand of male shoppers.

Speakers: Janet Oak, Senior Director, Strategy & Insights, Galileo Global Branding Group, A Daymon Worldwide Company

Private Brands: It’s More Than Just a Package
Private brand strategies have changed and benefits were realized during the recession. As retailers look to identify additional ways to differentiate themselves in a very competitive market, come explore how one retailer has utilized equity of a brand on the shelf to create a sensory experience for the consumer that no other outlet can duplicate.

Speakers: Jennifer Gaeto, Creative Director, Equator Design USA, Ron Szafrarczyk, Design Director, Equator Design USA

Private Brands and National Brands: Today’s Changing Retail Dynamics
The playing field for numerous types of national branded and private label grocery products has seen a considerable shift in recent years as retailers put more overall focus into their private label lines. A panel of both national brands and private label professionals, will pinpoint which factors have changed, as well as how these changing dynamics are impacting today’s overall retail landscape.

Speakers: Howard Brandeisky, Vice President, Global Marketing and Innovation, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., Richard Gunn, Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., Larry Levin, Executive Vice President, Practice Leader, IRi, Doug Peckenpaugh, Editor-In-Chief, PLBuyer

PLBuyer Category Colonel Awards Luncheon
The PLBuyer Category Colonel Awards honor new products released within the past 18 months, highlighting innovation and shining a spotlight on the private label industry’s emerging leaders.

Brain Tattoo: Build a Brand That Sticks
In today’s marketplace a brand is the sum of all you do. Beyond the logo, ads and store reputation you must prove every day that your product should be the chosen one. Competition is fierce. The tools are new. The consumer is more demanding than ever. This session will show you how to sharpen your brand essence, recharge your relevance, pump up your presence and stand out in a competitive environment. You will take away a better understanding of the power of a brand in the buyer’s decision-making process and how your offline and online footprint and all of your touch points matter.

Speaker: Karen Post, The Branding Diva, Brain Tattoo Bran


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.