IMF’s new initiative aims to boost general merchandise growth, HBC

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IMF – The Food Industry Association has launched a new General Merchandise and Health and Beauty Care initiative that “will support and provide food retailers with knowledge and insights that generate new ideas, products and solutions for grow their business through GM and HBC,” Tom Duffy, the IMF’s senior adviser on this initiative and former Vice President of Membership Development for GMDC/Retail Tomorrow, said in a press release.

The sales figures point to several opportunities in the GM and HBC categories for food retailers and manufacturers. GM/HBC sales accounted for about 10% of all grocery sales over the past 52 weeks, or $49.1 billion, according to IRI data, showing that these categories offer an opportunity to optimize store environment and improve consumer satisfaction. “FMI will strengthen collaboration with business partners to address challenges, opportunity gaps and innovations designed to drive profitable growth in the GM and HBC categories and to better serve consumers,” Duffy said.

FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin added in a statement: “Total store collaboration is a central strategic pillar of FMI and serves as a way to describe our approach to fostering partnerships between business partners, including retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and brokers in the food retail industry. Our investment in general merchandise and health and beauty care is in line with the realization of this vision.

Mark Baum, Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Director of Collaboration for IMF, will oversee the new initiative, and aAs part of it, the IMF said it will organize a consultative group, identify priority areas, explore and exchange opportunities for demonstrated best practices, and analyze economic developments that support investments in these categories.

“As the FMI brand represents everything in the food, beverage and consumer goods retail basket, and encompasses all market categories, FMI is set to increase its stock in what is sold at the grocery store,” Baum said.