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Brand Strategist Ries To Keynote United Marketing Event

Legendary brand strategist Al Ries will keynote this year’s United Fresh Retail Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference, June 12-13, immediately following United Fresh 2014 in Chicago, at which CBS sports announcer Greg Gumbel will keynote the Thursday breakfast general session.

“Whether Marketing 101 is the only marketing course you’ve ever taken, or you have your MBA in marketing from an elite university, you’ve studied Al Ries and the impact he has had on marketing, advertising and brand strategy,” said Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers and chairman of United’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council. “Al Ries is one of the most influential figures in marketing history, and we are honored to have him keynote our conference."

This year’s conference kicks off Thursday night with a one-of-a-kind experience at Eataly, Chicago’s new fresh food destination marketplace. Conference attendees will be provided a $50 gift card for Eataly, where they can sample foods at a variety of sit-down foodservice tables, prepared grab-and-go food options, and beverage selections to enjoy while touring a venue unlike any other. Attendees can drop by Eataly throughout the evening to enjoy their own dinner, watch how consumers interact with produce and other foods in this setting, and mingle with other conference attendees. In addition, Eataly management will speak at the conference lunch on Friday to discuss how fresh produce supports the Eataly brand experience.

Conference business sessions convene Friday morning bringing together marketing professionals from throughout the produce supply chain to focus on the role of branding in fresh produce. Attendees will participate in four sessions throughout the day, each examining a different element of branding:

  • Session 1 – Building Brand Awareness/Purchase Intent with the Consumer
  • Session 2 – Product Design and Packaging to Create Brand Recognition
  • Session 3 – Point of Sale and In-Store Merchandising to Drive Brand Purchase
  • Session 4 – Engaging the Consumer Post Purchase to Drive Repeat Demand

In each session, a marketing expert will kick off the discussion with a state-of-the-art review of the topic, which will then be followed by a panel of produce industry marketing pros discussing how the topic plays out in the fresh produce sector.

“We believe hearing from these broad marketing experts will stimulate creative thinking for our members, who can then look back inward to the produce environment to see how different strategies might apply in our sector,” said Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms and vice chairman of United’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council. “We know fresh produce is unique, but we also want to think creatively beyond our own marketing traditions.”

Registration for the Retail Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference is included in the All Access registration for United Fresh 2014, which includes all general sessions, meals and networking events, educational programs and admission to the United Fresh Marketplace, FreshTech, and FMI expos. Conference registration can also be purchased separately as a stand-alone event, including trade show admission.

Greg Gumbel: United Fresh Breakfast General Session Keynoter

Meanwhile, Gumbel, who is currently hosting his 17th season of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, better known as “March Madness,” will address attendees of United Fresh’s Thursday, June 12, Breakfast General Session, which will take place from 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. in the Vista Ballroom at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Participation in the keynote session is available only to those attendees who have purchased United's educational package.

Gumbel has had a front-row seat at the nation’s most important sports events throughout his 40+ year career. From hosting the CBS Emmy award-winning show "The NFL Today" to announcing events from Super Bowls to the Olympics, Gumbel has become one of the best known and respected announcers in sports television.

“We’re excited that Greg Gumbel will share how experiences from the sports world can provide insights for the business world,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “As I’m watching March Madness this year and the amazing number of upsets, I’m anxious to hear from Greg what he sees as the keys to teams being able to rise above expectations.”

United Fresh 2014 and FMI will offer executives unprecedented value in the opportunity to connect with customers and industry counterparts. The convention offers more than 900 exhibiting companies in 800,000 square feet of exhibits, more than 100 hours of educational programming, and extensive networking opportunities with more than 15,000 retail and produce attendees. Learn more about registration for United Fresh 2014 by visiting the show's website.

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