FMI Transitioning its Small Brands Program

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FMI Transitioning its Small Brands Program

By Gina Acosta - 07/01/2020
FMI Transitioning its Small Brands Program
Emerge Network is led by former FMI Emerge director Julie Pryor. 

The Food Industry Association is transitioning its FMI Emerge program to Emerge Network LLC, a woman-owned small business led by former FMI Emerge director Julie Pryor. 

FMI says FMI Emerge has helped numerous growing brands achieve success by reaching their distribution and growth goals. Emerge is a subscription-based platform and provides education and guidance across a variety of areas, including food safety compliance; sales channel strategy; access to financing and investors; manufacturing capabilities; packaging advice; sustainable company infrastructure growth; and preparing for food retail trading partner meetings.

“We are excited that Julie will continue to grow the community we started here at FMI nearly two years ago," said Mark Baum, FMI chief collaboration officer. "We celebrate the Emerge community and the mentors, brands, industry leaders and partners who have come together to successfully help emerging brands increase retail distribution, grow ecommerce sales and ultimately scale sustainably.”

The program name will evolve to “Emerge, a community supported by FMI.” As its own entity, “Emerge, a community supported by FMI,” will continue to maintain a partnership with FMI and leverage FMI industry thought leadership. Emerge, a community supported by FMI, will continue to be found online at moreshelfspace.org.

Industry leaders such as Nielsen, SNAC International, and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) will continue to be valued partners to the Emerge program, as the community continues to build on its momentum.

To date, more than 70 companies have benefited from the Emerge program education resources and networking community. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, nimble CPG teams within the Emerge program have taken advantage of ecommerce and retail guidance from the mentor community to address shifting shopping behaviors. During the last 12 weeks, many companies experienced triple-digit sales growth as part of their omnichannel strategy.

“Growing a small consumer packaged goods business is hard to do alone – especially during this unprecedented time of COVID-19’s influence on shopping behaviors,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said. “With small manufacturers facing new challenges and opportunities, supply chains making needed modifications and new promotional trade-spending and ecommerce efforts developing, help was and is required to navigate the new go-to market terrain.  We are especially appreciative of the talented mentors supporting the community and providing the necessary guidance to this worthwhile and important program.”