Refresh [1]

One Month to Go

As the days count down, it's time again to write a few words about the Healthy Foods International Exposition and Conference [3] scheduled for June 18-19 at the Dallas Convention Center. Supermarket News [4] and SN Whole Health are part sponsors of the inaugural show.

Now, yours truly is primarily a writer. I attend shows, write up the seminars, cover the happenings and make notes during booth visits. So, I was intrigued when I was asked to actually help craft the educational portion of the show.

I think each of the topics is on-point. Kids' marketing; creating "authenticity;" making healthful eating convenient..... All of these are integral to any mainstream supermarket's health and wellness merchandising. Two keynote sessions in particular lend this show a timeliness not found in any other professional venue this year. First, Dr. David Katz [5] of Yale University and Topco Associates [6] will provide a thorough overview of their simple, yet effective Overall Nutritional Quality Index, or ONQI. This consumer education program promises to take a lot of the mystery out of the consumer buying decision, for any food sold in the modern supermarket. The best part is it's a shelf-level program, directed at consumers right at the point of purchase.

Then there's a proprietary study that points out the disconnects between consumers and retailers, and retailers and manufacturers in the area of health and wellness. Conducted by Nutrition Business Journal [7], another publication in our coast-to-coast Penton Media [8] family, and Avero Research [9], this study is sure to open a lot of eyes. Just because we've been at this "selling health" stuff awhile doesn't mean we're experts. Anyone attending this conference will find out there's a long list of things that still need to be done.

What's different about this show is the word "mainstream." HFI is geared specifically for the larger-scale retailers and manufacturers participating in the whole health movement. No Mom and Pop companies here; at HFI you'll see giants like Kraft and national retailers like Wal-Mart Stores.

We've even got our own stars. Chef, author and television personality Devin Alexander [10] will be there, as well as author Sam Fromartz, who wrote "Organic, Inc." and continues to share his keen observations of the industry on his blog [11].

So, come join us! Click on the link in the first paragraph to get all the details. My little entry here hardly does the show justice.