For those in Chicago for FMI Connect next week, why not make the most of the visit and learn from the city's food retailers? SN asked area experts to weigh in on innovative retailers in Chicagoland that would be good to visit. The experts kept most of their suggestions within the city for easy access by taxi or public transportation, but for those with a car, there is a sprinkling of farther flung options (30 to 60 minutes away).
• McMillanDoolittle's Alex Kaufmann and Neil Stern recommend interesting cross channel, local-focused and natural options — including a new Fresh Thyme store — to check out.
•Brick Meets Click's Bill Bishop points to an app-savvy store that taps into the "gameify" trend and a dual Aldi/Trader Joe's location.
•Willard Bishop's Jon Hauptman's list of retailers includes one known as "hot pot heaven" and a three-level Mariano's location.
The Food Marketing Institute is also holding formal store tours on Monday, June 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m. Showgoers can purchase tickets for $150 at registration. Last minute additions could signup before the tour at the transportation bay.
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