COMMUNITY

Subscriber Discounts

Along with gaining access to our dynamic community experts, Emerge subscribers can enjoy these special offers from our FMI partners. Have a look at the discounts available to you when you join.

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FMI Emerge

More Shelf Space for Your Brand

FMI Emerge connects you with mentors, retailers, and investors to increase retail distribution, grow revenue, and ultimately secure more shelf space.

FMI Emerge

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Secure your FMI Emerge subscription and you and up to four company team members can on-board quickly to:

  • Access our network of brands, thought leaders and mentors and their experience and expertise
  • Learn from FMI created lessons and third-party content we have curated for you ,
  • Gain exposure from investors in this market
  • Dive into gaining a better understanding of consumer data
  • Receive discounts and special deals
  • Stay up-to-date on trends and market insights through community calls, reports, podcasts, events and more

New Subscriber Orientation Steps

Subscribe

Subscribe into our community filling out the registration form and making the payment

Obtain your credentials & look inside

Once you have your credentials log in and start browsing

Schedule your confidential onboarding session with FMI team

Sample onboarding assessment Questions:

  • What categories are your products sold in?
  • How do you manufacture your product?
    • Are you working with a co- packer/manufacturer?
    • Do you have a distributor?
  • Where are the majority of your current sales coming from?
  • Are you working with Retail Buyers/Brokers/Sales Management resources?
  • What are your biggest challenges to achieving regional or national distribution and/or biggest challenges as an emerging brand?
  • How are you financed? What are your next plans, hopes?
  • Tell us about your current food safety plans, programs, certifications
  • Where do you need support?

Start connecting with mentors aligned with your business needs

List - Q&A

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Hear it from the members of our Community

There are so many connections we’ve been able to make in the FMI Emerge Community. I feel like, one, we’re part of a community and, two, we get access to the expertise we need in a very short amount

Steve Bava

Bava Brothers

We know we still have a long way to go, and we don’t have a huge staff…yet…but we feel like everybody that FMI Emerge has led us to is part of our team now and a great business resource for us. Thank you Emerge

Clint Matthews

Wafflepreneur & co-founder, Start Right Foods

This program has been SO HELPFUL for us! As a social impact entrepreneurs, it has been a privilege to share our passion for helping young companies develop a consciously created corporate culture (4-Cs!) But, as an emerging brand, I have found the resources and support from FMI/FMI mentors invaluable.

Meg Barnhart

Founder and co-creator, the zen of slow cooking

Quotes - Five

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CTA PLACEHOLDER

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Featured Mentors

Allison Ball

New Product Discovery Expert

Advises small brands on developing their pitch to retail buyers, and scaling production.

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Allison Ball
Founder
Allison Ball, a former Grocery Buyer & Head of Grocery at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, now consults with CPG clients on the behind-the-scenes of wholesale & retail. Her clients range from small vendors launching their first product, to entrepreneurs opening their first market, to well-established retail stores and nationally known food producers. She concentrates on supporting sustainable, community-focused businesses, promoting unique, delicious products, and coaching small business owners on developing strong management teams, creating effective operational systems, and building strong business models.

Amaris Bradley

Food Brand Storytelling Expert

Offers food and beverage brands advisement on communications and branding strategy.

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Amaris Bradley
Dietitian and Nutrition Communications Expert
Amaris Bradley brings key expertise as a registered dietitian with a keen understanding of strategic nutrition communications and food policy. Her experience includes partnership-building, CSR strategizing, health professional outreach and nutrition communications and public relations. Currently, Amaris is Senior Account Lead at Eat Well Global, a highly-specialized strategic consulting firm focused on food, nutrition and health. In her role, she supports clients in planning and executing strategic health professional outreach and activations domestically and abroad. Prior to joining Eat Well Global, Amaris served as the resident nutrition expert at the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), a national nonprofit founded my Michelle Obama dedicated to leveraging the power of the private sector to bring lasting, systemic changes that improve the nation’s food supply and increase physical activity. While at PHA, Amaris brokered partnerships to transform the marketplace via third-party verified commitments to reformulate, innovate and market healthier options. Before joining PHA, she was Senior Account Executive at Porter Novelli, a global public relations agency where she executed nutrition communications strategies for a number of food boards and brands, including the Almond Board of California, NatureMade Vitamins and SOYJOY bars. Amaris holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the Florida State University. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and serves as communications chair for the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group.

Bob Burke

Principal, Natural Products Consulting

Industry leader in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market.

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Bob Burke
Principal
Bob specializes in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market. Prior to consulting, Bob was the VP, Sales & Corporate Development with Stonyfield Farm, and has held marketing positions with Colombo, Inc. and Sperry Top-Sider. Bob was named one of the “Top 25 Business Builders of the Natural Products Industry for the last 25 years” by Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine. Co-author of the Natural Products Field Manual, 8th Edition. www.naturalconsulting.com

Andrew Ive

Food Innovation Expert

Entrepreneurial strategist focused on food innovation, acceleration, investment advisement.

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Andrew Ive
Founder
Andrew Eve is Managing Director of Food-X, #1 Global Food Accelerator in NYC. SOSV is the worlds #1 Most Active Seed Investor 2017 (CrunchBase). Began career in Brands at P&G (Cosmetics & Fragrances/HABC), took project to kill cosmetics brand, instead hit profitability, sold for 20M+. He joined Revlon to build E. European business before attending Harvard Business School. He later started Silicon Valley co, raised $21M via VCs. As CEO, built & led the team; established strategic relationships with large US & European retailers. Andrew focuses on advising, speaking, new businesses, innovation, reinvigorating older businesses, advising founders, new markets (US, Europe & Asia).

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Not Featured Mentors

Greg Arz

Natural Foods Broker

Helps brands understand the organic and natural food service channel, and the role of a food service broker.

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Greg Arz
Natural Foods Broker
Food & Beverage Sales & Marketing Professional; Branded, Commodity, and private label Food Industry: Brand Development Food Export: Business Development Natural Foods Industry: Sales, Marketing & Sales Management Specialties: Brand Development, Sales, Marketing, Consultant Food Industry

Jim Badalati

Customer Development Executive

Offers executive level expertise in broker and sales management, along with distribution advisement.

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Jim Badalati
Customer Development Executive
Jim Badalati shares his expertise on broker and sales management with the Emerge community. He has years of of experience gaining initial distribution and optimizing current distribution practices. Jim is the Senior Vice President of Customer Development at Crossmark, and has expertise in nearly every category.

Allison Ball

New Product Discovery Expert

Advises small brands on developing their pitch to retail buyers, and scaling production.

https://www.moreshelfspace.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Allison-Ball.jpg
Allison Ball
New Product Discovery Expert
Allison Ball, a former Grocery Buyer & Head of Grocery at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, now consults with CPG clients on the behind-the-scenes of wholesale & retail. Her clients range from small vendors launching their first product, to entrepreneurs opening their first market, to well-established retail stores and nationally known food producers. She concentrates on supporting sustainable, community-focused businesses, promoting unique, delicious products, and coaching small business owners on developing strong management teams, creating effective operational systems, and building strong business models.

Susan Barnhardt

Go-to-Market Strategist

Helps brands develop successful, meaningful, and impactful retailer partnerships.

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Susan Barnhardt
Go-to-Market Strategist
My first experience taking an emerging brand to market was introducing L'EGGS pantyhose to retail. It was exciting to be part of the team that launched an iconic brand! That experience provided me with a strong foundation to work with many CPG brands, including The Campbell Soup Company, Arla Foods USA, Kraft/Heinz, Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson, King's Hawaiian, Corona, to understand and execute successful go-to -market strategies from ideation to execution. Success comes from being passionate about our story; who we are and what we stand for; and how does that make us different and desirable. It is important to establish strong distribution channels and have the supply chain to meet the demand. I have a strong belief in the power of partnerships with our retailers. After all, Retailers build brands and it is up to us to work hand in hand with them to create demand by engaging their customers through education; events; and investment in their plan for success. My mantra has always been GETTING ON SHELF is the STARTING LINE and we must work passionately and continuously to maintain that placement at retail. I am passionate about developing and executing a plan for success with you. Thank you.

Meg Barnhart

Social-Impact Entrepreneur

Coaches brands on fine-tuning their current business practices for greater success.

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Meg Barnhart
Social-Impact Entrepreneur
I am a passionate social impact entrepreneur providing employment and opportunity for adults in underserved populations.

Mike Barone

Director of Sales

He works with growing brands to improve their business forecasting, e-commerce strategies, and broker relationships. He spent years building his expertise in sales strategy, while working with companies like, IAM's, Stacy's Pita Chips.

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Mike Barone
Director of Sales
He works with growing brands to improve their business forecasting, e-commerce strategies, and broker relationships. He spent years building his expertise in sales strategy, while working with companies like, IAM's, Stacy's Pita Chips, and Boom Chicka Pop, as they evolved from emerging to household brands. Mike is can also share insights on retailer interests, when working with emerging brands. Companies include Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter, and Sprouts.

Julie Beck

Senior Sales & Marketing Executive

Helps emerging brands grow sales differently

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Julie Beck
Senior Sales & Marketing Executive
Julie helps emerging brands set strategic sales strategy including retail prioritization, key processes, and go to market approach. She shares insights on what it takes to win in different channels and with different retailers.

Elliot Begoun

Growth & Omnichannel Strategist

A leader in growing emerging food and beverage brands, with investment readiness and go-to-market strategies.

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Elliot Begoun
Growth & Omnichannel Strategist
Elliot Begoun is the Founder of The Intertwine Group, a practice focused on helping emerging food and beverage brands grow and become scalable and investable. He works with clients to design and execute customized go-to-market strategies that drive sales, build velocity, gain distribution, and win share of stomach. Catch him at FoodBytes in his role as a mentor and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.

Bryan Bootka

Sales & Broker Relations Advisor

Expertise in Sales Management and Broker Support.

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Bryan Bootka
Sales & Broker Relations Advisor
25 years of working in the natural products industry has shaped me into an entrepreneurial spirited and ROI minded team leader with systems development as a core competency. This journey began two and a half decades ago at Sun Harvest in San Antonio, the specific location later closed down after being acquired by Sprouts. Along with retail (where my career began), my journey includes brokering, with NS Sales (a division of Acosta) and with brands such as Nutraceutical, MediNatura, and MADE OF (just launching). Whether it is helping prepare brands to go to market like MADE OF or successfully moving a brand from the red to the black such as Ultima Replenisher, being part of the change needed to make a company successful makes me look forward to Monday mornings. Experiences ranging from work with regional and national brokers, converting a broker team to direct reps and enjoy being part of the change that all businesses must go through on a regular basis to stay relevant and successful in the industry.

Stephanie Bossung

VP Account Services, NewPoint Marketing

Marketing Retail Strategy and Branding Expert. Advises brands with smaller budgets how to optimize marketing plans for ROI.

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Stephanie Bossung
VP Account Services, NewPoint Marketing
Food industry marketing expertise—from retail to food service— is a natural outcome of having deep knowledge in every facet of a business’ operation. With 10 years in branding and business development, preceded by 15 years in mass media and promotions, Stephanie holds an executive-level expertise in sales, marketing, media, and production management. This exceptionally diverse skill set adds value for clients by providing a full complement of perspectives on food-industry brand management endeavors. Wired for a hawkish attention to detail, while also maintaining a high-resolution view of the big picture, Stephanie is uniquely able to provide astute branding direction and simultaneously apply the business principles necessary to squeeze more bang out of every marketing buck.

Kelly Bottenfield

Sales & Business Development Advisor

Provides coaching on various market strategies including specialty, conventional, club, and food service.

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Kelly Bottenfield
Sales & Business Development Advisor
Kelly Bottenfield is an accomplished sales professional with the proven ability to help emerging brands with advisement in the following areas: sales and distributor management, purchasing management, broker and team management, merchandising, and marketing. Kelly brings expertise in diverse areas of natural grocery, conventional, club, c-store/drug, e-comm and foodservice. She has been instrumental in achieving record growth in saturated markets with her decisive leadership skills.

Amaris Bradley

Food Brand Storytelling Expert

Offers food and beverage brands advisement on communications and branding strategy.

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Amaris Bradley
Food Brand Storytelling Expert
Amaris Bradley brings key expertise as a registered dietitian with a keen understanding of strategic nutrition communications and food policy. Her experience includes partnership-building, CSR strategizing, health professional outreach and nutrition communications and public relations. Currently, Amaris is Senior Account Lead at Eat Well Global, a highly-specialized strategic consulting firm focused on food, nutrition and health. In her role, she supports clients in planning and executing strategic health professional outreach and activations domestically and abroad. Prior to joining Eat Well Global, Amaris served as the resident nutrition expert at the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), a national nonprofit founded my Michelle Obama dedicated to leveraging the power of the private sector to bring lasting, systemic changes that improve the nation’s food supply and increase physical activity. While at PHA, Amaris brokered partnerships to transform the marketplace via third-party verified commitments to reformulate, innovate and market healthier options. Before joining PHA, she was Senior Account Executive at Porter Novelli, a global public relations agency where she executed nutrition communications strategies for a number of food boards and brands, including the Almond Board of California, NatureMade Vitamins and SOYJOY bars. Amaris holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the Florida State University. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and serves as communications chair for the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group.
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How to communicate your brand's value and value of your product through packaging design.

Branding & Packaging

How to communicate your brand's value and value of your product through packaging design.

How to strengthen your eCommerce strategies to grow in-store and direct-to-consumer sales.

eCommerce

How to strengthen your eCommerce strategies to grow in-store and direct-to-consumer sales.

Tips on how building valuable relationships are key in growing your sales volume.

Distribution

Tips on how building valuable relationships are key in growing your sales volume.

Reports, research and industry thought leadership from the FMI team.

Emerge Insights

Reports, research and industry thought leadership from the FMI team.

In-depth podcast interviews with Emerge Mentors and Champion Council Members.

Emerge ShelfLife

In-depth podcast interviews with Emerge Mentors and Champion Council Members.

A Community for Emerging Brands, Retailers, Investors and Industry Experts

Whether you’re an emerging brand, a retailer, an industry expert or an investor, we invite you to join our community. Team up with industry leading experts and start building healthy trading partner relationships to strengthen the grocery retail industry, together.

FMI Emerge’s value stems from its education content, mentoring and investment options.

Education

Education

Exclusive access to courses, lessons, and resources from our leading industry experts

Community

Community

Connect with colleagues, mentors and other emerging brands to share experience, resources, and other insights

Exposure

Exposure

Be discovered by investors, explore financial options to help your brand succeed. Partner with distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, CPG retailers and industry leaders who are looking for products like yours.

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Develop relationships with mentors, industry experts, and peers to draw on their years of experience to help support your growth.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum sit amet tincidunt sem. Etiam ac lectus ac erat vulputate vulputate vel quis lectus. Ut ullamcorper lorem et iaculis finibus. Nulla varius placerat urna et tempus. Integer et laoreet sapien, eget eleifend purus. Quisque congue est a neque faucibus, et fringilla nisl lobortis. In eu lorem interdum, condimentum tortor id, pellentesque libero. Duis interdum velit in lacus tincidunt gravida. Nam non imperdiet tellus, sit amet aliquam arcu. Sed at nunc mi. Donec eu lectus risus. Duis ultricies a elit quis fermentum. Ut tempus lacus vel lacus congue, sit amet porttitor sem egestas.

Praesent tincidunt ex ac lorem interdum, at interdum mi commodo. Nunc elementum porttitor risus non rhoncus. Quisque maximus tortor leo, vel molestie neque sodales in. Proin semper congue auctor. Praesent at vehicula orci, at condimentum neque. Donec pellentesque, purus sit amet pharetra efficitur, massa mi euismod tortor, quis laoreet nibh nulla sed nisi. In nulla ante, finibus ac nibh vitae, aliquet molestie sem. Aliquam facilisis posuere efficitur. Etiam erat felis, sollicitudin et fringilla non, condimentum semper erat. Duis lacinia erat sed libero facilisis placerat. Phasellus dolor urna, dignissim in placerat sit amet, gravida et nibh. Proin commodo, velit sit amet consequat mollis, orci ex dapibus metus, sed consectetur lectus massa id quam.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum sit amet tincidunt sem. Etiam ac lectus ac erat vulputate vulputate vel quis lectus. Ut ullamcorper lorem et iaculis finibus. Nulla varius placerat urna et tempus. Integer et laoreet sapien, eget eleifend purus. Quisque congue est a neque faucibus, et fringilla nisl lobortis. In eu lorem interdum, condimentum tortor id, pellentesque libero. Duis interdum velit in lacus tincidunt gravida. Nam non imperdiet tellus, sit amet aliquam arcu. Sed at nunc mi. Donec eu lectus risus. Duis ultricies a elit quis fermentum. Ut tempus lacus vel lacus congue, sit amet porttitor sem egestas.

Praesent tincidunt ex ac lorem interdum, at interdum mi commodo. Nunc elementum porttitor risus non rhoncus. Quisque maximus tortor leo, vel molestie neque sodales in. Proin semper congue auctor. Praesent at vehicula orci, at condimentum neque. Donec pellentesque, purus sit amet pharetra efficitur, massa mi euismod tortor, quis laoreet nibh nulla sed nisi. In nulla ante, finibus ac nibh vitae, aliquet molestie sem. Aliquam facilisis posuere efficitur. Etiam erat felis, sollicitudin et fringilla non, condimentum semper erat. Duis lacinia erat sed libero facilisis placerat. Phasellus dolor urna, dignissim in placerat sit amet, gravida et nibh. Proin commodo, velit sit amet consequat mollis, orci ex dapibus metus, sed consectetur lectus massa id quam.

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Praesent tincidunt ex ac lorem interdum, at interdum mi commodo. Nunc elementum porttitor risus non rhoncus. Quisque maximus tortor leo, vel molestie neque sodales in. Proin semper congue auctor. Praesent at vehicula orci, at condimentum neque. Donec pellentesque, purus sit amet pharetra efficitur, massa mi euismod tortor, quis laoreet nibh nulla sed nisi. In nulla ante, finibus ac nibh vitae, aliquet molestie sem. Aliquam facilisis posuere efficitur. Etiam erat felis, sollicitudin et fringilla non, condimentum semper erat. Duis lacinia erat sed libero facilisis placerat. Phasellus dolor urna, dignissim in placerat sit amet, gravida et nibh. Proin commodo, velit sit amet consequat mollis, orci ex dapibus metus, sed consectetur lectus massa id quam.

FMI Staff Thought Leaders

Our staff team, based in Arlington, Virginia, has expertise in a wide-variety of retail areas to include food safety, health & wellness, supply chain, sustainability, marketing, packaging, private brands and more.

  • Leslie Sarasin, Esq., CAE

    Leslie Sarasin, Esq., CAE

    President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Mark Baum

    Mark Baum

    Chief Collaboration Officer & Senior Vice President, Industry Relations

  • Susan Borra, RD

    Susan Borra, RD

    Chief Health & Wellness Officer & Executive Director, FMI Foundation

  • Dagmar Farr

    Dagmar Farr

    Chief Member Relations Officer and Senior Vice President, Membership and Education

  • Robert Garfield

    Robert Garfield

    Chief Food Safety Assessment Officer & Senior Vice President, SQFI

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Growing a new products business is hard to do alone. Save time and money by joining the community for learning, networking, showcasing your brand and cultivating a strong network. FMI Emerge brings together the resources you need to propel your brand forward, providing opportunities to speak with the industry’s leading experts in grocery retail distribution, connect with local, regional, and national retailers, and be discovered by investors. Download our FMI Emerge Program Subscription Overview here.

Become a Mentor

We invite CPGs, Retailers and/or Suppliers who desire visibility and engagement with and want to share relevant industry or business expertise with the FMI Emerge community. The spirit of the mentor program is to provide knowledge, advice and offer resource ideas to an emerging brand that contacts a Mentor.

Investors - Browse Emerging Brands

Organized in a private section of FMI Emerge, we pool together emerging brands that have the potential to be enduring brands. Apply today for complimentary access to the Investor section of FMI Emerge.

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We have volunteer and sponsorship opportunities available. If you are interested in showcasing your company as a thought leader we have sponsorships and content contributor opportunities available. You in?

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  • $999 for 1 year

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    • Network with Industry Experts
    • Cultivate a mentor network
    • Expose Your Brand to Investors and Retailers
  • $1,495 for 2 years

    for Emerging Brands

    • Up to 4 users from the same company
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    • Cultivate a mentor network
    • Expose Your Brand to Investors and Retailers

Try Lesson 1!

To show you a sample of the content you will find in the subscription-based community, we have made Lesson 1 of the FMI Fundamentals Course available to you.

If you like Lesson 1,  you will really like all that is waiting for you inside.

We have info on sales channel options, access to financing, food safety, packaging, trends and more. Subscribe to FMI Emerge for more.

If you are an industry expert with content to share, sign up to be a mentor and let’s discuss your contribution further.

Courses: What Brands Need to Succeed in Retail