Brand strategist Al Ries will keynote this year’s United Fresh Retail Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference.

The June 12-13 event immediately follows United Fresh 2014 in Chicago, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.

“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,” Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers, and chairman of United’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council, said in the release. “Al Ries is one of the most influential figures in marketing history, and we are honored to have him keynote our conference.”

The conference begins Thursday, June 12, with an event at Eataly, a new fresh food marketplace in Chicago. Conference attendees will be provided a $50 gift card for Eataly, where participants will sample foods at a variety of sit-down foodservice tables, according to the release. Eataly management will speak at the conference lunch on Friday, June 13, to discuss how fresh produce supports the Eataly brand experience, according to the release.

June 13 workshops at the event include:


  • 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; and
  • Session 4 – Engaging the Consumer Post Purchase to Drive Repeat Demand.


“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,” Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms and vice chairman of United’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council, said in the release. “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, according to the release. Conference registration can also be purchased separately as a stand-alone event, including trade show admission.