Friday, April 9, 2010

Get Associated

As an active member of the Public Relations Society of America, I have learned a tremendous amount about my profession. I have also met some fantastic people and created an amazing network. As I learned more and more about food and beverage consumer packaged goods, I knew I needed to turn to an industry association for food and beverage CPG to educate myself and meet like-minded individuals involved in the field. Here are the professional organizations I have turned to in an effort to increase my understanding of the industry:

American Beverage Association
The American Beverage Association (ABA) has a rich history, having been founded in 1919 as the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages, and renamed the National Soft Drink Association in 1966. As mentioned on the institute's Web site, the ABA represents hundreds of beverage producers, distributors, franchise companies, and support industries. The bottled drink products the group supports consists of hundreds of brands, flavors, and packages, including regular and diet soft drinks, bottled water and water beverages, 100 percent juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink teas. The association is the voice of the non-alcoholic beverage business and has a thorough, comprehensive Web site that includes a blog and a list of U.S. beverage companies and their brands.

Food Marketing Institute
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) serves 1,500 member companies representing food retailers and wholesalers in the United States and around the world. FMI describes itself as developing and promoting policies, programs, and forums to support members and their customers in the areas of government relations; food safety and defense; public and consumer information; research and education; and industry cooperation. The group has taken a stance on many industry issues and offers research, educational resources, and other services. Click here to learn more about FMI and its mission.

Grocery Manufacturers Association
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the association of food, beverage, and consumer products companies. GMA is involved in public policy and scientific, technical, regulatory, and food defense support. Strategically, the association focuses on consumer confidence, serving as a liaison between food industry leaders, policymakers, and the public; customer and channel collaboration; global commerce and international policy; health and wellness; and sustainability.

National Confectioners Association
The National Confectioners Association (NCA) has represented the candy, chocolate, and gum industries since 1884. NCA fosters industry growth by advancing and promoting the interests of the confectionery industry and its consumers. If you're looking for fun facts about candy or candy related recipes, the NCA has you covered. You can also read the organization's latest issue of Candy & Snack TODAY.

Network of Professional Women Consumer Products/Retail
According to its Web site, the Network of Executive Women (NEW) strives to attract, retain, and advance women in the retail and consumer products industry through education, leadership, and business development. Founded in 2001, NEW now boasts more than 2,000 members representing 300 companies in the fast-growing consumer products and retail industry, including grocery, chain drug, mass retail, wholesalers, manufacturers, associations, and trade media. The organization hosts national leadership conferences, educational workshops, and regional networking events in more than 15 cities across the country.

Snack Food Association
The Snack Food Association (SFA) identifies itself as is the international trade association of the snack food industry representing snack manufacturers and suppliers, representing more than 400 companies worldwide. Member companies are comprised of manufacturers of potato chips, tortilla chips, cereal snacks, pretzels, popcorn, cheese snacks, snack crackers, meat snacks, pork rinds, snack nuts, party mix, corn snacks, pellet snacks, fruit snacks, snack bars, granola, snack cakes, cookies, and various other snacks. SFA also produces the publication Snack World.

In addition, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recently rolled its food and beverage section into the travel and tourism section. PRSA members who hold sector membership receive privileges such as industry newsletters, podcasts, online discussion forums, and more.

Are you a member of one of these associations? Do you recommend a group that is not on this list? I'm still learning, so I'd like to know. Leave me a message.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure many will appreciate the resources here DeAnn. It's great to know where you can go for information and education.

    Another resource, for public relations/media pros working in the foodservice (food prepared away from home) industry, is the International Foodservice Editorial Council. (