What is Your ROI on FPI?

It’s officially fall, and the time of year when we ask our members to decide whether or not they will continue to support FPI in the coming year. It’s important that we help our members understand their return on investment as they make decisions on membership renewal. Here’s some food for thought, for both current members considering renewing, as well as potential members considering whether to join their industry’s trade association.

Participation in the only foodservice packaging-focused conference in North America. Our conferences are repeatedly voted by FPI members as the most valuable membership benefit. Held twice a year, our conferences bring together the entire foodservice packaging value chain – material and machinery suppliers, converters, distributors and operators – to address issues and concerns confronting the industry. Are you planning to attend our fall conference next month in Charleston where speakers will cover topics such as raw material markets, emerging chains, the latest on legislation impacting the industry and sustainability issues? More details and registration information may be found here, or email Jennifer (jgoldman@fpi.org) with questions. Can’t make this one? Check out our schedule of future conferences here.

Targeted news, information and trends impacting your business and the industry. It’s our job to make your job easier. One way that FPI accomplishes this is to comb through dozens of publications and bring key stories to your attention that may impact your business and the industry through our weekly publication, Executive Briefs. If you are an FPI member, are you reading this concise, content-packed newsletter? Not receiving it? Send your request to be added to the mailing list to Natha (ndempsey@fpi.org).

Insights from those in the industry about the industry. Every year, FPI surveys companies within the foodservice packaging value chain to gather their opinions on foodservice packaging and other issues related to the industry. The results help us compile our annual “State of the Industry Report” so you can see how your company stacks up against others, plus see what others have to say about important areas like hot markets for foodservice packaging and top challenges facing the industry. In addition, we offer another annual survey focused more specifically on the trends throughout the value chain, resulting in the aptly named “Trends Report.” If you are an FPI member, did you participate in these surveys, and/or did you read the resulting reports? You can take a peek at last year’s executive summary of the report here. This year’s copy will be out soon!

Updates on the latest legislative and regulatory threats to your business and the industry. There’s no doubt that there are threats at all levels of government that may limit the sale of foodservice packaging. Through FPI’s monthly Legislative and Regulatory Report, members are kept up to date on the latest activity. If you are an FPI member, have you been reading these reports so you know how these votes in city councils and state houses may impact your business – for better or worse?

 Promotion of members’ products. Audiences are always looking for the “next big thing” in foodservice packaging, and many turn to FPI to stay abreast of these developments. Through our Packaging Innovations and Insights newsletter, FPI touts members’ new products to over 700 contacts throughout the foodservice packaging value chain, let alone the dozens of media outlets in North America. Plus, entries in PII are also showcased through FPI’s social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you are an FPI member, did you submit products to PII this year?

Involvement in special interest groups. FPI creates an umbrella for like-minded companies to work together. That’s exactly what’s happening with FPI’s Paper Recovery Alliance, Plastics Recovery Group and Foam Recycling Coalition – companies collaborating on ways to increase the composting and recycling of foodservice packaging. It’s a long journey, but one that is well worth the additional investment for companies involved, as well as the entire industry. Are you involved with the PRA, PRG and/or FRC? Learn more here.

 Those are just a few ways companies can benefit from FPI membership. But, dues paid to FPI also allow for activities that benefit the industry as a whole. I would put much of our communications efforts into this area, working with media, organizations and the general public to promote the foodservice packaging industry, through interviews, presentations, educational materials and our website. For example, have you watched any of our videos on FPI’s You Tube channel? Taken a look at the lesson plans we developed for elementary school kids about foodservice packaging (found here)?

More and more, folks are recognizing FPI as the leading authority on foodservice packaging. How do we know? Just take a look at the requests we are receiving from media. Five years ago, we had a dozen requests, primarily from industry publications. So far this year, we’ve received more than triple that number, including requests from main stream media outlets like Chicago Tribune, CNN, National Geographic, NPR, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. We are indeed the voice of the foodservice packaging industry.

So, if you ask me, there is tremendous value in and benefit from FPI. I hope you agree.

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