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Walmart’s supplier re-engagement effort continues at grocery confab

Two top merchandising executives from Wal-Mart Stores are scheduled to participate in the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s annual Executive Conference to be held Aug. 20 to 23 in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor Resort.

The trade association announced this week that Jack Sinclair, EVP food at Walmart U.S. was added to the slate of speakers that already included Sam’s Club chief merchandising officer Linda Heffner. Sinclair is part of a panel discussion on the topic of “Giving worldwide consumers what they want,” along with Hormel Foods chairman president and CEO Jeffrey Ettinger, Smithfield Foods president and CEO Larry Pope and Jeffrey Simmons, president of the Elanco division of Eli Lilly.

“In this session, experts delve into a vast consumer survey that includes opinions of more than 97,000 consumers in 26 countries to find what they really think about such issues as rising food prices, labeling and sustainability practices, food safety, nutrition, etc.,” according to GMA promotional materials. “The panel’s industry leaders also will present perspectives on what their brands are doing to deliver on these worldwide consumer preferences.”

Hefner is part of a panel discussing the topic of “How well are you managing your demand chain.” Other panelists include Hershey CEO J.P. Bilbrey, Nielsen CEO David Calhoun and Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock.

In addition to Hefner and Sinclair, Walmart VP international Strategy, Norbert Hsu, is also scheduled to speak. Other industry executives on the program include Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon, Hy-Vee chairman and CEO Richard Jurgens, Walgreens chief marketing officer Kim Feil and Macy’s chairman, president and CEO, Terry Lundgren.

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