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MNB has initiated a new sponsorship tier that reflects what for us is a new approach to the topic - I've decided that I really want to forge sustained relationships with companies that have value propositions and missions in which I believe and that, in turn, believe in MNB's value proposition and mission.  My goal is to not just provide a forum for these "Charter Sponsors," but also commit to helping them grow their businesses in a variety of ways.  In other words, it ain't just about banner and tile ads.  It is about moving the needle forward in terms of innovation and, ultimately, service to the shopper.

I am thrilled to welcome Acosta Group to the MNB community - and not just because it is unrivaled at being able to see around the corner at the future of commerce, and make informed judgements about where and how its client/partners need to position themselves in a marketplace where it is challenging to bring aspirations to vital, relevant life.

It also is because Acosta Group's talented experts are committed to having what they call "challenging conversations" with those client/partners - something that we believe in fervently at MNB.

I fully anticipate that over the coming year, Acosta Group will be using MNB as a tool through which it can communicate its data, insights and approach to integrated brand strategies to our community.  That starts today, as it offers its "Top Five Retail Predictions for 2024," identifying for the MNB community "how brands and retailers can win shopper loyalty, drive sales, and achieve efficiencies in another year of anticipated marketplace disruption."

And it will continue all year - I'm happy to announce that during the Technology Innovation Track at the 2024 National Grocers Association (NGA) Show in Las Vegas, we will be co-presenting a new and exclusive consumer survey by Acosta Group that identifies shopper preferences, barriers, and experiences when it comes to food retail technologies.

This is all great stuff - and a sterling example of moving the innovation needle forward for retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. It is why I am thrilled to have Acosta Group on board as an MNB Charter Sponsor.