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Consumer Behavior Expert Harry Balzer of NPD Group Will Keynote AMI's Annual Convention & Innovation Showcase, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Nashville, Tenn.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Arlington, VA – Harry Balzer, one of the nation’s premier experts on what consumers think, buy – and eat – will keynote the American Meat Institute Annual Convention, featuring the Innovation Showcase, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2004, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. Balzer is vice president of The NPD Group, a leading consumer research firm.

Balzer’s address, slated for Sept. 30 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., comes during a remarkable time in the meat industry’s history. New science underscoring the important role that meat plays in the diet, coupled with the popularity of high protein diets, has driven protein consumption up. Meanwhile, media reports about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and avian influenza (AI) have flooded consumers with new information. Balzer will address how consumers are sorting through this information, and how they are behaving as a result.

Always lively and engaging, Balzer turns conventional wisdom on its ear using comprehensive data that offers a compelling look at new trends. Balzer’s insights are drawn in part from NPD’s online consumer panel, the largest online consumer panel providing ongoing tracking services across a broad range of industries. The NPD online panel has more than 2.5 million registered members who have agreed to participate in our surveys and provide information on their purchasing behavior. The panel also provides information on customer satisfaction and the capability to conduct follow-up surveys for even greater understanding of the factors that drive consumer behavior.
“Be prepared to shed your long-held beliefs about the consumer during this General Session,” says AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Professional Development Janet Riley. “Harry Balzer will offer insights gathered from one of the most comprehensive data collections available.”

Other convention highlights include:
· Special, pre-convention conference, “Sanitary Facility Design”;
· Four education tracks featuring five important “Super Sessions”;
· An Innovation Showcase featuring exhibits of the latest technologies;
· A provocative address by ag policy expert Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute, who will discuss “Feeding The World: The Promise and Political Perils of Biotechnology,”

Registration is $595 for AMI packer processors and exhibiting suppliers registering though August 27. Non-member packer-processors pay $695 through August 27. After the August 27th early bird deadline these rates increase by $100. Other registration rates are detailed on the registration form. To register online, go to www.MeatAMI.com. For registration information, please contact Katie Brannan at kbrannan@MeatAMI.com or 703-841-3621.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.

For more information contact:
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. VP, Public Affairs

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