Influenza concerns prompted theFood Marketing Institute to postpone its Future Connect leadership conference and MARKETECHNICS events, scheduled for May 4-8 in Dallas.

"The increased urgency of the alerts from health officials today and the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services confirmed our decision to not host a large gathering where attendees would be in close proximity," said FMI President & CEO Leslie Sarasin. ". . . In particular, we recognize that Future Connect is a program about leadership and our industry's leaders must be in their communities actively engaged in a time of potential crisis."

Sarasin said FMI is evaluating its options to reschedule both events. The Arlington, Va.-based organization was prepared in Dallas to release its U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2009 report as well as its "Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2009" state of the industry overview.