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A Special Plate for Special Family Meals

By: Kelli Windsor, Senior Manager for Member and Digital Communications, Food Marketing Institute Gold Plate Awards

My mom was always looking for ways to reward the good behaviors of family members. When my brother and I were growing up we had a special plate—it was red, larger than our normal plates and had phrases like “You Rock” or “You’re Special” around the rim. If you had done something superior, really exemplary, Mom broke out the special plate for you at a family meal. It might have been for getting straight A’s, or my Dad getting a professional recognition. Sometimes she would bring out the special plate for friends visiting with exciting news or for recognizing the good deeds a family member did. Regardless of the reason, the special plate always had the desired effect—it showcased the achievements of my family and made each of us feel extra appreciated.

At the FMI Foundation, we have our own version of the special plate—the Gold Plate Awards. Since 2013, we’ve been using the Gold Plate Awards to highlight the outstanding programs implemented by the food industry to encourage family meals.  The award recognizes outstanding programs that food retailers and suppliers have implemented to encourage families to share more meals, together at home, more often.

In 2016 the Goal Plate Awards will recognize retailer and supplier programs that creatively participate in National Family Meals Month in September. The following criteria will be used in the selection of Gold Plate Award winning programs:

  • Reach of program – breadth, depth and number of people that the program reaches
  • Originality/Creativity
  • Promotion of National Family Meals Month
  • Corporate participation – level of company/store-wide involvement
  • Ability to scale and replicate the program 

Winning companies will be selected in four categories:

  • Category A: Small retailers (Companies with 1-49 stores)
  • Category B: Medium retailers (Companies with 50-199 stores)
  • Category C: Large retailers (Companies with 200+ stores)
  • Category D: Suppliers 

The 2016 Gold Plate Award Winners will be announced at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference . Applications for the Gold Plate Awards are now open and are due by October 30, 2016. Learn more at  

Distribution channels: Food & Beverages