Your favorite Prepared Foods' editors dish out their expert opinions on recent trends in Our Viewpoints. David Feder, Bob Garrison and Nick Roskelly each have their own unique insights to help you keep up with the ever changing food and beverage industry.
This month, I’d encourage industry professionals to pause, reflect and resolve to enhance your brand’s relationship—it’s emotional appeal—to those same consumers. Why? More shoppers are making pointed, conscious decisions to buy—or not buy—based on a growing list of factors.
I’m equally excited to tell you even more about another Prepared Foods “state of the industry” (SOI) offering—this time one designed to be the ultimate interactive, in-person event. I’ll note, however that this SOI stands for much more than “state of the industry.” In fact, it’s better billed as the “state of innovation” in food and beverage.
There’s no better way to introduce Prepared Foods’ upcoming 17th annual Spirit of Innovation Awards. These distinctive awards recognize new foods and beverages in retail, foodservice and alternative channels—all those items introduced from January 2018 through March 2019.
I realize you already may be in the middle of fiscal 2019, yet I believe there’s something noteworthy in turning the page on a calendar year. Perhaps it’s simply that holidays and vacations (hopefully) offer respite, a moment to downshift, an opportunity to pause and hit “refresh.”
Our Prepared Foods team recently shared the same experience when we deconstructed and recast our annual New Products Conference (now in its 36th year). We hired an outside meetings and marketing specialist who challenged us to re-examine every aspect of our conference goals, planning and decision making.
Our past industry overviews featured menu and operator segment trend reviews to give you more customer insights. This year, we’re actually covering more of your new product activities as highlighted at the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show and the annual International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association show.
Like so many competing food and beverage companies displayed on shelf, you have national athletic teams on display at the opening “parade of nations” and in team competitions such as ice hockey. Then think about how your company has individual experts skilled in marketing, consumer insights, culinary arts, food science and package design and engineering. So too, the US Olympic team has specialists in ice skating, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, luge, snowboarding and, everyone’s favorite: curling.
It’s here I’m reminded that “it’s not what you know—but who you know.” Personally, I embrace this saying because I live it every day. You see, I’m not particularly skilled in anything from mathematics to masonry and I’ve learned to make friends who have those skills. Of course, I tell my new friends that I can write clever poems or songs for them. When a friend moves, I’m also helpful at carrying light to moderately heavy boxes.