Do you have a plan when you are attending a trade show?
You probably have plans when you are exhibiting since you want to develop new business and trade shows are expensive. When you consider the cost of your booth, extras at the show, meals, lodging, travel expenses... you are over $5000 at the minimum. It is just as important to have a plan for trade show attendance.
Trade shows such as Fancy Food or Expo East and West are overwhelming. Without a tradeshow plan, you will wasted a lot of time and come back feeling unfilled. So you need to establish some reasonable objectives ahead of time, write them down and bring them along so you can track your progress.
See how I advise my Foodpreneur clients in these articles:
Foodpreneur Client Video Journey Basket Trade Show Experience
Check out more video of food entrepreneurs at The Foodpreneur Youtube Channel
According to the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Nutrition Facts panel, seen on the packaging of most food and beverage, needs to be updated. It is twenty years old, and showing its age. The FDA is not interested in just a few refinements. It is proposing numerous changes to the venerable nutrition guide.
We want to explore the major revisions that the FDA is proposing, and how they may affect the way foods are formulated and packaged.
Read FDA's Proposes Revisions For Nutrition Labeling Of Packaged Foods... What you need to know when designing food packaging.
Hey, do you eat ice cream? You look at the label and feel good that the serving size is, well... acceptable? Well, how often do you eat the who pint! Read why the FDA Cracking Down on Serving Sizes on Nutritional Facts Label.
You need to know these changes if you are running a food business... get out of the kitchen!!!
The Safeway sale would transform supermarket industry. Why.The Safeway sale addresses how Specialty grocers such as Trader Joes might replace traditional supermarkets.
Smaller neighborhood markets that tout locally sourced meat and organic produce and attract customers with friendly service, ambience and one-of-a-kind items are pulling customers away from mainstream supermarkets, experts say. Analyst Scott Mushkin of Wolfe Research said Arizona-based Sprouts Farmers Market is "firing on all cylinders" with huge sales growth.
Read more of Safeway sale would transform supermarket industry
Most people start a food business because they have passion for food and have great recipes and at some point say "I really have a great idea for a product"! They mistakenly believe great taste is the key to success and sadly this is not the case. They don't know or ignore "the business of food"... essentially developing Practical Passion. Sadly most fall in love with their idea, ignore the "Business of Food".... which is why many food entrepreneurs fail.
The Pizzania from NK Foods Product Pitch is was this:
"Pizzania® from NK Foods is a marketer's dream because it combines two of the world's favorite foods (pizza and lasagna) into a NEW eye-catching marketing bonanza that will jump off the shelves amongst the hundreds of frozen food items."
In a follow up interview the founder articulated the "bumps in the road", wrong turns and the "if I had to do it over agains"
So to help all of you thinking about starting a business or are in the early stages of a food business I wrote Common food entrepreneur mistakes to learn from.
It is essentially the same advice I give to my Foodpreneur clients.
" Are chains getting out flanked? Are they old or old fashion? Food Truck Is Actually Serving IBM's Insane Computer-Generated Menu Items" , check out the post in eater.com"
So I clicked through and saw some really interesting photos of their Cognitive Cooking Food Truck.
IBM says that chefs can work with 3 or 4 ingredients at a time... but beyond that, are brains are not wired for that level of complexity.
So the IBM Cognitive Computer takes a starter ingredient from a chef, with some additional parameters and then crunches hundreds of ingredient combos in seconds. But "mixing things up" so to speak so quickly, the chefs come up with really interesting recipes.
According to eater.com "chefs have already made include Creole shrimp-lamb dumpling, Baltic apple pie, and Turkish bruschetta. The cognitive computer is different from a regular search engine in that it eschews existing recipes, instead instructing the chefs to combine wildly different ingredients and flavors into the same, never-made-before dishes. "
IBM Cognitive Cooking Video
Meet the ICE Chefs Working on Cognitive Created Foods
According to Steven Johnson, founder of Foodservice Solutions® www.FoodserviceSolutions.us, unfortunately the answer is yeas.
Restaurant customer migration continues to eat away at top line growth and bottom line profits for chain restaurants. Since 2009 the economic turmoil, malaise, or quagmire has been to blame if one were to listen to earnings conference calls conducted by many major chains.
The truth is consumers are not eating any less today than they did in 2009. They are in fact eating somewhere else. The restaurant industry overall has been stagnating since even before the recession ... read more of Focus on selling foods that can capitalize on the growing trend of "eating in".
Recently Sbarro announced they were closing 155 units, blaming this on declining mall traffic. Yet Cheesecake Factory, also mall based, had revenue increase by 16 percent in 2013.
Maybe they recognizing that Millennials are Driving Change in the food business.
Expect a Tsunami of Retail Store Closings and Downsizings due to the "Seismic Shift" of consumers to to Online Shopping. and Much of this is driven by Millenials and Amazon.
Steven Johnson Foodservice Solutions® www.FoodserviceSolutions.us writes about Millenials Quest for Food Discovery and the Seismic Shift of on Online Shopping for food.
Non-Traditional Fresh Food: Amazon Fresh is Bold, Brave, Branded
Amazon Fresh launches new Seattle Spotlight program offering access to restaurant meals and ingredients limited to the Seattle area. "Seattle Spotlight" is an interesting blend of takeout and home cooking.
How Amazon Selects Food Vendors for Seattle Spotlight
Online Grocery Shopping business models have fallen on that "last mile of delivery". Well Amazon Fresh's Seattle Spotlight program has the solution for selecting vendors and getting your food to you fresh.
Millennials on-going quest for food discovery
Food Retailers See a "Seismic Shift" to Online Shopping.
Steven Johnson Foodservice Solutions® www.FoodserviceSolutions.us, is focusing on Millenials driving food trends for the future. Their influence no longer be denied.
- Millennials which represent 22% of the U.S. population today are fast approaching their "prime" spending years.
- Millennials grew up with fast internet access everywhere, mobile technology, and are now engaging and demanding a food focused seamlessly integrated life style.
In a recent study titled The Why? Behind The Buy found "65% of Millennials say losing this phone or computer would have a greater negative impact on their daily routine than losing their car." Are you willing to give up your car?
Read more of Millenials on an Ongoing Quest of Food Discovery
Do you Know Your Customer Behavior?
Probably not. All shoppers and generations are important. According to the Report The Why Behind the Buy, Acosta Sales and Marketing provides these tips:
- Understand your brand equity across each generation of shoppers.
- Build loyalty amongst younger Millennial
shoppers -- they are the fastest growing spending generation.
- GenX shoppers are the largest spenders today
- The once important Boomer generation is beginning to spend less.
Watch the Food Trend of Eating Out by Eating In
In Eating Out by Eating In?Millennials Drive Change in Retail Foods, Steve Johnson our Grocerant Guru delves int the rise of the Grocerant Niche... that is companies selling fresh prepared food for Eating In or Eating Out. Millennials are on a quest for personal discovery... looking past the once obvious choice. The result is an opportunity for a new business... Read More.
Here are articles that can help you How to Sell to Grocery Stores.
The FDA is planning to update the Nutrition Facts label based on the latest science-based nutrition recommendations.
Paula Trumbo, Ph.D., acting director of FDA's nutrition programs staff explains that updates are being assessed to address such factors as current nutrient recommendations, public health concerns based on recent data on food consumption, and the agency's desire to make this information as clear and useful as possible.
The updates are still being formulated. Public input will be sought when they are proposed.
Why the Update?
As you can see from the graphic here, (click image for a larger view) the FDA has color coded each section so you can understand the label format. Now without the color coding, how would most consumers now the "Limit these Nutrients" and "Get Enough of these Nutrients"? They wouldn't.. additionally do you know the grams to ounces conversion? Unless you are food technologist, you wouldn't know... 1oz = 28.350 grams... so as you can see from this label, Total Fat of 12 grams is about .5 oz.
How Can You Take Advantage of the Proposed FDA Nutrition Label Changes?
Here are ideas from easy to implement through product reformulation.
- You should monitor this by signing up for the FDA Consumer Updates Email.
- Go through label to see if your product has distinct advantages in the Get Enough of these Nutrients section. If so, consider updating your packaging to highlight these... but do it in a simple, easy to read manner. Use your social media channels to spread the word to your brand fans... they probably are not aware and maybe develop a contest to give them an incentive to share this with their friends. How about posting your Nutrition Label on Pinterest, highlighting the good stuff.
- Go through label to see if your product has too many "Limit these Nutrients". If so, consider going back to product development to reduce these nutrients (sometimes called Nutrients of Concern). Be careful that you don't focus so tightly here and ruin your flavor profile.