Big Food is Fostering Innovation

Large corporations have been noticing how consumers have been favoring products made by independent startup food companies, since a good chunk of those provide craft, high-quality, niche, and, a lot of times, healthier products.

Needless to say, big food wants in. Especially, since this specialty food segment has a tremendous growth potential.

So, how is big food seeking innovation?

Companies like Campbell Soup, Chobani, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Tyson Foods are creating innovation centers and/or partnering with existing incubators to help niche brands grow and flourish.

PepsiCo

Pepsico’s new center for innovation is called “The Hive.”

According to Food Dive, “this incubator will be a separate entrepreneurial group outside of the core headquarters that will help nurture niche products already in the portfolio,” like for example Stubborn Soda.

As Foodable has reported in the past, PepsiCo also partnered with a Chicago-based, food and beverage incubator, The Hatchery, in order to look at other startup brands that have the potential of becoming a possible venture for the beverage giant.

Tyson Foods

Earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced that it will be working with two incubators—Plug and Play and 1871—linking the food giant to innovation hailing from Silicon Valley and Chicago.

That’s not the first time Tyson showed it’s commitment for innovation. In fact, the company launched a venture capital fund in late 2016 “to invest in companies developing breakthrough technologies, business models and products to sustainably feed the growing world population,” according to the company website.

Since then, Tyson has invested in brands like for example Beyond Meat, that promote sustainability and others that promote the internet of food, like FoodLogiq.

Tyson is spearheading innovation through its own brand, ¡Yappah!, which aims to fight food waste by utilizing “forgotten” ingredients like rescued vegetable puree and spent grain to make protein crisps, and investments in companies like Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based “biotechnology company aiming to transform global meat production through distributive manufacturing of fat and muscle cells, increasing food safety and reducing ecological impact worldwide,” as stated in the company’s website.

Chobani

Chobani is another company looking to foster innovation through its Food Tech Residency. The company set out specific challenges in the food and agriculture value chain they would like to tackle (like food waste, food safety, water conservation, logistics, etc.) and invites like-minded, early-stage tech and agriculture startups to apply for funding.

Currently, the brand is hosting it’s fourth incubator class, since it launched the program in 2016, with companies developing products like tea, hummus and allergen-free baking ingredients. Alongside the food startups, two tech companies will be participating in Chobani’s inaugural Tech Residency Program—CinderBio and Skyven Technologies.

Watch the video above to learn more and stay tuned to other Industry Pulse episodes to keep up with all the innovation happening around your business! To learn about other consumer trends involving sustainability like plant-based meals, watch the video below:

The Era of the Super Foodie is Here

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Thanks to social media, we have become acutely aware that consumer love to show off their food.

Super foodies, also known as Food Connected Consumers (FCCs,) represent 62 percent of Americans.

This group has significant buying power and has spent $835 billion in U.S. food expenditures, according to a study by Fogelson & Co.

But getting an Instagram worthy photo isn't the only thing that today's food-obsessed consumer care about and as a marketer, it's important to keep this in mind.

“Our research underscores an emerging, passionate majority of mainstream Americans who care about the food they eat, value transparency, and are loyal to brands that speak to them,” said Susie Fogelson, Founder and CEO of Fogelson & Co. “The findings suggest ways for food, beverage, hospitality and dining brands to rethink their storytelling strategy.”

FCCs aren't dining out as often though, according to the study.

This group is preparing meals from scratch at least three times a week.

This is partly because these foodies want to know what's exactly in their food and are looking to be adventurous.

"Brands can improve their chances of being the customer choice through education, and demonstrating the products range of use, and that marketers shouldn’t be afraid to present new products and flavors, as 67% of FCCs consider themselves food explorers," writes "The Food Institute."

“Gen Z is really having a lot of fun with food. It’s a relief and a release from the perceived instability and uncertainty of their world,” said Fogelson.

But social media still plays a major role when these eaters are making dining decisions.

More than half of this group (55 percent) read restaurant reviews and then 25 percent gauge a restaurant by what's on social media. The Gen Z population is three times as likely to look at food post son Instagram and 25 percent order food via mobile apps.

Read more about this group's purchasing power at "The Food Institute."

Want to learn more tips on how to appeal to the Gen Z? Check out this episode of The Barron Report below where we discuss how Gen Z is becoming the market that really matters and are looking for healthier and more convenient options when it comes to food.

Whether You’re a Foodie or an Aspiring Chef, These Are the Miami Food Halls You Don’t Want to Miss

In the past few of years, there has been a powerful surge of food hall concepts popping up across the country and in late 2017 the wave finally arrived in Miami, Florida. Since then, many food hall concepts have been opening in the area especially in the first half of this year.

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, we meet three food hall operations featuring three very different concepts. First, we get the chance to meet Alex Cuevas, founder of Vshops—the world’s first 100 percent vegan food hall. Then, we sit down with Ruben Paredes, the Director of Operations of Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky—serving up Asian cuisine. Finally, we get to hear from Kenzie Motai, Assistant General Manager of St. Roche Market, Miami —a contemporary food hall serving as a platform for up and coming chefs.

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Vshops

Alex Cuevas, Founder and CEO of Vshops is a former senior technology executive who gave up his prominent tech career in New York to pursue his true passion for sustainable food, health, and animal welfare. At 10 years old, Cuevas had decided to go vegan after he found out how animals were being treated in factory farms.

“...the way the animals were treated and then the way they were “dispatched” or put down, it was incredibly disturbing to me,” said Cuevas. “... and when I realized that my favorite foods were tied to the suffering I said I don’t want anything to do with it at all.”

Cuevas decided to open up his first Miami vegan concept, Choices Cafe, in 2011 after a frustrating trip to South Florida, where he had a hard time finding a place to eat that would cater to the vegan lifestyle he was accustomed to. Now with the Vshops food hall, Cuevas not only aims to cater to vegans, but his hope is to really impress non-vegans in order to inspire consciousness.

Check out the episode above to learn about all the different vegan concepts that reside within the Vshops food hall located in the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove!

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1-800-Lucky

Ruben Paredes takes time out of his day to break down for us all of the concepts within Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky. Paredes, who was recruited by Sven Vogtland (one of the people behind Wynwood’s Coyo Taco), has been working in the hospitality/restaurant industry for two decades, but this is the first time he has dedicated himself to working for a concept like this one.

“I personally think that after all my years in this industry… for me, this format is the best,” said Paredes. In his words, 1-800-Lucky is a concept that provides a combination of “great food, great offerings... it’s simple, casual, it’s fast.”

Whatever Asian culinary craving a person may have, 1-800-Lucky is bound to have it for its guests. The Asian food hall provides Chinese barbecue (Lotus + Cleaver), dim sum (YIP), Vietnamese sandwiches (Les Banh Amis), traditional ramen (Hayato Miami), poke (PokeOG), ice cream (Taiyaki), and handmade sushi rolls (Myumi). It’s important to note that each food stand derives from a larger restaurant brand from across the globe.

Check out the episode above to see the food and drinks being featured at 1-800-Lucky!

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St. Roch Market

Kenzie Motai, who joined the St. Roch family in December of 2017, sat down with us to explain the concept of this food hall hailing all the way from New Orleans. St. Roch Market first opened in Miami in late February of this year and it boasts 11 unique food vendors while providing 1 central bar for its guests.

“Each vendor is a small business owner and entrepreneur,” says Motai. “We’re kind of the place you come to, to see the next up-and-coming chef in Miami before they blow up and open their own restaurant.”

As Motai explains, St. Roch Market is a historic market from New Orleans that has been around since 1875. It was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina to be made into a food hall and now serves as a great platform for chefs to start their business.

Check out the episode above to hear about the experience from a chef working at St. Roch Market food hall!


If you’d like to learn more about other concepts by Sven Vogtland, like Wynwood’s Coyo Taco, check out the video below!

Have Amazon Go and UberEats Become a Threat to Restaurant Operators?

Operators have always had to compete in the market with other concepts, but in today's market, there are a new set of power players ready to steal your customers.

Enter Amazon.

Amazon, like the fast casual segment, is catering to the on-the-go consumer with its cashier-less Amazon Go stores, many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

We recently analyzed the aggressive move Amazon is making in the foodservice industry. Listen to this episode of The Barron Report for more insights on if fast casual restaurants can survive this threat.

But there is one advantage that restaurants, namely fast casual restaurants, have over the Amazon Go stores– many have embraced the plant-based movement. According to Foodable Labs data, today's foodies can't get enough of these plant-based menu items.

Don’t miss our video breaking down this data about the plant-based movement below.

Amazon isn't the only threat operators need to be worried about. There is another shark circling to take a bite out of your business.

Third-party delivery services emerged as a solution that many operators desperately needed.

Since offering delivery has quickly become a guests' expectation, an operator has two options. One is to invest in significant funding to build a delivery program. However, this is easier said than done. It entails creating a system, investing in a platform to process these orders, hiring more staff to handle take-out and delivery orders, and then hiring reliable drivers to deliver these orders.

Or an operator can simply partner with a third-party delivery service, which eliminates most of the headaches. When you consider the operational and logistical challenges of offering delivery, its no wonder that operators across the country have decided to go the route of partnering with a third-party delivery service.

But now this has created a new problem.

One of the most popular delivery services out there is now UberEats. This company has quickly conquered the market. UberEats is currently offering food delivery for 50 percent of the U.S. population and has the lofty goal of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by the end of this year.

As UberEats becomes more popular, the more the fees increase for the participating restaurants. Could this be correlated to the increase in restaurant closings?

Listen to the podcast above as The Barron Report host Paul Barron explains the data showing that third-party delivery growth may be tied to restaurant failures.

Cannabis Edibles Expected to be a $4.1 Billion Industry in the U.S. and Canada by 2022

Edibles

The cannabis Industry as a whole has morphed into a multibillion-dollar industry, but according to a recent study food infusions also known as edibles have much more potential.

Last year, in the U.S. alone, the edibles market accounted for $1 billion. This is significant considering marijuana is only legal recreationally in 9 states.

Tomorrow, Canada is rolling out legalized cannabis. With that in mind, Arcview Market Research anticipates that the edible market will be worth $4.1 billion by 2022 in both Canada and the U.S.

This tremendous growth is attractive to several beverage and snack giants.

Coca-Cola announced that that it is planning to get into the cannabis sector. The beverage giant made the statement after “Bloomberg” reported that the company is in talks with the Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis, according to "multiple sources familiar with the matter."

But Coca-Cola isn't the only one jumping on the cannabis infusion bandwagon either.

“The edibles market is up for grabs. We’re already seeing mainstream beverage companies scrambling to take advantage of part of this significant opportunity,” said the Arcview Market Research report. “And when you consider that the investments made so far by these beverage companies, touches primarily the beverages subcategory, then you start to get a sense of the magnitude of the overall edibles market."

Molson-Coor announced that it's also working on developing a line of CBD-infused beverages in Canada.

Although the cannabis edible market is on the rise, there have been some recent challenges.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced earlier this month that cannabis-infused products that could be accidentally ingested by children like candies and lollipops will no longer be allowed to be sold.

Want more insights on how CBD is making an impact in the foodservice industry? Check out this recent episode of The Barron Report below.

Read more about the Arcview Market Research report on the cannabis edible industry at "Yahoo Finance" now.