How Tyson Foods and Lyons Magnus Cater to Foodservice Professionals and Consumers

How Tyson Foods and Lyons Magnus Cater to Foodservice Professionals and Consumers

How are some of the top food manufacturers addressing the shift happening in the food world today?

Our host, Paul Barron, sat down with Kristen Bird from Tyson Foods and Brad Kirk from Lyons Magnus, both members of the IFMA board, to discuss how their respective companies are adapting to the changing trends in order to meet consumer demand.

There’s clearly a huge move towards cleaner labels and both companies have been working towards cleaning up their ingredient list and transparency.

Read More

IFMA's Prestigious Gold Plate Award Goes to Leadership Legend

IFMA's Prestigious Gold Plate Award Goes to Leadership Legend

Every year, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) holds their Gold & Silver Plate awards ceremony; a celebration of some of our industry’s most influential and successful minds. From chain restaurants to retail, to schools, the foodservice industry puts forth its best and brightest with up to 9 professionals receiving a Silver Plate award.

This year’s winners are an inspirational bunch:

Read More

'The Academy Awards of Foodservice' — The IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards 2017

IFMA'S Gold & Silver Plate Awards

As the Oscars are for the film industry and as the James Beard Awards are for culinary, the Gold & Silver Plate Awards are the academy awards of foodservice. The celebration, which honors the nation's most prestigious operator talent, is hosted by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) every year in Chicago.

The 63rd Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards night was held on May 20th at Revel Fulton Market and highlighted eight Silver Plate Award winners, all from different foodservice categories. All of which were chosen through a painstaking, thorough jury process of the most innovative foodservice icons of the industry. From that elite group, one winner is honored with the Gold Plate Award.

The Class of 2017: Silver Plate Winners

This year's winners within eight different categories, were all nominated by the industry's leading companies. From those candidates, the Gold Plate Winner was voted on through a secret ballot by the previous Silver Plate Award winners, national trade press editors, and a group of foodservice experts.  

The Class of 2017 Silver Plate Award Winners include:

  • Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept: Wolfgang Puck, chef and owner, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (nominated by Nestlé Professional)
  • Chain Full Service: G.J. Hart, executive chairman and CEO, California Pizza Kitchen (nominated by Wayne Farms)
  • Chain Limited Service: Chris Newcomb, co-founder and president & CEO, Newk’s Eatery (nominated by Wenner Bakery)
  • Health Care: Patti Oliver, director of nutrition, UCLA Health (nominated by Hobart Corporation & Basic American Foods)
  • Elementary & Secondary Schools: Betti Wiggins, executive director, Office of School Nutrition, Detroit Public Schools (nominated by Schwan’s Food Service)
  • Colleges & Universities: Ted Faulkner, director of dining services, Virginia Tech (nominated by Basic American Foods)
  • Business & Industry/Foodservice Management: Jeff Metz, president & CEO, Metz Culinary Management (nominated by Basic American Foods)
  • Retail & Specialty Foodservice: Chris Gheysens, president & CEO, Wawa Inc. (nominated by Nestlé Professional)

Meet the 2017 Gold Plate Winner: Wolfgang Puck

"I'm really appreciative, and on behalf of all my partners, all my associates all the people out there who work so hard day in and day out, who make a big difference... Thank you! " said Wolfgang Puck, owner and chef of Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, proudly as he received his award.

Puck has more than 40 years of experience in the foodservice industry. He began cooking at a young age by his mother's side, but it was his perseverance that helped him forge a culinary, and then, leadership career. Through his flagship restaurant, Spago, first opened in West Hollywood and now in Beverly Hills, Puck was able to propel his business to a whole new level by creating a friendly and inviting environment through his open kitchen. This then led to his continued success in the foodservice industry.

"When I built Spago, normally the chefs at the time are hidden somewhere in the kitchen. I said: 'Okay, I'm going to build a kitchen in the middle of the dinning room so I can see every guest and they can see me...'," said Wolfgang Puck. "Everybody used to come by, if it was John Collins, Billy Waldo, Michael Douglas, they used to come by and say hello and everything... So this is really a great thing!"

Puck's message to future operators and chefs at the 2017 Gold and Silver Plate Awards ceremony was very clear, "If you're passionate and you can dream... You can do it!"

Consumer Planning Program: How to Better Understand Your Customer

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly, we talk to some of the instrumental players in creating IFMA’s Consumer Planning Program. The Consumer Planning Program, or CPP, was a collaboration between IFMA and Datassential to dive deeper into the consumer mindset and find out why consumers pick a food-service venue, how those decisions are made and what manufacturers (and operators) can do to influence those decisions.

CPP began in 2012 when IFMA realized they were not as in touch with the consumer as they wanted to be and so the association dedicated resources to really building that understanding and relationship. This began their research into consumer needs and purchase motivations.

As Coca-Cola’s Ben Shanley put it, “At the end of the day from a manufacturing perspective, we’re trying to create consumer demand for our products and with all the changes that are going on right now in the industry it still all has to start with consumers.”

This initiative has been aimed at reaching consumers and helping brands understand their customers better. The team conducts qualitative research like focus groups with consumers to gather information and understand the language consumers use when they talk about their ‘away-from-home’ meals. That data is then validated through thousands of survey interviews– providing a lot of insight on what consumers are looking for.

Foodservice professionals can join the Consumer Planning Program and be a part of the committee that drives study topics and receives annual reports. Find out more about CPP here.

Supply Chain Optimization and Best Practices

Operators around the world are facing supply chain issues such as inventory placement, manufacturing costs, and transportation and distribution costs.

In order to improve efficiency and increase profitability across the industry, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) created the Supply Chain Optimization Committee (SCO).

Stemming from best practices developed by IFMA, the Supply Chain Optimization Committee is a way for chain operators, manufacturers, and distributors to collaborate and share the challenges they are facing, the solutions they have come up with– as well as data they have analyzed. The group also addresses the critical issues of stakeholders.

The SCO committee is made up of a couple different sectors. The Development board consists of chain operators, manufacturers and distributors. Other companies like Datassential and Havi (and of course IFMA) offer assistance behind the scenes with data analytics and supply chain services.

Operators might ask, “Why should I participate?”

Data from top industry leaders is imperative for analysis and results. That input gives insights on the current state of the industry. Such challenges like forecasting and speed to market are discussed.

For example, Cullen Andrews from Dot Foods notes “Forecastings tough. So I think everybody would say the silver bullet is, “Well if the forecast is right, then no problem!” There really isn’t a lot of planning that has to occur. And I think what we’ve all agreed to is that we have to come together with one primary assumption which is that the forecast likely will not be accurate.”

You can register for upcoming Supply Chain Optimization meetings here!