Food makers betting on pets to make up for falling sales to people are facing some familiar problems. Pet foods with fancier ingredients are eating away at market share for mainstream brands. Snacks for dogs and cats are selling faster than meals. And a flood of new products is putting pressure on prices.
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Two years ago, CPG giant Campbell’s greenlit a somewhat audacious project: to support four employees seeking to launch the Soulfull Project, a mission-driven brand that would operate with limited autonomy. However, despite having enjoyed growth while under Campbell’s auspices, the breakfast brand announced this week it would spin-off as a unique entity due to recent shifts in Campbell’s focus.
In the two years since its inception, the Soulfull Project has grown its distribution from 14 stores to close to 3,000 retailers — including Wegman’s, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Central Market, Fred Meyer and, most recently, Sprouts Farmers Market. The company has a give back model where For every hot cereal purchased, the company donates an equivalent amount to a local food bank and, to date, has donated over 1 million meals.
Katlin Smith, CEO of our member Simple Mills, Diane Sayler, Associate Director with our member Kellogg and Jake Stewart, Head of Commerce Sales at Kraft Heinz, have all been recognized in Ad Week's "20 Rising Brand Stars Changing the Landscape of Chicago." Read about their personal experiences and insights here.
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More than four in five firms in the industry are raising wages or boosting signing bonuses, according to a survey of about 400 executives by Deloitte LLP and the National Association of Manufacturers. More than two-thirds said compensation had a moderate to very high impact on retention, while 32% said it had low or no impact.
Raises are showing up in U.S. data: October marked the first month of annual wage gains above 3% since 2009. There are nearly half a million job openings in manufacturing, even after a strong pace of hiring that’s added almost that many to payrolls over the past two years, Labor Department data show. Pay raises should help to attract and retain people as the hiring pool shrinks.
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While Chicago is known for its pizza, what might not be common knowledge is that the city is home to 4,500 food manufacturing companies.
And like the rest of the manufacturing world, they are having trouble finding qualified workers for job openings. Not a city to sit idle, it created The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network (CFBN). The group’s goal is to tap into the collective knowledge of local industry food & beverage players -- big and small – to help identify curriculum needs to train a workforce.
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Chicago is the first city of food and beverage. The role of this org is to keep workforce, food and safety training as well as innovation the focus so that it remains that way. The Innovation Breakfast Series / Bar Fest now has 11 straight sell out events with partner Fifty Gazelles. Tonight’s roundtable is focused on Chicago’s craft distillery movement featuring the founders of Rhine Hall, Apologue and Letherbee.
No nuts in sight: Blake's Seed Based Snack Bars
If you suffer from food allergies, these bars might become your new go-to. They’re seed based, come in three flavors (including the unique pineapple), and are nut-free and top eight allergen-free. Plus, they’re so lightweight you won't even notice one in your bag.
Read this full article in Vogue
Starting a new company is extraordinarily difficult, requiring untold hours of hard work to overcome the myriad of hurdles and pitfalls. Having both built food-tech companies from the ground up, and having transformed our dreams into functional, working businesses, we fully understand the immense challenges new food entrepreneurs face when trying to get things up and running. For 175 businesses across the country, Pilotworks was their headquarters and home – the kitchen and community that enabled them to turn their dreams into real, delicious food for all to enjoy. It is nothing short of devastating for so many incredibly promising, early-stage companies to have the rug pulled out from under them with the recent and sudden bankruptcy of Pilotworks.
Read the full article from foodtechconnect here.
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Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653