Our friends at FoodNavigator give us an overview of the food and technology trends at IFT18!
Plant proteins are trending - but are they better when blended with animal? Coffee flavor is hot, but only if it's cold brew, and coconut is promising a whole lot more than just water. FoodNavigator has rounded up some of the highlights from the world's biggest food science show.
See all of the trends from FoodNavigator here
When Joel Warady began working as a consultant to Enjoy Life Foods in the early 2000s, the small maker of gluten-free products was struggling to differentiate itself. "We'd heard that the (Food & Drug Administration) had designated eight common food allergens," recalls Warady, today the company's chief sales and marketing officer. "So we said, 'Well, what if we were gluten-free and free of the top eight?' We certainly didn't know the size of the opportunity."
That naive gambit, he jokes, has turned out beautifully.
Today, Chicago-based Enjoy Life—which posted revenue of about $40 million in 2014 and was acquired by Deerfield food giant Mondelez International for $81 million the following year—has emerged as a leader in the rapidly growing "allergy-friendly" packaged-foods category. The company, whose sales grew at a 40 percent year-over-year clip between 2011 and 2013, continues to see double-digit growth.
Estimates of the allergy-friendly food market are inexact, as most researchers lump it into the larger gluten-free category (itself projected to grow to $7.6 billion by 2020). Meanwhile, data providers Nielsen and IRI don't include Whole Foods Markets—a major purveyor of allergy-friendly lines—or Amazon in their sales data. But the allergy-friendly subset is undoubtedly increasing as more and more Americans deal with what can be a life-threatening issue. The rate of anaphylactic reactions to food, which can include throat swelling and difficulty breathing, increased 377 percent between 2007 and 2016, according to Fair Health, a nonprofit organization that analyzes billions of private health insurance claims. Reactions to peanuts increased 445 percent, while those to tree nuts and seeds spiked sixfold.
Read more from this Crain's article here
The U.S. cold chain is growing more complex as changing consumer demands, new federal regulations and even factors such as warmer weather patterns spur shippers to adjust their approach to refrigerated truckload and LTL transportation. What do these changes mean for shippers and how are they responding?
Meeting Consumers at Their Doorstep
As any food manufacturer or retailer knows, consumer demands are fickle and subject to change with little to no warning. However, the biggest change that is roiling the retail landscape has been nearly two decades in the making: the shift in consumer preference from shopping in brick and mortar stores to shopping online. Only recently have changing shopping patterns begun to ripple across the supply chain.
Read more from Food Logistics HERE
This month's Innovation Breakfast, Food & Beverage Revolution...Chicago Style was sponsored and hosted by our friends at Fifty Gazelles. The panel discussion featured speakers from two innovative Chicago companies-- Home Chef, the nation’s third largest home meal delivery service, and Foxtrot, an upscale convenience store and mobile delivery service. The innovators, shared insights about the changing market in food and beverage, retail service, and executing on consumers' needs.
Jeremy Anderson, Brian Irwin & Mike LaVitola (left to right)
Brian Irwin, vice president of marketing with Home Chef, spoke about their recent $200 million acquisition by Kroger, a true milestone for Home Chef. Irwin emphasized that a key component to the company's success was creating a personable environment for the consumer, and a divine focus on consumer needs (in most cases, a clear preference for variations of meat and potatoes). Irwin attributed Home Chef's success to building an original, Midwest-focused business. Home Chef has a mission to create meal kits that are not only a millennial phenomenon, but can be enjoyed by a wide variety and range of ages.
Panel discussion with Brian Irwin & Mike LaVitola
Mike LaVitola, CEO and founder of Foxtrot, reflected on launching his organization, while he studied business at the University of Chicago. He opened his first store on Lake Street, 10 years ago, and laughs as he recalled how slow and empty the neighborhood was at the time (compared to the present day west loop area, which is booming with people, activity and culture). LaVitola also reflected on some of the interesting things that he's noticed with incoming orders and consumer needs. He's seen a surprising demand for ice cream, liquor and cigarettes orders, usually placed after midnight. LaVitola's closing remarks included plans of expanding his business, as a more upscale version of a 7-11. An opportunity for growth is clear in Foxtrot's future.
By Donna Berry
Ice cream, refrigerated desserts and baked goods such as cookies, cakes and pies are trending these days. The Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry report attributes this to Millenials, who collectively cannot get enough of these sweet treats.
They want dessert, and often at strange times, according to Michael LaVitola, CEO and co-founder of Foxtrot, an upscale convenience store chain and home-delivery service in Chicago that delivers all too often a single pint of premium ice cream—usually Jeni’s or Coolhaus—to your door within 60 minutes of ordering.
Read more HERE
Innova Market Insights is a leading market research company, serving our customers with our unique and powerful Innova Database: the world’s largest database for the food industry, used by leading companies in food ingredients and manufacturing for future success in the dynamic
Access powerpoint HERE
After shelling out $375 million to purchase the Pillsbury brand and other baking products from J.M. Smucker, an East Coast private-equity firm plans to create a new company, Hometown Food, headquartered in Chicago. For Smucker, based in Orrville, Ohio, the sale offered a chance to unload aging brands that have suffered as customers seek out natural and health-conscious products. But for Greenwich, Conn.-based Brynwood Partners, which acquired Sunny Delight last year and has previously invested in Balance Bar and SnackWell's, the acquisition provides an opportunity to grow market share in a category that's still popular, regardless of health trends.
Read the full "Crain's" article HERE
There’s a lot of hype around ‘big data’ and ‘data analytics’, but how can you cut through the noise to distill these buzzwords down into something that is useful to your startup or established company?
Read the full article HERE
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