One of the biggest challenges of an industry entrepreneur is navigating the world of food investors, and appealing to the right one(s). During our lively panel discussionentitled, “What are food investors really looking for?”our panelists offered some great advice, from carefully assessing risk, to proper brand management.We were able to chat with a panel of food experts to help us better understand these ideas.
Our panel included Lenny Lebovich, founder and CEO ofPRE brands, Steve Gaither advisor ofSpiral Sun Ventures, Jason Starr, managing director ofCompany Firstand Michael Schopin, partner ofZenfinity Capital. Our panel moderator for the evening was Randy Bridgeman of our co-host, Perkins Coie.
Amazon is opening two more of its cashier-less convenience stores in Chicago — including one that opened Monday.
Amazon Go, which sells grab-and-go food items in a store designed to let busy shoppers skip the checkout line, opened its first Chicago location in the Loop last month. It was the Seattle company’s fourth Amazon Go store and the first outside its hometown.
A second Chicago location opened Monday at 144 S. Clark St. The 1,200-square-foot store will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. A third Chicago store will open soon in a 1,700-square-foot space in 500 W. Madison St., which is connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center, said Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology for Amazon Go and Amazon Books.
Read the full article on Chicago Tribune here
In a week of major changes, Dunkin’ Donuts confirmed it’s dropping the ‘Donuts’ from its name, launches its first canned RTD beverage and announces a limited edition coffee beer in collaboration with Harpoon Brewery.
Read this full article on Beverage Daily here
Read the full article here
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi steps down today after a 24-year career with the company.
Born in India, the 62-year-old was one of a handful of people of color to run an S&P 500 company. During her 12-year tenure as chief executive, Nooyi transformed PepsiCo into one of the most successful food and beverage companies worldwide. Her push for healthier snack and beverage choices, along with an eye for product packaging, led to an 80 percent sales growth in the 12 years she was CEO.
Nooyi will remain as chairwoman of the board of directors until early 2019. As Nooyi readies for her next phase, here are the traits and habits she used to help steer her career.
As a child in India, Nooyi and her sister were asked to play an unusual game. Each night at dinner, their mother asked her daughters to imagine what they'd do if they were the prime minister, the president or some other world leader. By the end of the dinner, the girls presented a speech and their mother decided which speech won her vote.
Though her mother instilled many traditional values in her daughters, she also encouraged them to be whoever they wanted to be. "She gave us that confidence," Nooyi said.
Article by FamilyFarmed
TeaSquares, a 2017 graduate of FamilyFarmed's Good Food Accelerator, is one of four companies accepted into the Chobani Incubator's intensive fall program. This is the latest achievement by the highly regarded company, located in Englewood on Chicago's South Side, which produces delicious energy snacks with a caffeine boost from tea, and pursues a social mission of teaching business skills to youths from underserved communities. Read more from Chicago Business Journal.
Chobani Incubator provides selected entrepreneurs, who are "taking on broken food systems to bring better food to more people," with a $25,000 no-strings-attached grant, mentoring, networking, and travel and lodging to attend Incubator sessions in New York and Idaho. Congratulations to Jordan Buckner, Isaac Lozano and the rest of the Tea Squares team.
Sally Grimes is the president of our member Tyson Foods and Prepared Foods.
Grimes oversees more than a quarter of the company’s $38 billion in revenue and is helping to create a new corporate brand identity for the meat multinational.
The above mention was found on Fortune.com (link: http://fortune.com/2018/09/24/most-powerful-women-on-our-radar-2018/?xid=gn_editorspicks)
The Southwest Suburban Cook County American Job Center and the Food and Beverage Network are collaborating in helping Chicago and suburban job seekers obtain job opportunities in food manufacturing and packaging. Both organizations are hosting a mega job fair on Thursday September 27 2018 from 10a.m.-1p.m. There will be over 20 employers offering over 300 jobs in various sectors of the food industry that range from food assembly, machine operators, sanitation, quality assurance, warehouse, drivers, and maintenance mechanics. In addition, job seekers will be to obtain information and resources how to get training and certifications for careers in food manufacturing. Anyone looking for further information should call 708-222-3100.
In so many ways, milk has been just ripe for the taking when it comes to innovation. Fluid milk sales have been on the decline for decades, fueled largely by a boost in the development and availability of alternative offerings (which have taken direct aim at cow’s milk) and an overall inundation of food and beverage choices in general. The universe of drinkable nutrition and refreshment was exploding and it — admittedly — took a while for us dairy farmers to catch on.
But caught on we sure have! Fairlife’s our own contribution to the current dairy-powered movement meant to make milk matter again by highlighting the natural nutrition and vitality that milk brings to the table. The innovation of nature’s superfood is well under way and seeing tremendous growth.
Our "Generations of Leadership" panel shared fantastic insight from fourth and fifth generation, family-owned Chicago food companies. Jeremy Anderson, CFBN Board Member and Founder of Fifty Gazelles moderated the panel, which featured Dave Miniat, CEO of Miniat Holdings, Dave Gonnella, VP Marketing for Gonnella Baking, and Peter Rose, VP Product Development for Rose Packing Company. Organizations like these are the backbone of Chicagoland’s food & beverage industry, as they make up the majority of the the industry, and represent the lion’s share of the employment here in the region.
These mid sized companies (only in Chicagoland would we call companies that are $200 million to $1 billion in annual sales “mid sized”!) have unique issues and challenges as they grow and evolve across generations. Dave Gonnella shared his personal experience, "every generation has to reinvent the company, and it takes guts to escape the comfort zone of what came before." Adding to this sentiment, David Miniat shared that, "years ago, we had more money than ideas. Today we have more ideas than money. They're not all winners, but that's where you want to be."
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653