Another fantastic year for our partners at Family Farmed, as they put on their 15th anniversary Good Food Expo! It was a great opportunity for food and beverage start-ups and innovators to showcase their products. There was an abundance of snacks, nibbles, dips and sauces for attendees to sample - all within the better-for-you food category. For CFBN, we were delighted to see so many of our members present. From IFSH, Moon Meals, Kitchfix, Blake's Seed Based, The Hatchery and Simple Mills (who was an event sponsor this year!) We were humbled to share this opportunity with our fantastic members, and the Chicagoland community.
McDonald’s is set to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Dynamic Yield, a startup based in Tel Aviv that provides retailers with algorithmically driven "decision logic" technology. When you add an item to an online shopping cart, it’s the tech that nudges you about what other customers bought as well. Dynamic Yield reportedly had been recently valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; people familiar with the details of the McDonald’s offer put it at over $300 million. That would make it the company's largest purchase since it acquired Boston Market in 1999.
Read the full article here
Younger generations have become more judicious when making decisions about beverages, and many are driven by a deeper understanding of their individual biological needs coupled with the cumulative impact of making unhealthy choices regarding their diet. While most consumers don’t indulge in beer for the benefits associated with hops, some research indicates that these flowers may be used to treat a variety of ailments ranging from arthritis to diabetes and even insomnia. The expectation of ingredients that have inherent function also continues to drive innovation, especially in beverages, as consumers demand the efficient and convenient delivery of nutrients that address a variety of need-states.
Read the full article from Imbibe here
On Wednesday, March 20 CFBN hosted a lively breakfast with New Frontiers in Food (NF4) – a collaborative group of European delegations whose mission is to provide an inclusive platform for food innovation, growth and collaboration amongst emerging food, and food tech start-ups. New Frontiers in Food is comprised of European Union representatives and companies, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Spain.
Jeroen Wouters, from the Netherlands delegation, kicked off the event by sharing insights into the mission of the organization, and the changing landscape of food tech in the European Union. He then moderated a quick overview of the 12 European start-up businesses on-site, giving a bit of background behind their involvement in the cluster.
To close, a representative from each European start-up presented the audience with a 1-minute pitch outlining their food innovation or food tech. Those in attendance were given a description of their unique products, as well as an overview of where they stood in product production.
The representatives were very transparent and shared the areas of their businesses needing some assistance – whether that be finding a US distributor, packaging or ingredient testing.
Following the presentation, CFBN re-opened networking with the entrepreneurs who were stationed around the room with their products. The audience then had the opportunity to ask questions, and even sample some of the products. The event was an engaging way to learn about food innovation from other countries. We would like to thank Food Valley NL for their support and New Frontiers in Food for helping to put on a great event.
Manufacturing is helping to turn Illinois’ economy around, and the overall sector ended 2018 by registering its 28th straight month of growth. But when it comes to gender diversity, American manufacturing has room for improvement: As of December, women represented just 29 percent of its workforce.
In addition to hiring and training more women, the Manufacturing Institute recommends that manufacturers increase the visibility of female leaders at all levels of business to shrink the sector’s gender gap.
The women on this list are among the top leaders at more than two dozen Chicago-area manufacturing organizations. These pages offer a glimpse of how they are shaping their own organizations, as well as the path forward for other women in the industry.
If harnessed appropriately, rapid advances in digital technology could offer much-needed solutions to some of the unintentional negative diet- and nutrition-related consequences from otherwise positive Industrial Revolution era developments, according to the CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America.
Read the full article from Food Navigator here
What started out as a great business idea is quickly turning into much more for Gies College of Business alumnus Jordan Buckner (MBA ’14).
Buckner is the founder and CEO of Tea Squares, a company that produces healthy, tea-infused snacks designed to give consumers a natural energy boost to get through their day. The product may be small, but the business is having a large impact. Just a few short years after testing his first product, Buckner’s Tea Squares are now being sold in about 300 retail stores around Chicago. They’re available in Mariano’s, Jewel-Osco, and Whole Foods, the last of which was so impressed by Buckner’s mission, they helped him earn the prestigious recognition of “Forbes 30 Under 30” in 2018.
Read the full article on the U of I Business website here.
Received a call or email recently saying you’re the perfect candidate for a high-salary job with a Fortune 500 food & beverage organization? That’s great! But before you hand over your personal information or pay a fee, make sure the recruiter – and the job – are real. Read more of this story from our member Kinsa Group here.
Check out our member US Food's 2019 spring "Trend Tracker" here
The BGL Consumer Insider is a periodic research publication highlighting capital markets and mergers and acquisitions activity, financial and operating performance of certain publicly-traded companies, and trends within the consumer industry.
Evolving consumer preferences and rapid technological change are transforming the food supply chain. Food distributors are refining offerings to capture on-trend products and capitalize on changing market dynamics, accelerating acquisition-driven growth. Consolidation is continuing in a fragmented marketplace with buyers aggressively seeking acquisitions to broaden specialty offerings, build private brand portfolios, gain access to independent restaurants and retailers, and expand geographic reach.
Download their latest research document here.
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653