Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017

Some people dream of owning their own food business. Making it big. But the reality is, very few make it that far. During our 100-member Innovation Breakfast event on Oct. 12, we heard from three Chicago-based industry leaders. Each went from startup to booming food business. The founders of PRE Brands, Farmer’s Fridge and Grow Forward provided insight on creating an idea, developing a business plan, implementing a business model, and growing a network (no pun intended).

Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 is nearly over. And industry eyes are setting their sights on 2018. What new trends will the food everage industry bring us in just a few months?

During our 150-member event at Kendall College on October 4, we heard from two leading industry seers. Food Minds and Technomic did their crystal ball gazing, giving us their findings.

David Henkes, Senior Principal at Technomic ( embraces these massive transformations within the industry. He notes that the food everage industry has changed dramatically in such a short amount of time. In addition, its consumers who are driving much of this change.

Grant Prentice, SVP and Director of Insights for FoodMinds ( added, Price, taste, and convenience used to account for the ...

Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017

Disruption is a topic Stacie Sopinka of U.S. Foods tackled during our Innovation Breakfast series on September 14. As Vice President of Innovation & Product Development, Sopinka and her team spends their days working on products clients will hopefully buy three or four years from now. Sopinka says all new product development must take into account potential pitfalls. She recognizes these three food disruptors heavily impacting consumer demands today.

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2017

Stacie Sopinka successfully extended U.S. Foods' innovation footprint into new channels. She and her team have also increased awareness of sustainably sourced foods within the market. As the keynote speaker at our monthly Innovation Series Breakfast on September 14, Sopinka shared several insightful strategies, successes and lessons. She left our sold out crowd with ten ways to succeed through product innovation.

Posted: Monday, July 31, 2017

Industry vet Barry Calpino of Conagra Brands shares his tips for innovation in the food and beverage industry.

Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017

VP of innovation says products in the center of the store are facing a unique set of challenges. The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network is a newly launched program designed to build a collaborative platform for food and beverage companies in Chicago.

Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017

Barry Calpino, Conagra Brands’ new Vice President of Innovation. is the first of many Chicagoland leaders we are highlighting as we aim to shape the future of Chicago’s regional food and beverage industry. Mr. Calpino believes that Chicago has a lot of exciting things going on in the food and beverage space. This creates the perfect atmosphere for inspiration, but also an increased difficulty to solely “focus on the good stuff.”

Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017

We had the pleasure of hearing Barry Calpino speak during our inaugural Innovation Breakfast Series on July 13th. Barry is the first of many Chicago leaders we will highlight as we aim to shape the future of Chicago’s regional food and beverage industry. With the astronomical amount of growth and constant shifting occurring in our industry, Barry says it’s important for innovators in the Chicago food and beverage industry to remain focused.

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Food Manufacturing in Chicago Gets a Boost

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017

New group aims to make Chicago the ‘Silicon Valley of food and beverage’

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Food and beverage manufacturing already racks up $32 billion a year in the Chicago area. A new nonprofit, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, wants to see that number get even bigger.

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A new non-profit seeks to grow the food and beverage manufacturing industry in and around Chicago.

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A new nonprofit, the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, hopes to establish the city's reputation as the Silicon Valley of the food and beverage industry by partnering with local businesses to address regional concerns.

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New organization to spur innovation and new job opportunities within the region. The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network launches today. This newly formed nonprofit brings together the region’s food & beverage leaders to collaborate and drive economic growth – both in the industry and for neighborhoods across Chicagoland.

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017

Simple Mills CEO Katlin Smith writes in Inc. about Why Chicago Is the Best City to Start a Business in Food

Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017

On December 15th 2016, the MacArthur Foundation announced $11.6 million in new Chicago investments to help spur economic development in low-income neighborhoods, create opportunities for youth and prevent violence, promote police reform and accountability, and support arts and culture.

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The new year could bring food trucks in Chicago a little breathing room. In early December, the future of the mobile food industry in Chicago appeared bleak. A food truck owner lost a four-year court battle to overturn parts of regulations voted in by the City Council that set strict rules on where and when mobile vendors could operate.

Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Employees of the scientific research arm at the Agriculture Department were ordered Monday to cease publication of “outward facing” documents and news releases, raising concerns that the Trump administration was seeking to influence distribution of their findings.

Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Every year in the food and beverage industry is like a ride at Disneyland: filled with some thrills, some scary moments, maybe even a horror or two. Yet, when it’s over, you safely get off, maybe a little shaky-legged, and get in line for the next ride.

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday selected Sonny Perdue, the former governor of Georgia, to be his secretary of agriculture, two senior transition officials said, making his final cabinet selection two days before he is to be sworn in as president.

Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Call it cracked crystal ball syndrome, but if one word could sum up the outlook for food manufacturing in 2017, it would be uncertainty.

Posted: Monday, January 16, 2017

This year, perhaps for the first time in history, the fortunes of the U.S. food and beverage industry may depend upon the president of the United States.

Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson is back in the food business.

Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 was another eventful year for the food and beverage industry. From the farm … through manufacturers, processors, packers, distributors, transportation, foodservice and retail … to the table, the industry was affected by the first of the finally effective Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules and all that came with that, plus ongoing recalls and their ever-increasing impact of consumer-driven initiatives and posting/tweeting/liking/pinning.

Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Cook County Circuit Court judge said Monday that the current laws governing food trucks are constitutional, meaning the trucks will continue to operate under city guidelines. The truck operators call them too restrictive.

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