We had a great evening at The Hatchery Chicago, both networking and learning from IRI’s Executive Vice President, Larry Levin, a recognized thought leader in new product innovation. Larry shared IRI’s thoughts and ideas surrounding the challenging and highly rewarding world of innovation sparked by small, “dark horse” brands.
New product innovation is a cornerstone to success for any company in the consumer packaged goods space. Many companies rely on as much as 10% of their annual sales coming from new product launches. The trend of smaller companies quickly winning in today’s CPG environment has created a new mantra for “failing fast” so that time is not wasted getting new products to market. In IRI’s most recent New Product Pacesetters, 40% of new brands were from small, or “dark horse”, companies. These companies are surprising and delighting consumers across the country with new products that are “designed for me”. These small companies are breaking through with innovation and sparking a consumer innovation revolution.
Larry's slide deck can be accessed here.
Food Scientist: the 8th most in demand job. Why are food scientist jobs hot in Chicagoland in 2018? Crain's Chicago Business asked our Network executive director. Read his interview for the scoop!
A front page placement at www.foodengineeringmag.com featuring our January innovation breakfast! Debra Schug, Editor-in-chief, highlights all of the great insights from Andria Long vice president of innovation & consumer insights at Johnsonville. Read the article here.
“I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want.” 90s pop music becomes gospel within the food and beverage innovation sector.
Meet Johnsonville’s VP of Innovation and Consumer Insights, Andria Long. In her tenure, Long has built two Chicagoland-based innovation centers and led innovation at a nimble family-owned company. She also has the savvy ability to turn cheesy 90s lyrics into catchy ways of improving consumer products.
Long kicked off our 2018 Innovation Breakfast Series on January 11 at Bluedog Design. And after her chat, we may call her the Casey Kasem of the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network for years to come.
Long says innovation comes from providing consumers what they want. Yes… What they really, really want. And doing so in a way that no one has done before.
Long easily identifies three focus areas that are key drivers of innovation success:
Think about mobilizing around innovation as a team sport. Everyone needs to approach the game the same way. (Like the Spice Girls...not as a solo artist)
Andria was asked by an audience member why she likes doing business in Chicagoland? She boasted:
Join us at our next events -- including our Wednesday, January 24 event, Industry Leadership Series: The Changing Landscape Of Successful Consumer Innovation: The Rise Of The Dark Horse. Register here.
Now that Congress has passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, you likely have questions about how it will affect you and your business. Plante Moran is here to help. Here’s what you need to know right now.
Podcast series: Year-end tax-planning opportunities
Businesses and individuals can take advantage of several tax-planning opportunities in the short window between now and the end of the year. These short podcasts arm you with everything you need to know to make changes now:
Well+Good, thank you for the shout out. Chicagoland may be cold, but we have some hot food ideas!
Read the entire article here.
This Food Navigator article highlights the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network. It features Executive Director Alan Reed and the organization's role in supporting the start-up culture and institutional industrial change throughout the region. Read the entire article here.
In this episode of Food for thought: Data analytics in the food and beverage industry, Chris Moshier of Plante Moran and Steve Gaither, president of JB Chicago, discuss using in-store data to create timely, actionable insights and increase profitability.
Topics covered include:
Want to listen to this podcast? Click here.
View the video here!
Martha Blum AgriNews Publications Nov 16, 2017
CHICAGO — Students will be the ones charting the course for the future of the agriculture and food industry.
“The food and beverage industry is changing rapidly, and answers probably won’t be found by the adults in this room. It will be the students,” said Alan Reed, Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network executive director.
“Food and beverage is a massive part of our economy, and it’s one of the things Chicago is best known for,” Reed said during the Sowing the Seeds: Chicago’s Leadership in Food and Agricultural Education event held at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.
“Companies come here for the talent that’s here,” he said. “There are 4,500 companies and 130,000 people here just in food manufacturing, which results in a $32 billion gross domestic product.”
The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network was launched about six months ago with the mission to bring together the food and beverage industry of the area.
“The network was started because the MacArthur Foundation was looking for an inclusive industry to invest to grow the economy,” Reed explained. “They found that not only Chicago food and beverage has great prospects because everyone has to eat, but also the jobs with food and beverage range all the way from entry level to white collar jobs.”
Panel members representing Chicago’s leadership in food and agriculture education provided the following comments during the event.
Read the entire article here.
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
100 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653