Jim Hannan talks about ustainabilityAs a company based around renewable and recyclable resources, Georgia-Pacific has sustainability at its core. As president and chief executive officer of the leading paper goods manufacturer, Jim Hannan works to make sure the company’s sustainability efforts address the needs of customers and shareholders in a way that considers the impact on quality of life for all people, both now and in the future.

SmartBrief talked with Hannan about the challenges Georgia-Pacific faces when it comes to sustainability and how the company creates value for consumers by considering the three main areas of sustainability — social, environmental and economic.

Can you talk a little bit about your path to leadership at Georgia-Pacific?

I came to Georgia-Pacific from our parent company Koch Industries, when it acquired Georgia-Pacific in late 2005. I started with Koch in 1998 in a business development role in Koch’s mineral services unit. I then held positions of increasing responsibility in the minerals group and became president of INVISTA Intermediates, another Koch company, before joining Georgia-Pacific. (read more…)

The 2nd Annual RIZMYs Awards are quickly approaching! Again, the ceremony will be held at the at FSTEC NexGen conference, taking place in New Orleans on September 22nd. The RIZMYs return after a successful show last year, to showcase the best social and digital brands in the Restaurant & Hospitality industry.

How the finalists are selected

What makes the RIZMYs Awards so different is that the finalists are not hand-selected. Instead, the brands are pulled from DigitalCoCo’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the largest collection of culinary, restaurant and hospitality industry data in the world. The RSMI tracks over 200,000 restaurants and brands, and calculates data based on the mass social audience across multiple markets and countries. The selected finalists are brands with the highest social scores from all segments of the restaurant industry — from QSR, fast casual, casual dining, and fine dining.

The newly improved RIZMYs

The 2014 RIZMYs are going to be even better than last year due to some exciting changes. (read more…)

It’s back-to-school time and for parents that raises daily questions about what to put in the lunchbox and offer as after-school snacks. Companies including Bolthouse Farms, Stonyfield Farms and Chobani are feeding kids’ snacking trends with products designed to appeal to children’s tastes and also appease parents’ worries about nutrition and weight.

Data reported in the journal Health Affairs showed that by 2006, kids’ snacking trended towards three times a day, getting about 27% of their total daily calories from snack foods. At the time, the bulk of their snacks consisted of sugary sweets, chips and other salty treats.

The trend toward more childhood snacking mirrors changes in the way millennials and older consumers are eating today. Adults are increasingly opting for snacks between, and often instead of, meals. And, as they snack more, they’re making more nutritious choices. Last year, fruits and vegetables ranked second and third respectively on NPD Group’s list of foods Americans eat most. (read more…)

Changing state laws around the country have fueled a rise in craft distilleries in the past decade or so, and their artisan experiments are fueling the latest whiskey trends. The number of craft distilleries in the state of New York alone has grown to 50 since the state began cutting licensing fees in 2002, and there are 12 in the borough of Brooklyn alone, said Colin Spoelman, co-founder and master distiller at King’s County Distillery.

Spoelman grew up in Kentucky, the state that produces 95% of the world’s bourbon supply. He learned early on to make moonshine, which is basically bourbon before it’s aged, he said. When he moved north to Brooklyn, Spoelman set up a still in his apartment and started making the kind of moonshine whiskey he grew up with.

“Then I started getting very popular,” he said with a laugh. “So I looked into getting a license. (read more…)

It’s no secret that social media marketing is fueling a new era in selling for companies of all sizes, and it’s especially true for small food and beverage makers that in the past might have spent years working just to expand locally before dreaming of anything bigger.

Early last month, the new product hall of the Summer Fancy Food Show was packed with small players that were making a name for their products and their brands more quickly than ever before.

“It’s a little bit obvious, but it helps us engage with our fans,” said Kelsey Hopping, marketing director at Cisse Trading Company. The New York-based company sells Fair Trade certified, non-GMO hot chocolate and baking mixes, and has been ramping up its use of social media marketing for the past few years.

In addition to building relationships with fans of the brand, Cisse’s pages and boards on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are increasingly becoming effective sales-building tools that give the small business the chance to reach a worldwide audience, she said. (read more…)