Tis the season to party and companies are starting to do just that again, according to a new survey from executive search firm Battalia Winston, which found 96% of U.S. companies will throw holiday parties this year. That’s up from a post-recession low of 74% in 2011 and nearly on par with the all-time high of 97% hit in the boom years of 1996 and 1997.
Some 42% of respondents say they’re throwing a shindig to boost employee morale while 38% profess to partying in celebration of a good year for the company, a statistic that dovetails with the separate finding that 70% of companies surveyed said they’re on track to grow and hire next year.
Still, most companies aren’t socking in cases of champagne and tins of caviar for the occasion — 83% said they’ll stick to the same budget as last year and 10% plan to spend less on this year’s parties. (read more…)
This year’s PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans spoke of change in the industry and innovation to propel a community of produce growers, shippers and marketers into the future. Sessions ran the gamut, from emerging technology and creating passion for fruits and vegetables through powerful marketing techniques to PMA President Bryan Silbermann’s State of the Industry session, which inspired and motivated the some-18,000 attendees at this year’s show.
Here’s a look at Silbermann’s general session, the innovative Innovation @ work display area, which showcased this year’s Impact Award winners, as well as a few shots of the bustling show floor, where colorful produce and floral arrangements spanned the Ernst N. Morial Convention Center and people of the produce industry exuded enthusiasm and passion for the world of produce.
Aunt Berta was a real woman who brought her recipes for jams and preserves with her when she left Europe for Israel so many decades ago, and she and others who went with her were soon using the recipes, and perfecting them, as they set about to feed the Beth El kibbutz.
Today, the 800-person community owns Beth El Food, which in 2005 took the leap from cottage industry to commercial producer of both private label brands and Aunt Berta’s branded preserves, marmalades and sauces, said business development director Muli Flint. On Sunday, the company was one of 11 showing their wares in the Israel Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
In the next booth, representatives from olive oil producer Olia poured tiny tasting spoons of flavored vinaigrettes infused with fruits such as figs, apples and kumquats, all of them grown in Israel. The company sells its lines, which also include tapenades and mustards, at a high-end boutique as well as a bustling market stall in Tel Aviv. (read more…)
Manhattan, always a mecca for new food trends and a melting pot of diverse flavors, will take it up a notch this weekend, as food and beverage companies from around the globe gather in New York City for the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show. The celebration of chocolates, cheeses, teas, coffees and a wide selection of other sweet and savory treats runs Sunday through Tuesday at the Jacob Javits Center, with a sold-out trade show floor.
This year’s show will include a New Brands on the Shelf pavilion to showcase emerging new specialty food ventures and goodies including green smoothie popsicles, beer cheese, coffee-flavored syrup and Lavender Martini mocktails.
The pavilions and trade show floor will provide plenty of tastes of the latest in fancy foods and trends, but there’s also an a la carte menu of educational opportunities, including a seminar for seasoned food entrepreneurs on the ins and outs of selling the businesses they’ve built. (read more…)