So you want to start recycling, but you don’t have a clue how to start.

Earlier, we suggested recycling your back-of-the-house cardboard as an easy first step. If you’re ready to take it further, consider the five steps outlined in a new Foodservice Packaging Recovery Toolkit from the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the National Restaurant Association.

Tune into our free April 21 webinar for more details on these steps:

It is easy to overlook what actually caused most of today’s market share-leading iconic brands to get where they are. While marketing and branding play an important role in the growth of any consumer facing business, it is very easy, in retrospect, to ascribe an unfair share of credit for a food product’s eventual success to its brand. After all, when you consider the youthful days of former niche players like Chobani, Kashi, Stacy’s, vitaminwater, few would argue they are stuff for case studies in excellent works of branding.

It’s no secret that young, especially premium brands, are increasingly making inroads on established, legacy food and beverage brands in the American market. As legacy brand market share continues to slump, we find that industry leaders are beginning to acknowledge a long-ignored truth: their companies’ portfolios are fully stocked with older, legacy brands that operate fundamentally differently in modern food culture than younger, entrepreneurial upstarts. (read more…)

The foodservice industry is taking major steps to increase consumer trust with the development of thorough, automated, and vigilant food traceability programs. This is important now more than ever, as recent and highly publicized food recalls are still fresh in the minds of consumers. If a six-year old boy and his parents come into a Subway restaurant once a week and order sandwiches, they should always have the information they need about their food at their fingertips, and be reassured they will eat the highest quality product. How can we as an industry be confident that the food we sell to our loyal customers is safe and traceable?

It is this focus on our customers that has helped propel forward the food traceability program currently underway at the Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), a Subway franchisee-owned and operated purchasing cooperative. IPC is a member of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, a collaborative industry effort seeking to drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain, improve product information and establish a foundation for enhanced food safety through improved, automated traceability. (read more…)

Having a presence on social media is no longer an option for food retailers and brands, especially as consumers become increasingly connected and social platforms continue to grow. But managing that presence varies from one company to another, with some brands and retailers finding the right balance of engaging with social media users and others still figuring it out.

Regardless of what stage companies are at in the social media game, it is vital that brands and retailers tailor their approach to social media to their businesses, instead of going with a one-size-fits-all strategy, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Pick the right channels for your business, then double down on them,” PwC US Principal Andrea Fishman said.

Social media management is often associated with teams like marketing or communications, but some companies approach social media from a data perspective. At Sam’s Club, social media is just another type of data and another way to create meaningful connections with consumers, Chief Member Officer Tracey Brown said. (read more…)

What does the term “healthy” mean to today’s consumer? Datassential has been tracking the evolving perceptions and drivers of the term for years. Initially (“Healthy 1.0”), healthy products and menu items were driven by nutrition – low calorie, low fat, high fiber. The “bad things” were taken out and “good things” were pumped in. Then the discussion shifted to “feel good” terms like natural, organic, sustainable, local, and fresh. Now the concept of “healthy” is evolving further, focusing on functional foods and ingredients – energy, protein, superfoods.

To understand both the consumer and foodservice operator mindset concerning healthy foods, Datassential’s upcoming MenuTrends Keynote Report: The New Healthy dives deep into this category. Consumers certainly feel that they should be making healthier choices – 58% of consumers say that they need to eat a healthier diet than they currently do. An even larger percentage of consumers want to modify their weight; most want to lose weight (58%) while 8% want to gain weight (an area of the market often ignored by operators). (read more…)