This post is sponsored by AFS Technologies.
Scenario planning has long been used in managing resources and making marketing and sales decisions at the enterprise level. But thanks to greater connectivity and mobility, the technology is now becoming a critical tool for the marketing and sales departments, especially in managing consumer goods brands and promotions. We recently spoke with Alex Ring, vice president for trade promotion management at AFS Technologies, who called scenario planning a “Swiss army knife,” as it enables trade marketers and sales to deal with every possible contingency.
What is one of the biggest challenges you see with beverage companies and how can scenario planning help?
The greatest challenge marketers and sales face is the number of beverages and various “flavors” of a brand, and finding the right balance in promotions. If you go back 10 or 20 years, the typical approach was to encourage the salesperson to do the math and make sure they were considering events promotions, different price points and coming up with the balance that would work. (read more…)
There may not be many connections between fine dining and frozen chicken dinners, but Chef Jennifer Johnson is one of them. Formerly a Chez Panisse sous chef under Alice Waters and personal chef to Ann and Gordon Getty, Johnson now devotes her culinary talent to creating premium frozen meals for Hip Chick Farms, a company she founded on a sustainable and ethical foundation with her wife and business partner Serafina Palandech.
Together, Johnson and Palandech create artisan frozen meals like chicken wings and meatballs from locally-sourced and ethically-raised poultry. And the industry is taking note. They were recently recognized as two of the “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink” by Food & Wine magazine.
SmartBrief talked with Johnson about the path that led her to Hip Chicks Farms, why innovation is so important and the role leaders — especially women leaders — play in the food industry. (read more…)
This past year was all about clean labels and free from claims in the food and beverage industry. 2016 will be all about drinking for health. Consumers will be focused on transparency, the brand story and function from natural sources. The brands that are able to deliver those attributes along with a great tasting product will triumph in the marketplace. Here is a breakdown of trends that you can integrate into your product mix to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
Spices are often associated with various health benefits and add flavor without fat or calories. For example, one compound found in spicy peppers, capsaicin, is linked to boosting metabolism by raising body temperature. Many capsaicin-rich peppers are also known to be high in vitamins and minerals such as manganese, iron and Vitamins A and C. Ginger, another spice that delivers a bold flavor impact without added calories, also provides a warming sensation. (read more…)