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  • Content is King - Food and Drink International
    Mills it is not a practice achievable only by corporate giants There are also many small to medium sized companies taking advantage Murray s a New York City cheese shop created a cheese blog all about tips on entertaining and selecting the right variety of cheeses for different meals and events It also has a unique cheese counter to help determine how many pounds you will need given the number of guests you are expecting Murray s blog contains helpful information on how to choose the right variety and food pairing tips In 2012 Chipotle launched a campaign it called Cultivate It included a short animated film Back to the Start that depicts a farmer who deals with the ethical repercussions of changing his free range farm into an industrial farm The brand also created a section on the website that includes information about Chipotle s food with integrity vision The company has posted content on food facts humane animal farming and environmental stewardship So far the video has generated more than 7 million views on YouTube and the campaign has seen more than 11 million Twitter impressions Another good example is Table spoon com a community created by General Mills that includes content on multiple branded channels The company developed its own website with unique recipes and leads on deals General Mills also extended content across many social media channels to facilitate a broader conversation and motivate sharing among its audience It has upwards of 24 000 followers on Pinterest and more than 1 million Facebook fans Getting Started The biggest challenges marketers face when creating a content marketing plan are finding the right budget allocation and consistently creating unique content Many companies choose to outsource content generation while others are able to manage the process in house Either

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1290-content-is-king (2016-04-27)
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  • Earning Their Loyalty - Food and Drink International
    we used when we created them Although he was referring to lofty topics like energy and matter it s great advice for business too By focusing on price alone retailers have conditioned shoppers to listen only for price messages and make most or all of their decisions based on that criterion Change the Topic It s also been said that if you don t like what customers say about you then change the conversation It takes time but perceptions can be changed if the message is relevant and feels genuine Changing the conversation in this case means talking about the entire value proposition instead of just price It means integrating online and offline strategies so they drive the same outcomes and are complementary instead of at odds More than a few retailers are still running their mobile marketing programs through the IT group while everything else is done in the marketing department How do we start changing the conversation by taking the focus off price and promoting the overall value proposition instead Three foundational steps are necessary to get things moving Begin with an end in mind The end in this case is to determine how you want your customers to think about you and your brand If you can t be about price and just to belabor the point you can t then what will you stand for There are myriad options from service to selection to expertise so pick one and make sure you can deliver on it Keep the shopper at the center It s always good to regularly review what s being done and how it benefits the shopper The larger the organization the greater the likelihood that practices have developed to support internal needs sometimes at the shopper s expense Integrate the channels Online and offline should appear seamless to your customers Pricing for sure but everything else as well The product images used online and in print need to be the same That last point can be tricky Integrating customer touchpoints sounds great but the practical application can be daunting to say the least Marketing Evolved Did You Most of the marketing vehicles retailers use today have evolved over time Printed circulars still tend to carry the majority of the message Targeted loyalty mailers have become more frequent as supermarkets have learned to use the data they collect Websites and even social media have come along and added to the spectrum offering numerous ways to connect to and even converse with shoppers Mobile has complicated things further and too often become an add on when it should be the centerpiece of programs The difficulty for traditional retailers has been in how to staff these new functions oftentimes they were shoe horned into existing departments without much long term planning Loyalty was generally run out of marketing but the analytical skillsets weren t available internally Websites and mobile ended up in IT as did most e commerce efforts Many of these outliers have moved into

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1289-earning-their-loyalty (2016-04-27)
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  • Are you using Groupon, or vice versa - Food and Drink International
    save some bucks That s not the best setting for a romantic night out with the wife I know you don t really feel like Italian but I can t take advantage of this money savings if we don t go now dear Here I printed out the Groupon pulls crinkly coupon from his pocket winces as she silently turns and walks glumly to the car Maybe that s just me But I bet it s not I bet it s lots of couples On the night of expiration the restaurant would overflow with these grumpy couples trying to keep from losing the deal Eventually the shine wore off And the deals kept coming except they were for pool supplies I own no pool and 64 percent Off Cup Holder Speaker Cigar Samplers Blood Pressure Monitor More That s an actual cut and paste from a Groupon email in my inbox They may fix those problems or they may not LivingSocial might beat them or follow them down the drain It s all unguessable right now although the stock market is betting against Groupon these days Still for some people it could be right Here are five pieces of advice if you re considering dialing that rep Do it once Then wait The ROI is tough enough don t toughen it further by doing it twice It s like rabbit hunger that classic situation where it takes more calories to hunt dress and cook the rabbit than you get from the meal Don t keep doing it if you re not building significant traffic or you ll just dig an ROI hole Or hand no obligation discounts to people who were already showing up What s the best experience Ideally you ll give people what in my Psych 101 class they called a schema a basic framework of expectations you keep in your brain Train people to love having a schema of you Get the staff to recommend the good stuff when they show up and pay extra attention to them You really need them to come back Make sure you re staffed What a common experience it was for customers to stampede into an understaffed restaurant the night before the coupon did the Cinderella bit If there aren t enough people in your kitchen or out there making a great experience on Expiration Night you ve basically created a case study for The Problem With Groupon Put pressure on your rep I think you have the upper hand Groupon needs restaurants they re the best thing it does Even a guy in 2010 doing research thought so My friend forwarded me this study which is now kind of old At the time the researcher said 66 percent of Groupon participants saw a profit and indicated that restaurants seemed especially well suited to use Groupon But then the researcher ended up concluding There is evidence from this study that raises some concerns about the sustainability of social promotions as they

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1288-are-you-using-groupon-or-vice-versa (2016-04-27)
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  • Real-World Strategies - Food and Drink International
    companies to prospective strategic and financial buyers Attorney Joel Weinstein partner with Greenberg Glusker recommends using this time to identify the seller s weaknesses whether they are profit margins customer concentration or market trends and prepare in advance to discuss them with potential buyers While this may be an uncomfortable conversation with a buyer the seller can better address weaknesses before the buyer raises them as a result of due diligence so the parties can focus on the value as a seller Weinstein says 2 Keeping inadequate records Buyers seek an ideal situation of two years of audited financial statements from the target company The No 1 holdup in 80 percent of my deals is lack of audited financials says Roger O Brien managing partner with Finite Horizons LLC Unaudited books can raise buyer doubts about the legitimacy of the numbers delay transactions reduce value and even prohibit financing O Brien advises potential sellers to perform audits and clear the books of personal expenses to ensure a smooth transaction 3 Not investigating tax implications early on This is the end of the golden era of taxes for private sellers In addition to possible increased capital gains tax rates buyers can be surprised by hidden taxes that can impact the transaction by as much as 50 percent in fees and penalties Further international deals and differing corporate entities can impact and limit the transaction structure O Brien recommends that clients hold an S corporation status to avoid double taxation and facilitate a beneficial stock sale versus a less desirable asset sale You can t switch to an S corp today and sell tomorrow O Brien warns Some transfers may take as long as 10 years 4 Penny wise and pound foolish Reducing income may seem like a good idea to reduce taxes in the short term But reduced income can be a deterrent for buyers who are looking for steady income growth over the long term Buyers look for healthy companies with a diversified customer base and strong income In fact the acquisition of a competitor can be an excellent offensive and defensive strategy for the buyer Through an acquisition of a competitor for a leading seafood manufacturer O Brien says the company was able to take a competitor off the streets while taking on some excellent management people 5 Seller s disconnect Owners often have a disconnect between the actual value of their company and the cash that they will receive at the end of the deal Without careful projections early on sellers may have unrealistic expectations about immediate income and possible deferred compensation in the form of earn out agreements Sellers think they know how much they are going to net until they speak with a professional O Brien warns 6 Struggling infrastructure Buyers are looking for companies that are already successful Nick Sternberg partner with Creo Capital Partners advises that a well run well managed well organized business by definition attracts more interest and better multiples If a

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1287-real-world-strategies (2016-04-27)
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  • Moving Forward with Food - Food and Drink International
    FDA s preexisting commodity specific guidance as well as science based industry practices and standards Comments on the rules are due May 16 FDA also will hold a number of public hearings to explain the rules and provide another opportunity for input from industry and stakeholders FDA s current prediction is that the notice and comment period public meetings and subsequent FDA deliberation and decision making will take at least a year Industry can most likely expect to see final rules published sometime in 2014 with an effective date 60 days after that Most companies will have one year to comply Small businesses employing fewer than 500 persons will have two years to comply and very small businesses their size is still to be defined will have three years to comply with modified requirements There are three additional regulations that FDA has already drafted that are expected to be released in the near future preventive control regulations for feed and pet food facilities Foreign Supplier Verification Program FSVP regulations and accredited third party certification regulations for imported foods and ingredients Food Legislation In November California voters rejected Proposition 37 which would have required labeling for some genetically engineered GE foods Generally upscale urban and coastal regions were in favor of the amendment while inland areas mostly rejected it If California had passed Prop 37 it would have been the first state to pass GMO labeling legislation Countries in the European Union as well as Japan Australia New Zealand Russia India China Saudi Arabia and South Korea are just a few of the nations that already require genetically engineered foods to be labeled The debate in the United States is not over On Jan 3 Washington state GE food labeling advocates sent a petition to the secretary of state in hopes of passage by the state legislature or approval by voters next November The petition contained 350 000 signatures and only 241 153 validated signatures are required to qualify for the November 2013 ballot The nearly 2 500 word People s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Foods Act I 522 is similar to California s proposition Beginning in 2015 any food offered for retail sale in Washington would be misbranded if it is or may have been entirely or partly produced with genetic engineering and that fact is not disclosed Several of the proposed exemptions include processed foods produced with the aid of GE processing aids or with no more than 0 9 percent GE ingredients Unlike Proposition 37 the Washington initiative doesn t prohibit the term natural on labels of products with GE ingredients Additionally New Mexico Senate Bill 18 was pre filed after California voters defeated Proposition 37 This bill defines genetically modified material as a substance that has been produced enhanced or otherwise modified through the use of recombinant deoxyribonucleic aid technology genetic engineering or bioengineering The bill would require any product containing more than 1 percent of a genetically modified material to have the ingredient disclosed on

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1286-moving-forward-with-food (2016-04-27)
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  • The Time is Now - Food and Drink International
    provide health insurance or face a penalty starting at 2 000 per employee after the first 30 workers If the business offers just a minimum level of health insurance or coverage is deemed unaffordable it must pay 3 000 for every worker who receives a federal tax subsidy to help him or her pay for mandated coverage The FTE calculation is based on the number of people employed by the organization and an average of hours employees work in a week Your 2014 full time workers calculation will be based on 2013 averages The look back period is considered one year but final guidance from the federal government and the IRS is forthcoming including on how to consider employees hired in 2013 Seasonal employees employed 120 days or fewer are excluded from the 50 FTE calculation However in 2014 large employers must offer health insurance to seasonal employees if they work full time in a given month 30 or more hours a week Franchise operators should check with their corporate offices as soon as possible regarding staffing issues and compliance requirements to plan accordingly this year Concerned with higher healthcare costs restaurant and tavern owners are considering reducing workers hours shifting some full time staff to part time status With that model comes added risk of higher turnover additional training costs and lower morale as well as the potential impact on service and customer experience The restaurant industry relies heavily on part time workers for flexibility and payroll savings Many will continue to limit part time workers hours adding additional part time employees as needed Restaurant operators who are near the 50 FTE threshold may delay growth plans Some thinking solely of cost effectiveness are weighing providing coverage versus paying fines A final consideration The fine isn t tax deductible but healthcare coverage is Small Employer or Large More than seven of 10 eating and drinking establishments are single unit operations and 93 percent have fewer than 50 employees Thus it would seem these organizations are exempt from the healthcare law However if two or more establishments have a common owner they might fall under the common control clause in the tax code For ACA considerations all employees may be combined as a group to determine whether or not the employer meets the 50 FTE threshold Small Business Tax Credits Beginning this year and retroactive to Jan 1 2010 small establishments might be eligible to receive a healthcare tax credit for providing coverage to their employees The new small business healthcare tax credit is worth up to 35 percent of healthcare premiums the business pays increasing to 50 percent in 2014 Eligibility requires that the business has fewer than 25 FTEs whose average annual wages are below 50 000 and that the employer pays at least 50 percent of the cost of healthcare coverage for its workers FICA Tax increase Beginning in 2013 employers are responsible for withholding an additional 0 9 percent on wages above 200 000 to cover

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1285-the-time-is-now (2016-04-27)
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  • Think Like a Shopper - Food and Drink International
    same gender as the target Hiring a woman to lead marketing because she s a woman is no more effective than hiring a teenager to run a social media campaign just because he has 1 000 Facebook friends In his book On Writing author Stephen King makes the statement that if you want to write you must read Reading is the best way to learn to write and shopping is a great way to get deeper into the heads of shoppers There s no substitute for spending time in a store or lots of stores to see how shoppers interact with the merchandising and the overall environment Next we need to better understand the shoppers motivations Traditionally this means analyzing trip behaviors or what brought them to the store to begin with Tonight s dinner weekly stock up or an event can all generate a trip to the store Each of these motivators drives a different agenda in terms of time allowed and how the shopper views the trip The challenge is to meet the needs of literally thousands of shoppers with a single layout Because one size fits all very rarely does and because there s no viable option for customizing the store to meet the needs of each individual shopper choices must be made in terms of layout merchandising and product selection This is where being able to think like a shopper becomes really important and the rubber meets the road in terms of store shopability There s an old story about how late 19th century railroad barons made the fatal mistake of operating as if they were in the railroad business as opposed to the transportation business Other examples of this type of narrow thinking are legion in the business world and retail food is no exception More than a few decision makers in the supermarket industry still believe that their target customer is everyone because we all have to eat and that they are in the supermarket business Some will tell you they are in the people business whatever that means and they just happen to sell food Neither is accurate The store expansions that took place in the latter part of the 20th century in an attempt to make stores one stop destinations for everything from bill paying to dry cleaning rarely worked out and in the process retailers forgot what they were there for Food expertise was discounted in the movement to reduce labor costs ads were sold and placed on every available space including checkstand belts and parking lot curbs in the effort to drive additional revenue Unfortunately these changes were not instituted while thinking like a shopper Most shoppers stayed away from the added services and the distraction they caused for store employees when cleaning was lost or a bill payment wrongly credited put the primary business on the back burner Also big stores were harder to shop Know Your Business Recent years have brought a refocus on the shopper with smaller

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1284-think-like-a-shopper (2016-04-27)
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  • QR Codes - Food and Drink International
    for a reader app scanning and hoping it all happens really quickly without a bobble without really knowing what I ll get as a result I choose to walk on With that in mind here are some great food related QR code exercises Random House Connection While mom and dad relax drink relax further at places like T G I Friday s the smartphone is often a pacifying toy Here yes you can play Angry Birds Ah now that the kid has control of the phone the children s menu is perfect for the restless youth to scan a Random House Wild About Books link for an interactive website OK that s useful Nice move Random House T G I Friday s et al Guinness Surprise Because other beers are generally amber and a good Guinness is nice and black Guinness sent pubs a set of pint glasses with special QR codes that show up only when the black liquid is poured against the white graphics on the glass That s the cool part Of course at that point we see the Guinness team in the old struggle of not knowing exactly why you scanned it except that you d been drinking Guinness Hey tweet it Check in on Foursquare You can uh update Facebook and hey how about downloading coupons or wait I know Invite your friends Maybe there s um promotions Oh well At least the cleverness of the black liquid backdrop surely pleased those Japanese inventors The Lunchtime Solar Exclusive A Korean chain that sells a fair amount of food at lunchtime created a stunt 3 D QR code that could only be scanned when the sun was at a certain declination Lunchtime coupons ap peared and online ordering was enabled but only during the noon hour Crowds gathered Case studies were filmed and posted on YouTube Across the pond in Japan the QR scanning inventors almost surely smiled Taco Bell s Upscale Moment To counteract the wonderful powerful brand inertia created by the lovably downward dreaming development of Locos Tacos the Bell went way upscale by hiring celeb chef Lorena Garcia to class up the menu dubbing the effort Cantina Bell and hoping we d forget about the muffler less car in the drive thru ordering a taco 12 pack Online a we sure hope they go viral pair of videos show the assembling of two QR codes one made of lemons one made of avocados Those final codes were then featured in print ads Sitting at your computer or in the doctor s office you could hold up the smartest phone you had available at the time and scan the codes to be rewarded with Ms Garcia s actual recipes for citrus herb marinade or guacamole and a bunch of other menu information Sure Information C mon Give me more information Actually no on second thought all I want is the recipes Still that s pretty cool Nutritional Information Before everyone from Panera to McDonald

    Original URL path: http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/sections/columns/1283-qr-codes (2016-04-27)
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