Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 46

s

SERVICES &
SUPPLIERS

Orion Food Systems

>> Orion's Hot Stuff Pizza concept is celebrating its 30th
anniversary this year. The company wants to add franchise
locations and private-label sales.

says, noting the Navy must follow special requirements. "Their food offerings have to be under a certain amount
of calories and salts."

Tasty Trends
Orion stays in tune with trends, including flavor profiles. Recently, "We developed a series of products with chipotle flavor," Watkins says. "We also
launched Sriracha bites that have done
really well for us."
These initiatives drove the company to look into Thai spices, and it has
co-branded a beer cheese sauce with
Johnsonville Sausage LLC that is used
on a beer cheese and bratwurst pizza. "It
makes an incredible pizza just in time for
football season and tailgating," he says.

Game Changers
Orion recently won Convenience
Store People's (CSP) Best New Product award for its Intelligent Grab N'
Go (iGnG) technology, which consists
of wi-fi enabled traffic counters and

46

handheld scanners. "This gives you a
window into several key metrics that
most people don't fully realize," Watkins says.
"The first metric is traffic," he explains, noting that this allows convenience store operators to look at the
habits of people walking in their stores
daily, rather than just a simple traffic
count. "You will see peak times, and
then you'll see valleys."
The hand-held scanners, he notes,
monitor food going in and out of the
store's warmers. All the information is
ultimately fed to Orion's database in
Sioux Falls, allowing the company to
generate reports that allows stores to
look at predictable traffic patterns.
"It also gives you a window into how
much product you had in the warmer,
and what the potential lost sales were,"
he says. "You can educate yourselves
better on opportunities for sales and
manage waste better."
But iGnG's applications may go beyond convenience stores.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

"We think this is game changing for
anywhere there's traffic and impulse
buying," he says, noting that the system can be used at amusement parks
or sports arenas. "We can look at traffic
patterns that tend to be repeatable and
help the operator."
In addition to its award, Orion has
seen rapid growth in iGnG's use.
"We have just over 300 locations that
have it up and operating right now,"
Watkins reports, noting that the company installs approximately 20 a month
for its clients.
Orion is excited for the future, Watkins
says. "We actually have a vision of 2020
that we recently launched," he says. "We
would like to go from 1,000 franchise locations to 2,000, and we've got $12 million in private label [sales] that we would
want to grow to $50 million.
"Good things are going on in private
label development," he says, adding
that Orion is open to acquisitions. "I've
got a couple of companies that I would
want to buy, too."


http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover1
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Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover3
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