Food Business News - March 24, 2015 - (Page 9)

Editorial EDITORIAL STAFF Editor-in-chief Morton I. Sosland Executive editor, markets Neil N. Sosland Editor L. Joshua Sosland Executive editor Keith Nunes Senior editor, markets Jay S. Sjerven Managing editor Eric J. Schroeder Senior editor, markets Ron Sterk Associate editor Jeff Gelski Assistant editor, markets Laura Lloyd Internet editors Rebekah Schouten Monica Watrous Contributing editor Donna Berry Graphic designer, market graphics, data Christina Sullivan PUBLISHING STAFF Chairman Charles S. Sosland Vice-chairman L. Joshua Sosland President and publisher Mark Sabo Associate publisher G. Michael Gude David DePaul Bruce Webster North American sales Matt O'Shea Vice-president, chief financial officer Melanie Hepperly Audience development director Don Keating Advertising manager Nora Wages Director of design services Sadowna Conarroe Circulation manager Whitney Forrester Digital systems analyst Marj Potts Manager of advertising design Becky White Director of e-Business Jon Hall Director of on-line advertising and promotions Carrie Fluegge Promotions manager Lon Davis WE'RE EAGER TO RECEIVE YOUR FEEDBACK: E-mail or write to us at Food Business News, 4801 Main Street, Suite 650, Kansas City, Mo, 64112 March 24, 2015 MORTON SOSLAND Flexibility is needed to meet new opportunities xcept for the surge of business expe- and beverage for GE Capital, looked recently rienced by a few of the quick-service at the way both consumers and retailers are restaurant chains and a small number inclined to shift their focus from the interior of branded food products enjoying unique to the perimeter of retail food stores. "There success, it may be concluded that the food is no doubt the consumer is moving to outindustry is benefiting little, if at all, from the side the center of the store," he said recently, money that has fallen into consumers' pock- adding that several major grocers have begun ets as a result of the drop in fuel and energy reducing center-store shelf space. In regard prices. Sure, the weather extremes that ruled to spending of increased cash income due to in the early months of this year soured buoy- lower gasoline prices, he ventures the view ant retail expectations, not just in food, but in everything from automobiles to home furnishOne senses from statements made as 2015 begins that ings. Commerce Department estimates of consumer purfew food industry executives are enthusiastic about chases at the year's start have been slightly negative instead prospects throughout the year. of the upward moves expected. Yes, the record-breaking winter storms that struck the Northeast interfered with business, but it's still disappointing not to be enjoying that this will mainly be felt in the food induswhat was expected to be the likely beginning try through the willingness of shoppers to purchase more premium-priced products. He also of an excellent year. For those analysts who were optimistic expresses the likelihood that away-from-home about what extra income from much lower spending will benefit more from the income gasoline prices would mean to an industry gains than foods bought for eating at home. Besides the trends that may be attributed like food, the hope still rules that the poor start is simply a glitch that will be erased by to forces well beyond the control of the food subsequent events. For those who worry that industry, Mr. Nay says that success in food this beginning heralds the probability that manufacturing requires flexibility. Warning consumers have put their additional income about businesses following 20-year-old operto savings and paying down debt, their focus ating patterns, he identifies the segment of inis the way consumers are influenced by con- termediate size that he believes has the vigor servative spending that has cut the pace of to change to meet the needs of a radically diffood purchases for years. The fact that gov- ferent retail marketplace. He cites "the wind ernmental statistics show a decline in sales in at the consumers' backs" that is lessening the nine of twelve categories for which statistics pull of value, which is still being well met by are compiled supports those contending that Wal-Mart Stores. But this is a development the so-called "big weather effect" could not that makes it essential to have products that respond to a new willingness to spend money. be so great as to disappoint in this manner. While first-quarter financial reports will not Millennials are a hugely important part of this be issued by food companies for some weeks different demand focus in the same way that yet, one senses from statements made as 2015 non-store retailers may no longer be neglectbegins that few food industry executives are ed as an internet-related fad. Hardly anything is more apparent amid all enthusiastic about prospects. Exceptions are those tied directly to the quick-service restau- of these changes than the way food retailers rants, an area where Chipotle is the single chain as well as the away-from-home industry are most often cited favorably. Health-related prod- looking for product and marketing innovaucts, organics and new or modified foods that tions. New partnerships with food manufacwin the favor of specific groups of consumers turers are emerging as an important result that itself requires new flexibility at every appear so far to be winning the day. Chris Nay, senior managing director of food business level. FBN E FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - March 24, 2015

Food Business News - March 24, 2015
Inside General Mills’ new approach to innovation
Nestle pursuing nutrition-based treatment for autism
Dairy Business News - Inclusion innovation: More than a chip or a chunk
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Flexibility is needed to meet new opportunities
Kind raising the bar with innovation
McDonald’s to unlock power of local regions
Lancaster Colony acquires flatbread maker
SodaStream going after Keurig
Six forces shaping natural, organic product development
Stevia slow to penetrate confectionery market
C-Suite insight: C.P.G. at a crossroads
Kroger’s Simple Truth sales hit $1.2 billion for year
Private equity firm buys American Beverage Co.
Washington - Dietary Guidelines coming into focus
Market Insight - A `normal’ year for U.S. crops?
Health and Wellness - Shining a health halo over protein
Meat industry criticizes D.G.A.C. recommendation
Ingredient Innovations - Number of proposed pho alternatives widens
Still no timetable for final GRAS rule
Company Profile - Mondelez gaining momentum
New Food Products
Natural Products Expo West/Engredea
Ingredient Market Trends - Millers forecast soft red winter wheat crop at 381 million bus
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - March 24, 2015