From the Top of the Tree: A Letter from the Publisher

As this issue drops in on your store and/or home, the holidays will have just wrapped up. Many of you will be pondering when to remove that Christmas tree, how to dispose of all the extra leftovers and maybe even contemplating if you should buy that after the holidays LCDTV

on clearance. As these decisions close out 2013, the thrill of a New Year, new challenges and opportunities will be upon us.

Time sure flies when you are having fun and we hope to continue the momentum in 2014. As we look ahead, I find it almost impossible to ignore some of the dynamic shifts that are happening in the food industry.

  • Competition between markets is heating up: everyone is competing for a piece of the daypart pie. Hotel foodservice with coffee shops, fast casuals with full service restaurants, convenience stores with QSRs.The lines are blurring and businesses are challenged with standing out.
  • The world has gone gourmet. Consumers demand a high-quality product and won’t settle for anything less. Access to information has opened consumers’ eyes making them aware of new tastes and experiences, and this education has raised the bar for food establishments.
  • Creativity is key.With the economy slowly recharging the challenge has shifted from establishing good, signature offerings to creating a demand for novelty, limited time dishes that are unique and inspiring.
  • Customization. If you don’t have something for everyone, then you aren’t competing. Dietary restrictions and the opportunity to build your own creation are leading the charge for a customized experience for all consumers.
  • Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook – honestly I know nothing about any of these, but our Marketing Team tells me I should. Seems the world has gone social and I am wondering how much longer
    I can stay away.

These huge industry shifts will prove a challenge for all of us.The best way to accept the challenge is to come together ; supplier and customer. As the customer, we need you to be open and honest about your needs, and even your wants, so we can meet and surpass your expectations. As a supplier, we will listen and proactively come up with product solutions and creative ideas to help you thrive.Together, we will navigate some of these unchartered waters, and together, we will succeed.