Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Top Ten Food Trends for 2014 - Consumers and retailers

Our Innovation Kitchen model supports something directly connected with every one of the top 10 food trends for 2014.

The Top Ten Food Trends for 2014 is an ongoing survey published by Facts, Figures and the Future.

The complete article is linked below.

I've taken descriptions from each trend to directly highlight something our Innovation Kitchen model supplies to that trend.

Top Ten Food Trends for 2014

1. The Emergence of the “IndieWoman”: ...look for more brands to offer more semi-homemade meals that use fresh, high-quality ingredients.

2. Better for You Snacking: ... healthier on-the-go offerings.

3. Brands Reach Consumers Locally Through Cause Initiatives: ... brands will find greater purpose in serving the larger community.

4. Click to Cook: ...the ability to select a recipe, order ingredients and check-out directly from mobile devices.

5. Supermarkets--The New Culinary Schools: ... “community cooking centers” where shoppers can collaborate and learn from each other.

6. The Retailer Becomes the Brand: ... shop at a particular retailer because it has good store brand products.   ... consumers will see more private label brands creating new unique products.

7. Rise and Shine--The New Way to Start Your Day: ... convenient breakfast options.

8. Packaging Evolves to Share More with Consumers: ... Using a mobile device, shoppers will learn more about an ingredient or health claim by simply focusing the device on the label to tell where the ingredients come from, who prepared the food, the company’s history...

9. Millenials Make the Supermarket Social:  Next up: “click to buy” for consumers looking to purchase ingredients for a recipe on Pinterest and have them delivered to their homes.

10. International Restaurant Flavors At Home: look for all shoppers to be eating more international inspired foods.


We see these trends emerging every week in the work we do.  Farms and buyers are in a great position to supply this significant new demand.

Our Innovation Kitchen network can create high quality regional ingredients that serve every one of these top food trends for 2014.

Top Ten Food Trends for 2014.  Facts, Figures and the Future.  December. 2013

Friday, January 10, 2014

Congratulations new University of Wisconsin System President Dr. Ray Cross.

Congratulations new University of Wisconsin System President Dr. Ray Cross.

Ray was selected by the UW Board of Regents yesterday and will soon take charge of the operation of all 4 year and 2 year campuses as well as the UW Extension and Colleges.

In addition to a distinguished academic career, Ray has been an engineer and small business owner in the past.

Importantly, Ray has direct, hands-on experience in the kind of work we are doing in regional food systems.  I had a good long discussion with Ray about our Innovation Kitchen work when he visited us in Iowa County (photo).   I also had the opportunity to talk about how to deploy our Innovation Kitchen business model with Ray later on at his UW office.

Ray will have big agenda items to deal with as UW System President, but I'm confident we have a knowledgeable, empathetic leader in place who knows the value of effective regional food systems to our state and our region.

Congratulations Ray!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

"Kale, Kale Everywhere, but Only Cheetos to Eat"

 A new article in the Atlantic discusses how difficult it is for everyone - including farmers living and working in the heart of our growing regions - to make use of farm products directly.

Smart, nimble commercial food processing kitchens can take nutritious, regional foods and make them ready for quick meals for busy people.

End users shouldn't be made to choose between Cheetos and a bushel of dusty kale or unwashed carrots.

Regional commercial kitchens can make these products 'table ready' and put a big dent in this dumb dichotomy.

Innovation Kitchens

 Kale, Kale Everywhere, but Only Cheetos to Eat  The Atlantic, Jan. 8, 2014 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

"Why Immigrants Should Invest In The Coming Midwestern Food Renaissance"

Rich Schell is an Illinois attorney and a very good writer on the subject of food and agriculture businesses.

Rich just posted a new piece to his blog, Schell Acres titled, "Why Immigrants Should Invest In The Coming Midwestern Food Renaissance".

A core of his idea is that there are four vital pieces for any entrepreneurial venture:  Founder/mission, Marketing, Making, and Money

Along with our Innovation Kitchen work, Rich brings in some very well known names in the world of entrepreneurship and enterprise into his piece:  Peter Drucker ("The man who invented management" - Businessweek), Ernesto Sirolli (The Sirolli Institute),  Paul Ray (Cultural Creatives) and Jenny Kassan, (Cutting Edge Capital).

Good company!  What I'm most proud of are the good words Rich shares about our work (emphasis added):

"Marketing:  Niche markets and a lot of them made possible by the fragmentation of the mass market in food and agriculture and the rise of the internet and foodies."

"Making:   Wholistic, Bio Based Organizations that are nimble, quick and niched like Rick Terrien's Innovation Kitchen that allows for the "Democratization of Food"-- small runs of batch products that are still FDA compliant. The internet makes it possible to fragment the mass market into a million pieces, and put the pieces and products together in new and profitable niches that have a margin, and that people buy to be different and not the same as everyone else."

This is exactly the path we're taking with our work at Innovation Kitchens.  We've been able to set up the pathways and maps that allow small farms, food businesses and entrepreneurs to create profitable niche food lines and new brands.  Both farms and consumers benefit and it's making some great jobs for people with disabilities along the way.

Thanks to Rich for the good words!