Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/950112

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Page 23 of 91

association news Message from President Phil Kafarakis Foodservice folk are great collaborators, trend leaders, and community boosters. They work directly with consumers in ways that give them immediate insights and connections within their neighborhoods. Most of us probably have a close friend in that segment of the food industry—one that we turn to for the latest news in food innovation. They really have their fingers on the pulse of food consumption trends. For those of us in the specialty food industry, the foodservice sector is an important audience. According to SFA research, nearly half of specialty food manufacturers sold products to foodservice in 2016 (the last year for which we have numbers). And most of them report being active in foodservice for several years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spend over 40 percent of their food dollars to buy food prepared "outside of the home." Eating out or getting carry-out is a part of many of our day-to-day lives. Most of us can easily name our favorite restaurant, be it fine dining or fast casual. And I'm sure I'm not alone in having many "favorites" in many different cities. Over 20 percent of specialty food sales go to foodservice. Although retail channels account for the most specialty food sales—about 78 percent—growth in foodservice sales is making a real impact in our industry. Foodservice purchasing of specialty foods was up about 14 percent between 2014 and 2016. In fact, foodservice is growing at a faster rate than retail for us. It's important that specialty food producers understand the needs of this critical channel. I've always worked in the food industry and, in my first non-profit gig, had the good fortune to spend a few years with the National Restaurant Association. I came to know a lot of foodservice industry leaders while there—and got an inside look at how they run their businesses. They are deeply committed to strengthening their ties with producers, farmers, suppliers, and distributors. At the SFA, we're committed to helping build stronger relationships between specialty food producers and foodservice businesses. We make phenomenal partners when it comes to satisfying consumer interests in innovative new flavors as well as clean, authentic foods. The future we can build together looks remarkably bright. Phil Kafarakis President, Specialty Food Association Follow me @PresidentSFA Message from the President SPRING 2018 21

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