Blueberry Business Group Series: Industry Awakenings

Posted by Debra Bachar, President of Blueberry Business Group June 18, 2014

Tagged in Industry Research Manufacturer Members

There are new awakenings in the foodservice industry. The practice of monitoring returns on invested capital is alive and well inside manufacturer organizations, but attention is turning towards where, when and how money is flowing into and across the market.

As most manufacturers confirm, revenue gains continue to be outpaced by accumulating costs. If you're getting less mileage from your commercial resources, you're not alone. The many tensions from a closed supply system have erupted and produced what is now an open supply system, with dynamic new channels competing for operators who have proven to be very willing to experiment with new sources of value.

In this fragmented environment, broadliners are on alert. The scale of consolidation will continue because not only do their operating models and financial results require it, but the value derived from long distance service and DSR overhead has eroded with the emergence of e-commerce and Cash & Carry, and new gateways such as GPOs and a scaled broker network.

Most manufacturers missed the early signs of this eruption as natural outcomes of a low growth, low innovation and margin-stressed industry. Even now when implications are overtaking them, their go-to-market strategies haven't changed. For some reason, they continue inserting more marketing dollars of no value-add to operators into the supply system. The transactional practice of trying to engage operators using trade spend and price games was common (though not without pain) in a closed supply system.

But as we said, it's now open. Wide open. Each new route to the operator runs on a different set of rules. If manufacturers don't know what these rules are, and are not clear on their purpose, value, cost and return to their business, they are on dangerous dangerous as continuing to insert non-value-add elements to a supply system that at its core seeks to eliminate non-value-add elements in service to the operator.

And here is where we arrive at new awakenings:

  1. The need for suppliers to understand and manage the money flow and resource application in and across what is now an open supply system,
  2. Making strategy happen with business sophistication proportionate to the complexity and definitions of value this system represents. 

As our series continues, we will explore these topics and where they lead: clear-eyed, transformative growth and resource allocation strategies that deliver value back to your organization and the customers you live to serve. 

Blueberry Business Group

Founded in 2000, Blueberry partners and associates combine over 40 years experience working with chief executives and firms in all major food industry-related classes of trade.

We transfer new knowledge, new thinking and transformative business practices to food industry organizations providing objective advice to enable market share growth and thrive in today's environment. Our work is carried out principally through our clients' Chief Executive Officer.

As experts in all end-to-end aspects of the food industry, we see what others miss to improve our clients' financial results and gain long lasting competitive advantage. 

About the Author

Debra Bachar's corporate career history includes working with domestic and global food manufacturers in progressive executive capacities.  Consulting since 2000, she has earned the reputation as a successful transformation specialist, developing breakthrough growth and profit enhancement strategies for both Retail and Foodservice firms, in addition to public speaking, producing a series of white papers and conducting training seminars on behalf of industry associations and clients.

Debra is a member of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and Women's Foodservice Forum, having served as Vice Chair of Executive Programs and Chair of Top to Top. 

Contact:  Debra Bachar

Login To Gain Access To This Content
Nov 06

Presidents Conference

The IFMA Presidents Conference is the place “Where Leaders Meet.” The 54th annual premier top-to-top forum, co-hosted by the NRA and IFDA, brings together influential leaders of foodservice from the operator, manufacturer and distributor communities.

Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum: Expert Lineup Announced

Expert lineup announced. If you are a marketing and sales professional interested in new collaboration methods, fresh data and insights and best practices, bring your team to the Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum!

Best Practices Sales & Marketing Organizations Should Adopt

What best practices should sales & marketing organizations adopt, where do you find them and how do you execute? At the 2014 Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum, sales and marketing professionals from top foodservice organiztions will convene to discover, discuss, and learn how to implement these best practices. 

Foodservice Fundamentals – Capturing the Consumer’s Food Dollar – Not Just for Newbies!

IFMA's Foodservice Fundamentals® provides those new to foodservice, as well as foodservice veterans, operator-focused, consumer-centric insights.


Reading Consumers’ Minds – How Occasions Drive Foodservice Demand

At the 2013 Marketing & Sales Leaders ForumDatassential's Jack Li presented all new information on why consumer occasions are such an important piece of the puzzle when manufacturers execute with their operator customers.

Breakfast Isn't Just for Breakfast Anymore

Consumers are blurring mealpart lines and traditional meal items. According to IFMA's latest Consumer Planning Program (CPP) research, 56% of consumers have eaten a breakfast item for lunch or dinner at home, and more than a third (36%) have done this away from home. 

Updated 2016/2017 Foodservice Landscape & Insights Library Now Available

Updated annually and unveiled at the Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum, the IFMA Foodservice Landscape and Insights Library are comprehensive resources to aid in your planning that are prepared through a collaborative and transparent effort by Datassential and The NPD Group. These updated resources are now available for IFMA members. 

Download the White Paper: Meeting the Demands in Today's Supply Chain

IFMA began its 2016 Strategic Issues Series (SIS) with its session titled “Meeting the Demands in Today’s Supply Chain.” The session, held in April in Chicago, focused on how third-party supply chain options are becoming more prevalent in today’s foodservice landscape. Maryanne Rose, founder and CEO of SpenDifference, presented “Outsourcing the Supply Chain in the Foodservice Industry,” setting the foundation with key insights outlining the rise of third-party supply chain options. Additionally, Sherri Hager, VP of Client Solutions at SpenDifference, modera

Serving Independent Restaurants Puts Manufacturers at the Heart of the Foodservice Industry

Independent restaurants represent one-third of broadline foodservice distribution dollars and their spending has increased year-over-year for the past two years. This growth has transpired despite independents competing against the marketing power of national and regional foodservice chains and losing total visits and unit counts during the recession. The message these trends convey is clear—that if chains are the backbone of the restaurant industry, then independent restaurants are the heart and it pays in the long run for manufacturers to maintain a long-term independent strategy. 

Download the White Paper: Building Alternate Strategies in Distribution

2015-2016 IFMA Foodservice Insights Library