As the 2014 Chairman of IFMA, I am finding the year has progressed at lightning speed in an industry going through significant change. With the introduction of IFMA's 2020 Strategic Plan, we were ready to take on the industry challenges by focusing on the consumer and bringing growth back to foodservice.
The committees that are working on our key initiatives have made great progress on our Strategic Plan directives: reestablishing growth in foodservice by focusing on the consumer, co-creating value with Operators, and enabling IFMA members to excel in the new competitive environment.
Here are a few of this year's top highlights:
- You directed us to bring a consumer focus to our industry, something that has been in the background but never an industry priority. Whether you are a branded or a private label company, the consumer will be the critical decision maker that we must influence if we are going to reestablish positive growth trends in our industry.
- With so much change taking place in our industry, we cannot continue to do business the way we have in the past. Our committees addressed the necessary changes and began work on developing new insights and best practices. The IFMA Full Plate Category Management process and the new advanced Occasion Based Consumer Research are two examples of ground breaking tools available to members.
- IFMA's Strategic Issues Series has grown into a valuable resource that identifies critical industry topics and then creates a forum for dialogue between members and experts on those topics. As an example, the most recent meeting focused on how to sell Restaurant Depot. Keep in mind, these whitepapers and your attendance at these sessions are all included in your membership.
Your return on investment for being an IFMA Member is growing every day. The total value of your membership in terms of the programs and services we are providing free of charge is approaching $85,000. If you would like a detailed review of what is included with your dues, please contact Tony or Cheron at IFMA.
Of course, this does not include the many other cost-leveraging activities that you can take advantage of by being a Member, such as broad based consumer and industry research projects for pennies on the dollar. IFMA has delivered on the promise we made at the Presidents Conference, to change the way the industry does business. Thank you for supporting and participating in this work.
IFMA will soon be emailing you an invitation to renew your membership for 2015. As a fellow IFMA Member, I encourage you to extend your IFMA membership to continue receiving the vast array of benefits, and, more importantly, to help us get the foodservice industry growing again.
Thank you for your continued support and participation in your industry!
President & CEO, Basic American Foods