One of the key principles of effective Foodservice Full Plate™ Category Management requires objective performance metrics made available to both manufacturers and distributors. This enables a mutual understanding of the marketplace within categories and the creation of insights necessary for manufacturers to bring best practices and marketable products to the supply chain.
Insights-Driven Decision Making is paramount to overcoming a key challenge foodservice manufacturers face when they do not know how markets are trending, where their products are being used, and how their competitors are reacting. It's also a key area of focus for a revolutionary new product offered by The NPD Group called SupplyTrack.
SupplyTrack is an online resource updated monthly that enables manufacturers and distributors to better understand market dynamics, anticipate trends and identify opportunities. It also provides the industry's Category Management initiative with key benchmarks needed to generate marketable product insights. The end result is customized item-level sales information on products sold for use by restaurants and other foodservice establishments, made available to participating manufacturers and distributors.
The initial launch of SupplyTrack was completed in June of 2013 and included three years of trend analysis covering five categories. SupplyTrack now has nearly 60% of all foodservice categories coded, resulting in a total of 65 categories available to the industry. Seventy-five percent of foodservice products sold through ID Top Broadline Distributors are now covered by SupplyTrack.
"Just like their retail counterparts, foodservice manufacturers now have heightened abilities to develop pinpoint insights needed for the creation of highly-marketable and flexible product lines sold to operators," said Annie Roberts, vice president of The NPD Group's SupplyTrack. "This is what SupplyTrack provides, which becomes exceptionally powerful when applied to Category Management best practices."
SupplyTrack and The Full Plate™ Process
The NPD Group is an original founding member of the Foodservice Category Management Innovation & Activation Board, which now includes 19 manufacturers, six distributors, three brokers. In addition to The NPD Group, some of the members on this board include: The Partnering Group (TPG), IFMA, the NRA, IFDA, FSMA, and Datassential. Led by TPG and IFMA, this diverse group created The Full Plate™ Category Management Process, establishing a series of best practices process for the foodservice industry.
"The power of Full Plate™ is manufacturers providing more insightful products that drive consumers to choose foodservice, as well as enabling operators to gain a greater share of the consumer's dollar spent in our industry," said Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. "SupplyTrack is a dynamic resource that enables manufacturers to get critical product and market data needed for successful Full-Plate Category Management implementation."