IFMA Begins Phase 2 of the Center of Innovation Excellence

Posted by IFMA

Tagged in Center of Innovation Excellence

PRESS RELEASE:CHICAGO, Ill. (June 7, 2011) - The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is proud to announce the launch of the Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE) formed to develop and bring best practices and proven methodologies to foodservice that will improve the  effectiveness of innovation to ensure success. The CIE's first area of innovation focus will be "products to launch."

"Pioneering the creation of the Center of Innovation Excellence is an exciting step forward by IFMA members to help address this important challenge faced by many businesses in the foodservice industry," said Larry Oberkfell, President and CEO of IFMA.

The foodservice industry has an appetite for innovation. The CIE began working with a core group of forward-thinking members who support the efforts, the "Founding Members," which include Proctor & Gamble Professional®, Land O'Lakes®, the Schwan Food Company, Rich's®, Otis Spunkmeyer, Kellogg's® Food Away From Home, International Paper, Basic American Foods, Insight Beverages® and Sargento®. Chain operators who also  contributed in the first phase of work include Buffalo Wild Wings® Bar & Grill, Brinker International Restaurants, Culver's® Franchising System, Del Taco LLC, Perkin's® Restaurant & Bakery, Marie Callender's Inc. and Red Lobster®.

Red Lobster Chef and Senior Director Michael LaDuke commented on the initiative, "Significant opportunity exists to improve the processes of manufacturers and operators and, most importantly, the combined collaborative imperative. I applaud IFMA for championing the Center of Innovation Excellence

IFMA partnered with Stage-Gate International, a full-service provider that helps companies achieve growth through successful innovation, to create the Center of Innovation Excellence.

Scott J. Edgett, CEO of Stage-Gate International noted, "The time is right to develop an industry-specific solution that serves the needs of foodservice manufacturers, suppliers and operators. We think this can be a game-changer for the industry."

While the CIE is a process in development, foodservice manufacturers and trading partners can purchase the first phase of the initiative, a white paper titled "Product Innovation - A Common Framework for Foodservice," as well as become involved in "Phase 2" of the research. For more information, please visit

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
Established in 1952 and incorporated in 1954, IFMA is a leading trade association comprising more than 300 of the world's most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $588 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, foodservice trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA's mission ("Your Business Partner") is to be the premier foodservice trade association bringing members relevant and actionable services fundamental for their business assessment, planning and execution. For more information visit:

About IFMA Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE)
The Center of Innovation Excellence will provide IFMA members, their customers and trading partners with a deeper  understanding of the drivers of new product success that are unique to foodservice as well as a variety of resources to help improve their capabilities. 

International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
Devon Gerchar, Director, Member Value 
P: (312) 540-4403 

Foodmix Marketing Communications
Jennifer Ferm, Public Relations Manager 
P: (630) 366-7534

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