Q&A with Mark Emery of Gordon Food Service  2/25/2016

ECRM sat down with Mark Emery, Product Development Chef for North American Brands at Gordon Food Service to discuss how manufacturers, restaurants and distributors can collaborate to develop successful foodservice programs. Read what Chef Mark has to say.

How can a manufacturer best market a new item to a restaurant?
The best way for a manufacturer to market a new item to a restaurant is by partnering with a distributor that services foodservice operators. Manufacturers will have limited success marketing products without a reliable channel for restaurants to purchase. Once distribution has been secured, the marketing strategy should then focus on serving customer needs as well as benefiting the operation.

If items are selling successfully in a restaurant when is it appropriate to move the items into a store setting?
Individual metrics alone will not provide a clear decision point for the commercialization of restaurant/menu items at the retail/store shelf level. This process is more of an art that combines multiple data sources to generate unique assumptions about opportunity and risk. Areas to keep in mind when pursuing product potential products include:

- Current Success
- Performance/acceptance in current form/applications
- Market like items or gaps

- Retail Focus
- Available for purchase in restaurant: easiest path to shelf
- Traditional and/or specialty retailers: complex path to shelf

- Experience Replication
- End-user experience will differ from restaurant/menu when purchased at store
- How closely can product performance/use be duplicated?
- If store experiences are less desirable than restaurant/menu experiences will it negatively affect your core business?

- Capacity Constraints
- Available time/resources for projects?
- Is outside help required?
Knowledge, production, relationships

What role does the operator and distributor play in developing the perfect private label item?
The most important role operators and distributors play in developing private label products is to identify market needs along with the requirements that are necessary to successfully fill those needs. These required needs can be looked at in one of two ways. The first are ‘actual’ needs which have identifiable factors that will improve value like price, size, quality, efficiency, etc. The second being needs that are considered ‘perceived’ which are more solution based like trends, labor, storage, consistency, profitability, sustainability, etc. The requirements that can help to fulfill the needs mentioned above include price, package, form, flavor, storage, support and transportation. Use this information to identify manufacturer production partners who can take a collaborative approach to validating opportunities and go to market strategies.

Where do you see the industry headed within the next 5 years?
- Continued consolidation of manufacturing and distribution
- Expansion of multi-unit operations through existing and new concepts
- Continued margin pressure on regional/independent operators competing against national chains
- Evolving demographics driving menu change
- Millennials
- Authentic Ethnic
- Environmental Responsibility
- Fresh Unprocessed Foods
- Continued growth of meals prepared outside the home.
- Retail/restaurant hybrid concepts offering convenience and experience

ECRM 2016 Foodservice Efficient Program Planning Sessions (EPPS):
Please take a look at the below events that may be of interest to you.

Foodservice: 4/11/2016 - 4/14/2016 at the Sheraton Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Foodservice Supplies, Equipment & Support: 4/14/2016 - 4/15/2016 at the Sheraton Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
On-Premise Adult Beverage: 11/6/2016 - 11/8/2016 at the Westin Cape Coral Resort (Cape Coral, FL)
Foodservice Natural, Organic & Better For You: 11/7/2016 - 11/9/2016 at the Westin Cape Coral Resort (Cape Coral, FL)

For more information about these events please contact Sarah Davidson at 440-542-3033 or SDavidson@ECRM.MarketGate.com

Mark Emery, Product Development Chef - North America Gordon Food Service

Rachel Mayfield

Director of Marketing

Post a Comment