We are enjoying two pies today in honor of National Pie Day - Apple and Peach! :)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
It will be an awesome week at the La Cantera Resort which sits atop atop one of the highest points in all of San Antonio and La Cantera is spanish for ‘quarry’ - I learned today! What a wonderful place to hold a weeks worth of meetings. Looking forward to the work, meals, and plan to hit the town one night during my stay.
Friday, January 14, 2011
While traveling to a food board meeting in North Carolina, I happened upon this merchandising cross-selling promotion for RC Cola and Moon Pies with the tag line “It’s a Southern Thing.” This is a natural pairing and upsells the consumer from a beverage or snack only to both. I pulled it out of the refrigerated case to take this picture.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
New here? Get more useful information by subscribing for free to the RSS feed. Let's dig in.<object width="400" height="300"> <param name="flashvars" value="mailto:offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2F45779743%40N06%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F5317362016%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2F45779743%40N06%2Fwith%2F5317362016%2F&user_id=45779743@N06&jump_to=5317362016%22%3E%3C/param> <param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649"></param> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649" allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2F45779743%40N06%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F5317362016%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2F45779743%40N06%2Fwith%2F5317362016%2F&user_id=45779743@N06&jump_to=5317362016" width="400" height="300"></embed></object>
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I am pleased to see websitegrader.com has given TimForrest.com a score of 91 and places my site in the top 10% of all sites receiving a grade. Surprisingly, Alexa is now reporting that my site is in the top 10% of all visited websites worldwide.
A website grade of 91/100 for timforrest.com means that of the millions of websites that have previously been evaluated, the websitegrader.com algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 91% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data , website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.
© Tim Forrest 2011. All rights reserved
Monday, December 27, 2010
IPC Earns Top Honor Among
More Than 500 Reviewed Websites
EAGLE, ID, December 13, 2010 – America’s number one potato, the Idaho® potato, has earned another number one title: Best Agricultural Cooperative Website. The award was presented by food enterprise expert Tim Forrest, publisher of Good Food Sales blog, who reviewed more than 540 agricultural websites nationwide. The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) website was selected because of the numerous ways it engages and connects consumers who love Idaho® potatoes.
“We’re very proud to receive this recognition because our website is one of our most important communication tools. Every month more than 30,000 people visit idahopotato.com for delicious recipes, nutrition information and to participate in one of our many consumer promotions,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “Thanks to our integrated team who works hard to keep our website current and interesting – this achievement is no small feat!”
Friday, December 24, 2010
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Spent the day with the 4th fastest growing INC. food company in America CEO Zalmi of the The Fresh Diet We had to move one of our meetings due to a television segment on FOX. A very exciting day with much more growth on the way!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Arrived in Atlanta for client 2011 planning meetings and trying to avoid the amazingly cold weather! I am scheduled in Miami and Sarasota prior to Christmas break and looking forward to much warmer temperatures.
What are you doing to prepare for 2011? Are you planning your market actions for a measured and an organized approach for your growth?
Here is a link to my extensive planning document and my 14 minute business plan document if this is your first time to really begin to plan your activities. LINK >> Tim’s Planning Docs© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I saw your on-line discussion on using food brokers to represent food products and had a few questions. By way of background, I am in the very early stages of developing a new type of food product. I made a number of samples and have shown them to a several professional in the food industry. Without exception their response has been positive and encouraging. However, to be thorough I wanted to contact a food brokerage service to gain their impression of the product and confirm or correct my market assumptions. So, if you wouldn't mind I would like to pose several questions on this subject:
First, at what stage is it appropriate to engage in discussions with food brokers?
You would be well advised to fully understand your product and market prior to reaching out to any of the large brokerage houses that service major retailers. If you are given an opportunity or shot at their time, use it to move your product onto the shelf and not formulate a strategy for re-approaching them with a product at a later date. Be shelf ready!
Can you approach brokers too early? Are there some that specialize in early ventures and if so how would you know?
Most do not work with new smaller ventures, but ask them. I have helped many small companies and can offer my services if needed. You can start with one of my intro packages http://goodfoodsales.blogspot.com/2009/01/consulting-answers-now.html
Depending on how involved and planned your opportunity, we can discuss other opportunities. Please sign-up for my posts on feedburner, currently I am finalizing a video on "Categories - adding context to your product offering" and know this will help your effort. http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify or visit my site and sign-up at the bottom of most posts.
Second, are there any advantages to dealing with local versus national?
Yes, you should start local and treat as your test market for many reasons and depending on your allocated budget to this endeavor. If you were well financed, I might suggest you go to a part of the country where your product would find the most likely success. http://goodfoodsales.blogspot.com/2010/04/have-you-mapped-your-companies-market.html
Should I use large versus smaller food brokerage firms?
Everything depends.... generally a larger firm will not work with an un-proven start-up product. But, I have taken non-rev, ideas to big firms and started new business. It really depends on the situation.
Third, I noted one of of the more interesting broker's website that they represent a firm that creates a similar product. To what extent should you try and find brokers who do not have a conflict or is that just standard practice in the industry for large brokers?
You will be hard pressed to find any firms without a conflict of any size do to consolidation. If your product is similar, why do you think you have an opportunity? If you are successful, the other company will have a similar item on the market and how will you effectively hold your market with your consumers?
Thanks and much success!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Recognize and reward your consumers with brand supporting prizes! If a consumer participates in some promotion or event sponsored by your company reward them with a freebie that promotes your brand and unique product offering. Your prize should reflect the value of your companies products.
In order for prizes to work efficiently for your brand, think about how they meet with success in these three RAA areas – Relevancy, Authentic, and Action.
Relevancy – Your prize must relate to your consumer and the connection with your brand. Just giving some meaningless doo-dad that you buy by the gross from China is a waste of your opportunity to connect along with your time and resources. The CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission shared with me that they spend an inordinate amount of time considering how their marketing efforts relate to their consumers usage of potatoes and relative timing.
Authentic – Your prize should accurately portray a reward for participating in the promotion and the benefit that your products supply the consumer. A salad container like the one pictured would not work for most candy companies as a giveaway. LOL
Action – Your consumers must have to do something to get the reward for maximum effectiveness. It can be as little as providing an email address. The action by the consumer invests them into your brand and offers connection.
There are as many prize opportunities and awards as you can dream up. This method of prize selection will provide far more mileage than simply buying some award out of catalog or even worse sending cash to the consumer or offering a cash prize.
The picture is of Salad to go containers that can be branded with your logo and company information. Might be appropriate as a promo freebie for a salad dressing company or gym.© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Are you making your products and new product offerings easy for people to consume without cooking or preparation?
Traveling in Austin, Texas this week and while in a grocery store had a chance to snap this photo of a ‘Bistro’ counter in the location. Patrons were lined-up and ordering lunch and take away food for consumption outside of the store. The retailer sees opportunity in providing ready-to-eat foods and the consumers were lined-up, ordering, and purchasing. Steven Johnson relates “the consumer is turning to the grocery store hot food section (ready to eat) for fresh quality meals. The focus for the consumer in now on freshly prepared ready to eat or ready to heat foods with portability – Grocerants.” Steven also relates this fast growing niche sector is happening across various retail segments including 7-Eleven, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, Sears and Amazon.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Are you investing time and effort into working with other channels? For companies not working with multiple channels, there are significant opportunities within the various store channels, non-traditional retail, direct, and foodservice.
Consumers Shop at Secondary Stores
Nearly one-third of shoppers are comparing prices across stores and 44 percent claim they visit a variety of stores to capitalize on sales and promotions. In fact, some 70 percent of shoppers visit more than one format in the course of a month, with an average of three. The primary store share of a customer’s food budget has decreased as more shoppers list at least one secondary store they visit for groceries, up from 10 percent last year to 12 percent in 2010. Supercenters were identified as the secondary store for 20 percent of shoppers followed by limited assortment stores with 10 percent.
Switching Primary Stores
Consumers have many options when it comes to grocery shopping. Only six percent of shoppers report switching primary stores in the past year. This shows a high degree of loyalty in which more than 90 percent said they would recommend their store to friends and family.
Source: FMI 2010 Grocery Shopping Trends Report
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Openend my November issue of Food Entrepreneur and was tickled to see that my October article contribution had been the most widely read and researched article by any contributor to the magazine for the year! Thanks and it is very much appreciated when you look at the quality of information and articles supplied.© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Decided to review over 500 Agricultural Cooperative Websites and complied a list of my favorites and wanted to share with you the 'best of the best' and my #1 Choice Best Agricultural Cooperative Website in North America. The judging was based on my review of the site and how it connects with consumers. Great job to many of the Agricultural Cooperatives and was interesting, educational, and fun to see how well they are doing online. Standouts of the ‘best of the best’ include Oceanspray, The Idaho Potato Commission, and Oganic Valley. You have to view all 10 sites to find the best in America.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Customer Segmentation for Food Companies can be an excellent path to fast growth and improved sales. You can download the Food Segments discussed in this video at this link. http://bit.ly/9oyb6z The purpose is to systematize your offerings by channel for fast growth and success in each channel and gives you focus when developing programs beyond individual customers in the channel.© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Completed my Thrive! Preferred Principal Workshop last week for a $10 Billion branded food product company and witnessed several ‘aha’ moments during the course of the workshop. You can download the Thrive! Preferred Broker Management Process diagram and components by clicking this link or the Workbook Cover or photos from the Marriott Sawgrass TPC Resort at Ponte Vedra.
This process leads to opportunities and growth for food companies and is based on accepted practices by the largest, most successful, consumer product companies in the world. Your company can benefit from this process regardless of size and growing entrepreneurial CPG’s generally greatly benefit from this insight.
Friday, October 8, 2010
After swimming this morning, I had a chance to catch this sunrise. This has been an incredible week with new projects, a client gaining funding for their 2011 national ad campaign, and several other successes. (some problems too! lol) Today has me packing and preparing for meetings out of state and pre-planning my upcoming activities in the Northeast. Also, looking for best deals on flights to Shanghai after yesterdays invitation later in the year.
Monday, October 4, 2010
A client asked for my help with a press interview this week and we are preparing food samples along with a press packet. Our discussion on what to include in the press packet and the method to use to to provide the information resulted in the following actions. If you make the information along with photographs easy and simple to include in the article you will gain additional coverage and exposure for your products and company. This worked well with another clients recent article published in the Washington Post and then picked-up by other media outlets in the area.
Have a list of talking points that you want to share... (printed out or handwritten on cards)
- The value you bring to market and any consumer success stories.
- Background and History of Company – Organization’s purpose and highlights of your companies main accomplishments.
- Retail Success
Have logos, pictures, and info on the CD in the press packet.
- Company Logo
- Biographies (a.k.a. bios) 1 – 2 paragraphs and no more than a page.
- Visuals and Artwork
- Photos of you smiling!
- Pictures from label, artwork.
- Photos of plant or operation.
- Client logos if appropriate.
- Award certificates or trophies.
- Articles published.
- Recent Press Releases.
Drop all of this information into a Press Packet Folder and have ready for your media meeting. We are using a standard, color folder with two pockets on the inside flaps. At the office supply stores, they call this a pocket portfolio. Your business card can insert inside of the folder and we professionally printed a nice color sticker with our logo on the outside. Good luck and enjoy your time in the spotlight!
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Last night on a conference call with California we were discussing pricing and the relative impact it has on units sold. The fallacy that many food entrepreneurs incorrectly believe is “lowering prices will increase volume” and fix any financial woes that abound. If you are mid-market with leaders in your category and you lower prices, your item will actually suffer a loss in units sold. As you lower beyond a certain point, some customers will drop away for various reasons including the expectation that the product is now inferior due to the lower than market price.
The curve to the right helps illustrate another important point for smaller companies in a competitive market. If the midpoint (B.) is occupied with a much larger and entrenched food company, you have a choice of selling a lower volume in the higher price point area (A.) or the same volume of units at a much lower price point (C.). I encourage you to sell at the higher, more profitable price point (A.) and use the additional gross margins to help you compete with the other food companies. For many it comes at a surprise that the unit movement is the same in sections (A.) and (C.)
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Nancy Ash, owner of Strictly Olive Oil, shares her insight into the new standards about to take effect in the United States for Olive Oil standards. These new standards will more closely align Extra-Virgin Olive Oil sold in the USA with the standards used in Europe. The US standard for Olive Oil has been unchanged since the 40’s.
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Are you preparing to call on and sell independent grocery store operators? Often, they are part of a wholesale cooperative or belong to a group of stores like IGA, Piggly Wiggly, Supervalu, Associated, Western Foods, or Spartan Stores. These independent operators can be vital to the growth and success of your growing food business and supplying them value and solutions will result in greater sales success for your company.
When preparing for these calls and working to offer solutions for Independent growth, answer their basic questions and concerns when possible in your offer. Even if they do not bring them up to you in the meeting go ahead and answer these questions and demonstrate the value you bring to the table. They are looking for solutions and methods to compete and your demonstration of understanding their needs will succeed:
Presentation Prep Questions for Independents:
- How do we increase our profit margin?
- How do we increase customer loyalty?
- Do I have the right pricing and promotional strategy?
- Can we compete with the chains?
- How can we market our store better?
- How can we lower our prices?
- Do I have the right mix of products in my category?
- Are my employees trained correctly?
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Monday, September 13, 2010
Can you imagine paying $6.99 for a gallon of gasoline? I noticed this for sale at an area convenience store for customers. If C-Stores can upsell and promote a higher special benefit commodity like gasoline then it should not be an issue for you to build and market a higher-end, benefit rich product for your customers at a much higher margin and retail than your normal everyday business.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I was blown away by the crowd this fried chicken chain - Bojangles had on my visit last week. The music and 'event' is a draw every Thursday night and the manager shared his inside dining numbers are through the roof on Thursday Nights. If you serve the public, how can music or entertainment in unlikely places serve your business growth goals? Recorded, Live, Radio, Ipod, or Muzak – music drives business. The grocerant expert and friend Steven Johnson remarked that "interactive participatory retail foodservice is always a hit!" and music makes it fun!
Play appropriate music during your in-store demo.
Music on your website.
Live musicians in your place or near the entrance.
Music in your shop, restaurant, or outside?
Music at an event to draw traffic.
Giveaways that include music downloads or live music event tickets.© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Are you developing new products that are competitive and category-leading or are you working on great recipes and products that you and your team expect think are awesome? Get into your customers and see where the opportunities exist based on the store set, menus, and competitive suppliers in similar categories.
Today, I will be visiting a variety of retail formats and locations seeking information and knowledge that will assist in growing the respective business. Are you visiting the market and seeking information that will put you ahead in your business growth needs?
Which locations are you walking?
What departments are you reviewing?
Where are you walking?
When possible, visit locations in a different large city and review retails, pricing, tags, packaging, location, secondary location opportunities, marketing initiatives, front end opportunities, secondary departments, grab a menu or sales flyer, and listen for opportunities to align your business with the marketing programs of the customers.
My efforts find that smaller companies often ignore the market and reviewing locations while the larger companies understand this and invest time, money, and energy on reviewing the market and seeking opportunity. Get into the market and grow your business!© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Successful authorizations with a distributor customer can yield to setting-up a new distributor. Once you are in a distributor make sure your product is deployed throughout their customer base and look for opportunities to expand your distribution.
Distributors are best at supplying and delivering products without getting them lost to retailers, foodservice locations, and outlets. The misconception is that they purchase and market products to their customer base – that is your job.
How are you going to maximize your opportunities with distributors? It requires successful authorizations, promotions, and marketing within the distributor segmented customers.
Monday, August 30, 2010
This list of questions will help to open your mind to growth and new food opportunities that abound now. Each has no right or wrong answer, just your answer. Often the answer lies in asking the right question. Just run through these questions and see what pops in your mind as possible options and paths towards successful growth for your company.
1. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
2. If time is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
3. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about your company?
4. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of company would make you rich?
5. Are you selling what you believe in, or are you settling for what you currently offer customers?
6. If you knew your company would be sold in 3 years, how would it impact growth and sales differently?
7. To what degree have you actually controlled the growth and direction your company has taken?
8. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
9. If you could offer only one piece of advice to a new employee, what would it be?
10. Would you break the law to make a sale?
11. Have you ever been amazed at some result that you earlier thought was crazy?
12. What is something you know your company does differently than most others in your segment?
13. Do the products that taste best to you taste best to everyone else?
14. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do or introduce? What is holding you back?
15. Are you holding back some great item that should go on the market?
16. If you had to open another office or food plant other than your current city, where would you open and why?
17. Would you rather be a worried worker or a joyful achiever?
18. Why is your company in business?
19. Have you been the kind of supplier that you want supplying your business?
20. Which is worse, losing a customer due to neglect, issues, or competition?
21. Is there one customer your company is most dependent on?
22. Would you rather lose your entire product line or never be able to make another new product?
23. Is it possible to know a successful product without ever bringing it to market?
24. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
25. What is your happiest customer memory? What makes it so special?
26. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive in your work?
27. If not now, then when?
28. Do kids like the products your company produces?
29. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
30. Have you ever been with a customer, mostly just listened, and felt you had one of the best sales calls ever?
31. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is bad in your new product?
32. If you just received a million dollar grant to introduce a great new product, what would it be?
33. Would you rather have a smaller company?
34. Do you feel like you have lived this day a hundred times before?
35. When was the last time you rallied your troops behind a product or innovation that you strongly believed in with just your gut feel?
36. If you knew you would lose all but one customer this week, who would you keep?
37. Would you give away 10 points or 10 percent equity to get a celebrity endorsement or new technology?
38. What is the difference between being open for business and thriving?
39. When it is time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
40. How does your company learn from mistakes?
41. What would you do differently in your business if you knew it could only help it grow?
42. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your production facility?
43. What do you love about your company and products? How are you sharing this with customers, consumers, and employees?
44. In 5 years from now, will what you do today matter in your business?
45. Decisions are being made right now in your company. The question is: Are they being made to add value to clients and consumers lives?
© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
"The best time to expand is when no one else dares to take risks" ~Andrew Carnegie
- Introduce the new product
- Test the new packaging
- Buy that link, ad, or commercial
- Upgrade your website
- Hire that salesman
- Add two new tradeshows
- Look at new markets
- Visit your customers locations and offices
- Expand your test markets
- Go International
Now is the time to Invest, Build, and Grow!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Big retailers with high sales velocity demand their suppliers fill their orders accurately, on-time, and complete. If we pulled your last 20 or 100 orders what would your fill rate be for those orders? Are you keeping track of your fill-rate on-going? The best companies supply their customers with product when ordered.
If you have not done this calculation, start now and share it with prospective customers if it is positive. One big retailer demands a 98.5% fill rate and 100% compliance on all documentation.
You can do this calculation yourself and if you need any assistance, please send me a note.
Pull together your last 20 orders and review the shipping documentation for each order.
Compare the shipping manifest or bill of laden with the customer order and do they match?
If they do not match, make a note of the items and number of cases short on the order. Did you ship 100% of your orders complete? If you did not and want to grow your business, start now shipping your orders complete!
Send me a note if you have any questions or comments… >> Link> © Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
The last 10 years have seen dynamic growth with the addition of many new retail locations in channels outside of the Traditional Grocery Channel. By 2014 Non-Traditional Food Retailers should be within 4 points of Traditional Food Retailers in Share.
It is important you identify your channel strategy and provide channel specific value in your food product offerings. Product Size, packaging, programs, pricing, nutritionals and branding often are different by channel. Include foodservice and you have a big job managing your channel strategy.© Tim Forrest 2010. All rights reserved