Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News March 2018

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN The value of food wasted in the U.S. retail food sector amounts to $18 billion a year – roughly dou- ble the retail food industry's an- nual profits, which is why food retailers are taking another look at their opportunities to reduce food waste instead of regarding wasted food as just a fixed cost of doing business. Ahold Delhaize, Kroger and Walmart, three of the nation's top 10 retailers, have all set public goals for reducing the amount of food they're sending to the landfill. "Food waste is an $18 billion problem, but also an opportunity for retailers," said Chris Cochran, Executive Director of ReFED, a nonprofit agency powered by a BY LORRIE BAUMANN Ariane Daguin thinks that the way forward for brick-and-mor- tar grocers is to focus on selling their customers better food rather than more food. As the CEO of D'Artagnan, which dis- tributes high-quality meat and poultry products to fine-dining restaurants as well as to grocers across the U.S., she has a bird's eye view of how the American grocery business is evolving to try and meet the challenge of on- line grocers. She notes that over the past decades since the end of World War II, grocers have been offer- D'Artagnan: An Obsession with Quality Continued on PAGE 5 Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 5 ing their customers more and more – more food, greater variety, year-round supplies of products once thought of as strictly sea- sonal. "You cannot have quality if you offer too many flavors of too many different products," she said. "We have created a market for a lot of things we don't need but that are pushed to us." The tide of consumerism in- spired by modern marketing and the media's obsession with what's new and different has led inex- orably to bigger stores and grow- ing costs to operate those bigger stores. Those higher costs and the consumer expectations that caused them are now creating greater competitive burdens for brick-and-mortar grocers strug- gling to survive against online re- tailers. "The grocer has a big conundrum – which is the rent," Daguin says. "It's survival – they need to pay the rent. The problem is that it doesn't work any more, because e-commerce has taken over. The consumer has so much more convenience and choice with e-commerce that the grocer has to really worry." Daguin suggests that the way to deal with this problem is to follow the lead of those successful gro- cers who now emphasize quality and who are creating a sensory and educational experience in their stores instead of just push- ing volume. "To bring new clients in the store, you need to propose experiences that they cannot get online: true education from knowledgeable store employees, personalized custom fabricating, butchering and cooking in store, tastings..." she said. Focusing on quality rather than variety is the approach she has taken in her own 33-year- old company. "What we did from the beginnings of Expo West Offers Products to Woo Health-Conscious Grocers Taking Action to Prevent Food Waste network of business, nonprofit, foundation and government lead- ers committed to reducing U.S. food waste. "If you can flip that around, you can double the profit from food." Food waste is rising to the top of grocery retailers' list of control- lable expenses that can produce cost savings, Cochran said. "Em- ployees want to be feeding their customers; they don't want to see food going to the landfill," he said. "This is an important moti- vator for employees." In addition to reducing costs for retailers, reducing food waste could have important effects on climate change. Paul Hawken, in his 2016 book "Drawdown," identified elimination of food waste as the third-highest priority among potential solutions to the problem of climate change that are doable today. Food waste rose to near the top of Hawken's list of contributors to the problem of global warming because the greenhouse gases produced by the decay of the wasted food are added to the greenhouse gases generated by agricultural produc- tion, processing and transporta- tion of that food. In the U.S., we waste 63 million tons of food an- nually, at a cost of $218 billion. All of this wasted food consumes 20 percent of freshwater, fertilizer, cropland and landfill space in America, according to ReFED. BY LORRIE BAUMANN Specialty food producers are reaching back into ancient culi- nary tradition to elevate the in- gredients of home cooking into haute cuisine, and the results of that exploration were all across the show floor at this year's Win- ter Fancy Food Show. The show took place in San Francisco's Moscone Center, a venue in the midst of a substantial reconstruc- tion project that will expand the center's existing convention Continued on PAGE 4 Delivering Gastronomic Tradition to the Fancy Food Show space and create a better connec- tion between the North and South Hall to provide more con- tiguous exhibit space. According to the city of San Francisco, Moscone Center had been losing conventions to other centers around the country that could offer more space, and expanding it to compete for that business is essential to the city's tourism economy. Within the exhibit halls, as usual for this show, food produc- ers from across the country and around the world spread their ta- bles with the best food and bev- erage and the most generous hospitality of their respective cul- tures for a feast to nourish the soul and the intellect as well as the body. For example, the pi- mento cheese that's a food BY LORRIE BAUMANN The Climate Collaborative's sec- ond annual Climate Day program will take place this year on Wednesday, March 7 as part of Natural Products Expo West, which will take place March 7-11 at the Anaheim Convention Cen- ter in Anaheim, California. Ex- hibits located in the convention center's new North Halls will be open March 8-10, while exhibits in the Main Halls will be open March 9-11. The North Halls are located across the plaza from the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, in space formerly occupied by a convention center parking garage. More than 3,000 vendors are scheduled to exhibit at the show. Fishpeople Fishpeople will be among those companies exhibiting in the North Hall this year. The com- pany, founded in 2012, produces seafood entree kits as well as a line of seafood bisques and chow- ders packaged in ready-to-eat pouches that have drawn atten- tion from outdoor enthusiasts, who appreciate that the shelf-sta- ble pouches provide a chef-in- spired gourmet meal that can be VOLUME 83, NUMBER 3 MARCH 2018 n $7.00 News ..............................................3 Ad Index .......................................15 Calendar.......................................15 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ® UPDATE: Fancy Food Show Wrap-Up SEE PAGE 14 (Following Naturally Healthy) HOT PRODUCTS: COYO SEE PAGE 11 (Following Naturally Healthy) SPECIAL ISSUE INSIDE: NATURALLY HEALTHY CHECK IT OUT! RETAILER NEWS: Pizazz SEE PAGE 10 (Following Naturally Healthy)

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