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SMART is Represented at Refrigerated Foods Association Annual Conference

Post Date: Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016

Every year we are bombarded with the latest predictions and trends for the coming year. Where do these trends come from? Why are they considered trends and not fads? Which ones really matter? This Spring, one of SMART’s strategic Category Managers, Alex Stanley, represented the team at the Refrigerated Foods Association’s 36th Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida as a guest speaker to answer these key business questions.

This annual conference hosted by the RFA is a networking event for their members, consisting of business leaders from both suppliers and manufacturers across the refrigerated foods industry. The conference gives members a chance to gain important new information affecting the industry, including technical innovations, sales and marketing tips, consumer trends, distribution solutions, new product and package development, and food safety issues.

Alex served as a conference speaker and presented the audience of industry leaders with consumer and market trends that impact their day to day business operations. Alex’s presentation focused on the impact Millennials have on the marketplace, the farm to table movement, health driven consumer trends, and the overwhelming presence of social media within the food industry and the impact it has on consumer decisions.

His presentation was met with audience satisfaction and there is no doubt that it helped to further the mission of the Refrigerated Foods Association to safeguard and advance the refrigerated foods industry.

After the conference, we asked Alex to share what he thinks are the top 3 most important key takeaways to be considered within the CPG industry this year. Here’s what he had to say: 

1. Staying Fresh for Millennials: Everyone wants to talk about Millennials, and here’s why, they are the largest and fastest growing generation in the United States. While marketing to Millennials can be a challenge, food & drink brands can gain their attention by differentiating their product through ingredient transparency, bold, innovative flavors, and by “keeping it fresh” when it comes to merchandising, messaging, and packaging.

2. Small Brands, Big Impact!:
Multiple large manufacturers have seen recent declines as the demand for manufacturing transparency and nutritional content continues. Look for small, better-for-you positioned brands to continue to enter the market as they are able to start with a clean slate. This allows the brand to position themselves to align with this demand how they see fit, rather than having to backtrack on a previously unhealthy reputation as large corporations are forced to do. 

3. I’d Tweet That:
Food & Drink Leads Brand Mentions on Twitter: Did you know that one million new mobile social media users are added each day? That’s 12 per second. While this may catch your attention, the amount of food pictures shared is likely to catch your appetite, as food is one of the leading topics shared on multiple social media platforms. If a CPG brand wants to get it right on social media, it is essential to gain followers by building a community involving consumer interaction, showcase partnerships that improve brand image, and relate to your consumer in an effort to connect with them on a personal level.

 Congrats to Alex on a job well done!

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