West Lafayette, IN—A first-of-its-kind event, the Emerging Indiana Food Brands Forum Fall 2017 will pull together food scientists, marketing experts and retail procurement professionals from around the state to support local and regional food companies who are looking to scale up their business. The one-day conference, presented by NewPoint Marketing in partnership with Indiana Grown and Purdue University, will be held in Stewart Hall at Purdue University on Monday, November 6, 2017.
For many local and regional food companies, gaining popularity is the easy part. Indeed, since Oxford American Dictionary named “locavore” their Word of the Year in 2007, the local food movement has only picked up steam, as demonstrated by the growing number of farmers’ markets, reinvented restaurant menus and reconfigured supermarket aisles.
“Within [Indiana], the interest for locally sourced and locally produced food products is tremendous,” says Heather Tallman, the Membership Development Program Manager for Indiana Grown, an Indiana Department of Agriculture-commissioned organization that promotes products grown or made in Indiana. “At the same time, business owners can become overwhelmed by all the new issues that arise with increased demand. Helpful resources are out there, but they’re disconnected. That’s why it’s awesome for NewPoint to organize an event that sees some of those resources converge in one time and place.”
Even as local food companies find themselves more popular than ever, it’s how to capitalize off that newfound popularity that often presents the bigger challenge.
“Even though small is really big right now, a number of barriers are holding a lot of great local food companies back,” says Patrick Nycz, Founder and President of NewPoint Marketing. “This conference is geared toward those smaller food and beverage companies who aspire to reach new markets or grow their total market share, and it will arm them with the knowledge to scale their operation, sell into retail or foodservice, and maintain their shelf-space against the competition.”
Accordingly, the Emerging Indiana Food Brands Forum will tackle some of the most frequently asked questions that confront up-and-coming food companies, questions such as…
- How do I get my product placed in a grocery store or supermarket or with a foodservice company ?
- Beyond a good product, what are retail buyers and distributors looking for in a food vendor?
- How do I scale from “cooking” a “recipe” in a kitchen to “processing” a “formula” in a commercial facility?
- And, how do I get started with marketing, especially if I’m going to compete against national brands?
The conference’s itinerary lists different events for the morning, mid-day and afternoon. The morning will include development classes devoted to topics like commercial food safety, marketing and foodservice sales. Midday will feature a “Retail Lunch ‘N Learn” hour led by a panel of representatives from top-tier food retailers and distributors. The afternoon will be devoted to a Sampling/Tasting event in which up to 100 vendors can showcase their products and meet prospective buyers.
Interested parties can pre-register or learn more here.
Space is limited for both the classes and the Sampling/Tasting event, and reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. All-day passes cost $75. Individual classes or the “Retail Lunch ‘N Learn” can be attended individually for $25. Parking’s included with price of admission, and a boxed is provided for all-day attendees or those attending the “Retail Lunch ‘N Learn.” Tables and electricity are provided for those vendors showcasing product at the Sampling/Tasting event.
About NewPoint Marketing: NewPoint Marketing is a full-service agency located in downtown Lafayette, Indiana, that specializes in the food supply-and-service industry. A seasoned team of writers, designers, coders and business strategists, NewPoint provides small, mid-sized and regional food companies with customized, insight-driven CPG- and B2B-solutions that help position them against their much-larger competitors and, ultimately, move their brands up the food chain.
About Indiana Grown: Commissioned by the Indiana Department of Agriculture in 2014, Indiana Grown is an initiative to promote Indiana businesses by making it easier for consumers to find which products truly come from Indiana. More than 800 organizations have already become members, many of whom feature an “Indiana Grown” designation on their products.
About Purdue University: Purdue University is a world-renowned public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Through its University Extension Service, Purdue delivers practical, research-based information to transform the lives and livelihoods of Hoosiers, particularly in the areas of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Health and Human Sciences, Community Development and 4-H Youth Development.