SKUFood is a community of suppliers and others in the food industry who want to be more successful.
In a world where we are all pressed for time, accessing essential services online creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity where members get the key information, critical industry updates and customized tools you need to grow your bottom line when it is convenient for you. No travelling or days away, just great content, coaching and exposure to leaders in the industry.
After 30 years in the food industry, I have a passion for seeing others succeed in this business, I relish the opportunity to share my in-depth knowledge of the retail landscape and consumers with food producers and food processors, who want to grow their sales.
It is so exciting for me to see producers and processors navigate the marketplace more effectively and get your items in to the shopping cart of the consumer more often.
My career started in a store where I learned the importance of listening to the consumer and the challenges of implementing strategies at retail. During my 19 years with Loblaw Companies, I gained valuable experience in product development, building relationships throughout the supply chain and retail merchandising. I expanded my knowledge working in various departments, including merchandising for produce, deli, home meal replacement, seafood, bakery, floral, marketing, advertising and real estate.
In 2007 Loblaw made the decision to centralize the structure and we decided the right decision professionally and for our family was to leave Loblaw and go out on my own. I had always believed there were more opportunities for success when suppliers and retailers understood each other better. I have had the privilege of working with producers and processors across Canada and in the U.S. to help them understand their customers and consumers better while growing their sales.
In 2014 I published a la cart, a supplier’s guide to retailers’ priorities. The book was written for suppliers, to help them better understand where their customers are focusing their efforts. There is a chapter devoted to each of the retailer’s priorities and suggestions for how suppliers can develop products and programs to support these initiatives.
It has become very clear to me that success in this industry is not about making great products to sell; it is about selling the great products you make.
After 40 years working in the agriculture, agri-food and seafood industries, I still get excited to see food entrepreneurs develop and take new product innovations to market. My early career in the greenhouse industry, taught me about selling in both wholesale and retail markets, and great mentors gave me valuable insights into business, managing people, marketing and developing new products. Six years as a business management specialist for the Department of Agriculture helped me to build a national network of contacts that I still rely on to this day. Since 2000, I have been an independent consultant focused on helping clients develop, market, and add new value to their food products.
What I find fascinating about the food industry is the constant change. A food business can never rest idle, as every new change means, there is more to learn. I help clients manage change and gain new competitive advantages by helping them learn and execute faster than their competition. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively over the years throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and to Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland and see the world through the eyes of different customers and consumers. My facilitation background helps me, help clients, define their best path to the future, put that in a plan, and then execute and implement the plan through actions that ensure a positive bottom line outcome.
In 2004, I co-authored two popular Farm Management Canada books “Adding Value through Farm Diversification” and “Farm Business Planning: Understanding, Preparing and Using” to help agriculture based businesses explore their opportunities and develop new value-added food products. From these books, I developed the popular workshop, “Value Plus, a Quest for New Farm Value” and have delivered to audiences nationwide.
If there has been any mantra to my career it’s: “don’t waste time building and marketing products that no one wants to buy.”