Get Adobe Flash player

White Coffee Pours on Innovation, Customer Service

By Lorrie Baumann

Jonathan White headshotTremendous competition in the coffee space means that the retailer most likely to succeed is nimble, aware of the trends moving the market and partnered with a purveyor who possesses those same attributes along with an appetite for innovation, says Jonathan White of White Coffee.

He’s a third-generation member of the family that started White Coffee in 1939, when David White started selling coffee to foodservice companies. His mother, Carole, is the company’s current President and the woman who makes it the woman-owned company it is today.

Jonathan White is the company’s Executive Vice President, to the extent that titles ever actually mean very much in a company that’s as much family as business. “It’s important for retailers to seek out a coffee solution provider that’s nimble and creative enough to meet the demands of consumers,” he said.

White Coffee is meeting that standard with proprietary packages and products such as its trademarked Bio-Cup™, the environmentally friendly way to enjoy one cup of coffee convenience. The BioCup is both compostable and biodegradable, with 90 percent degradation after six months. Combined with White Coffee’s best coffees, BioCup provides superior quality in an environmentally friendly, convenient platform. White Coffee’s facilities are rated at SQF Level 3, assuring customers that they can assure their customers that White Coffee delivers both quality and safety of the highest order, White said.

White Coffee has also entered into partnerships with major brands to create licensed coffee and hot chocolate products that combine the White Coffee product quality with the name recognition of brands like Kahlua, Entenmann’s and Jim Beam. Those partnerships also offer retailers the opportunity to benefit by an association in the consumer’s mind between coffee and something else that they already feel good about, White said. “We understand the importance of creative and thematic packaging,” he added.

White’s Coffee serves a broad range of retail channels, including mass market stores, club stores and specialty shops, providing insights and best practices from all of those channels to each customer and offering customers a wide range of resources to help sell – including training for sales staff in the field and meeting with department managers for tastings and demonstrations. “Our job is to make it easy for them to sell a lot of coffee,” White said.

Along with those advantages, White Coffee also offers great customization and flexibility, so that the company’s customers can enjoy the opportunity to modify White Coffee products – even those produced under license from another brand – into a product that’s unique. K-cup boxes can range from 10 to 100 pieces and Nespresso-compatible capsules are also available. Coffee bags can range from 1.5 ounces to 3 pounds, and any of those packages can incorporate the licensed brand names to create the product that’s the perfect blend of customization, convenience, quality and flavor to distinguish a retailer’s product assortment from that of competitors, even within the mass market.

At the same time, White Coffee has been a pioneer in specialty coffee for 40 years, selling single-origin premium coffee brands since long before third-wave coffee shops made those trendy. White Coffee’s Ethiopia Yargacheffe, for instance, represents the finest Ethiopian coffee. Sourced from the mountains of southeastern Ethiopia, it possesses unique sweetness and fruitiness with floral flavors and winey characteristics with a light, smooth body. White Coffee’s Brazil Bourbon Santos, one of the finest coffees grown in Brazil, comes from the Bourbon variety of coffee tree and has a sweet flavor with medium acidity and strong aroma. There’s even a certified organic choice from White Coffee: its Organic Rainforest Blend.

In addition to its range of coffee varieties and blends, White Coffee has added multiple packaging lines to its range within the past couple of years, including hot chocolate products offered in K-cups, tins and single-serving envelopes. “We love the coffee business,” White said. “We know it’s one of the first things people count on every morning, and one of the things they end their day with. Coffee is a vehicle for friends and family to be together, and we want to contribute a great product for them.”

Transparency, Convenience, Wellness among Megatrends Driving the Power of Meat at Retail

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, the foundation for the North American Meat Institute, released their 13th annual exploration into the meat planning, shopping and consumption habits of consumers. “The Power of Meat 2018” identifies megatrends influencing meat purchases, including transparency; convenience; value; personalization; customer service; and health and wellness.

Shoppers Desire Resources that Educate about Meat/Poultry

“More than 50 percent of shoppers say they have limited knowledge of meat and poultry, and the research demonstrates that shoppers who are more knowledgeable about meat tend to purchase an extensive variety of meats and cook with meat more often,” FMI Vice President of Fresh Foods Rick Stein, said. “The research makes me enthusiastic for the teaching opportunities the entire industry can embrace to forge better relationships with shoppers, offering resources for meat and poultry preparation methods.”

Shoppers Finding Nutrition Information; Seeking Transparency

While preparation knowledge can be lacking, consumers are finding the health and nutrition information on meat and poultry choices that they seek as 79 percent of shoppers feel there is sufficient information available to make educated decisions on the nutrition and healthfulness of various meat and poultry cuts. This is up from 69 percent in 2016 — the last time the “Power of Meat” tracked this question.

Nutrition is a key focus area for consumers, as seven in 10 shoppers are interested in a variety of package sizes for portion control as well as dietary callouts/information on pack, led by protein content, total fat and sodium. The research also shows that transparency is driving purchases as consumers seek products with more information pertaining to corporate and social responsibility practices among companies.

“Meat and poultry companies have responded to the demand for more information about their products, offering a range of options including natural, organic, hormone free and antibiotic free, which have proven popular with consumers,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “The industry has also developed numerous resources to help educate consumers about how our products are made from our Glass Walls videos to Meat MythCrushers to the MyMeatUp app developed to help shoppers navigate the meat department.”

Shoppers Explore Convenience for the Meat/Poultry Purchase

This year, one of the most notable trends in channel choice suggested shoppers are more comfortable with the idea of purchasing meat online – with the share of shoppers who have bought meat online at least once up from four percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2018. Other considerations are the increased pull from conventional supermarkets by both the premier fresh and value grocers.

Embodying the desire for convenience and opportunities in omnichannel and assortment, more shoppers are frequently purchasing value-added meat/poultry, increasing from nine percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2018.

The Power of Meat was conducted by 210 Analytics and is made possible by Sealed Air’s Food Care Division.

Kroger Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Kroger has opened its Culinary Innovation Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Kroger’s new Culinary Innovation Center is an exciting state-of-the-art test kitchen and education center,” said Daniel Hammer, Kroger’s Vice President of Culinary Development and New Business. “As we focus on redefining the customer experience and developing talent through food inspiration and uplift, as outlined in Restock Kroger, this R&D lab will allow us to accelerate product development for Our Brands, produce new recipes for Prep + Pared Meal Kits, explore new restaurant concepts, host food tastings and focus groups, and increase our associates’ culinary knowledge.”

Kroger commenced construction on the 12,000-square-foot, LEED-designed center in March 2017. The commercial kitchen features multiple cooking stations, spaces and capabilities, including technology that allows video streaming of educational sessions to Kroger associates across the country.

Kroger introduced its first restaurant concept Kitchen 1883 in November 2017 and launched its Prep+Pared Meal Kits earlier in the same year, which are available for purchase in stores and through ClickList. Kroger has plans to rapidly grow the footprint of Prep+Pared Meal Kits in 2018.

“Kroger has operated grocery stores since 1883; we know food. People will always eat, but the way they eat will always change. Our new Center is one more tool we have to keep our pulse on customer trends and expand our foodie culture,” said Hammer.

Find it HERE first!

Follow me on Twitter