Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1090132

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Page 23 of 87

association news Message from President Phil Kafarakis I love the foodservice industry both personally and professionally and I'm very excited about this issue of our magazine featuring the industry. Foodservice is where I got my start and I've learned so much over the years from my involvement in it. There are 1 million foodservice establishments in the United States today. The industry's sales top $800 billion annually. We're a country that loves to eat out and pick up carry-out meals. Many home cooking trends get their start in professional kitchens. There is also a long tradition of specialty foods coming out of popular restaurants or from celebrity chefs—in fact, it's not unusual for specialty food companies to be started in restaurants and then migrate to retail. Foodservice remains a burgeoning category for specialty food sales. Many of our members sell products to the foodservice industry, from providing flavored salts and aged cheeses to fine dining restaurants, to offering plant-based proteins and dried fruit snacks to school cafeterias. Considering the size of the market and the influence on consumers' eating habits, entering the foodservice environment remains high on the list of many food entrepreneurs' goals. It's such a diverse industry that there are many ways for smaller businesses to enter and then scale up—be it via college/university dining, in regional chains, or at independent restaurants. The specialty food industry shares many of the values of foodservice—a love of good food, of course, but also strong ties to employees and the community, and a growing interest in sustainable practices and environmental responsibility. At the Specialty Food Association, we hope to build stronger ties to foodservice and look forward to continuing to learn from one another and grow together! We can't wait to see what's next for the industry—especially given the new technologies being leveraged in foodservice, including those outlined in this issue. I'd like to close with a shout out to our friends at the National Restaurant Association. This august organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. That's a phenomenal achievement in a dynamic and innovative industry. Congratulations, NRA! Phil Kafarakis President, Specialty Food Association Follow me @PresidentSFA Message from the President SPRING 2019 21

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