Mar 09 , 2022
A couple evenings ago I was reading a trade mag, and suddenly stopped at this quote in the midst of an interview with the CEO of Super Coffee: "There is a barrier to entry in the food and beverage industry. Stores will only carry your products if you have a distributor that delivers them, and distributors will only carry your products if you have stores that will bring them there." - Jim DeCicco, CEO Super Coffee
I stopped and took a picture with my phone and emailed it to myself as a reminder to blog about this Catch-22. It's a fact. The man speaks the truth. And this fundamental food biz challenge creates one of my greatest challenges in interacting with our celiac, gluten sensitive and food allergic community: responding patiently to the call, "Why aren't you in our (such-and such store name)?"
Just putting it out there again. Please help us advocate for you. We want to be in your local store. But it is a hill to climb. You can help by telling your store manager you want to see our certified gluten free, nut free, food allergy friendly, clean and so delicious they are award-winning desserts in your store. Use those very words. Invite your store manager to contact us for samples at firstname.lastname@example.org. Critical mass is a thing. With the demand spoken, the wheels get turning. Thanks!
Now on to another challenge: Russia's invasion into Ukraine, a sovereign nation. Regardless where you stand on how this happened, what it means, and how it's playing out, the fact is, Russia has invaded Ukraine and it will affect us all. Of course, sanctions-linked increases in gas prices are a hot topic in the news. But there are other supply chain reverberations, too. An already strained system, constrained still by pandemic back ups in ports and off shore and labor shortages in the industries that bring goods to where they are supposed to go for end purchase, will be further squeezed by cargo flight disruptions and more.
For those of you who are interested in helping the people of Ukraine, there are certainly plenty of options through a variety of organizations. The National Celiac Association's March newsletter suggests:
The UN's World Food Program, which is providing providing critical food assistance for people fleeing the conflict;
Save the Children's Ukraine Crisis Relief fund, providing children and families with immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits and more, and
UJA Federation New York, which supports partners on the ground who are working tirelessly to meet the urgent and mounting humanitarian needs in Ukraine – including food, shelter, transport, and emergency medical units.
But whatever you think or however you feel about this current situation in our world, please be kind. In another trade resource, a daily newsletter from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), I read just this morning, "Following Ukraine Invasion, Russian-American Workers Are Being Harassed."
There is enough meanness, suffering and loss in this world already. We don't need more. That, my friends, is MHO.
Until next time, please do be kind.
With continued commitment,
Lisa Cox is CEO/SVP Sales & Marketing for Gem City Fine Foods. She maintains her own opinions, and at the top of them is the opinion we all need and can afford a little kindness.