Setting the Foundation for Your Annual Marketing Plan: It’s as easy as packing a suitcase

Posted by: WendyLane in: Digital/Social - Media Relations -

Writing an annual marketing plan can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.  It can be as easy as packing a suitcase. 

If you’re like me, you travel a lot for business. You know that every suitcase starts out empty, just as every marketing plan starts with a blank page.  

The process of filling both begins with the same question:  

Where are you going?  

You can’t start packing before you know your destination.  The more information you have, the better choices you’ll make when you fill your bag. 

So…where are you headed 

If you haven’t already, align with your executive team and get consensus on what’s important and why. What are your overall goals for the coming year? Revenue growth? Breaking into a new market? Increasing market share?  Then, what are the strengths and weakness of your company to meet those challenges?  Be sure you understand what could get in the way of achieving these goals, including current events, economic trends, competitive developments, etc. It’s important to build marketing strategies that play to your strengths as well as counter potential challenges. 

Think of it like this:  Knowing the forecast increases the likelihood that you’ll have what you need when you get to your destination.  


Plant-based meats mainstream!

Posted by: Megan VanDomelen in: Food/Beverage -

There’s no arguing that animal-based food alternatives are in high demand right now. We’ve heard all about plant-based milk products and how they’ve continued to grow since 2014. The plant-based milk category has grown 3.1% over the last year, while cow’s milk sales have gone down about 5%, according to Nielsen. But, milk alternatives aren’t the only category on the rise – plant-based protein and meat substitutes are projected to reach $5 billion (with a ‘b’) by 2020. This year, Beyond Burger – a plant-based burger that looks, cooks and smells like meat – saw sales more than double, and shares jumped 21% in June.

Fast food chains are even jumping on the plant-based train. In 2019, the Impossible Burger – another meat alternative that is a blend of soy and potato proteins – announced partnerships with Burger King, Subway and Qdoba, while McDonald’s and KFC joined forces with Beyond Burger.

Another trending meat alternative is the hybrid meat-plant burger for consumers that are looking to reduce their meat intake, but not eliminate it. This trend is growing as more people are reducing their meat consumption but not going vegetarian or vegan. One brand that is leading the hybrid movement is Applegate (client). Their “Great Organic Blend Burger” launched in March 2019 is made for the “conscious carnivore” and features a blend of humanely raised organic meat or poultry, organic mushrooms and rosemary extract.

So, the question is, why is this new food trend booming right now?


Another Feast in the Books

Posted by: jillw in: Food/Beverage -

Feast Portland 2019 may have come and gone, but the highlight reel keeps playing in our minds and on our palates. Feast has become the nation’s food festival to beat, and for good reason. Much like our culinary landscape, Feast is always evolving, each time introducing fresh events, new locations and innovative showings from an expansive star-studded cast.

Here are some of our impressions from Feast Portland 2019 and its impressive cast of chefs, restauranteurs, and food and beverage purveyors:

Like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location

Crowds at marquee events like The Big Feast and Brunch Village responded well to locally made or Oregon-grown messaging. This year, we even saw an appearance from Burgerville, a Northwest fast food favorite for its focus on sourcing quality ingredients close to home. We think the message has been received: why seek ingredients from afar given the diverse and flavorful bounty at our doorstep?

Sweet or savory? Feast’s answer: Yes.

Why box yourself in? This year, The Big Feast featured numerous sweet and savory pairings that drew attention to the versatility of various ingredients. Coconut was a popular choice, sometimes showcasing its sweetness, other times its texture and crunch. Pickled toppings also added interest, from traditional cucumbers and onions to some unexpected items, like elderberries.


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