Skip to Content

Blog Archives

Why Food Manufacturers Should Become B Corp Certified

Nearly 5,000 Certified B Corporation companies worldwide tout the “B” logo on their packaging and materials. So, food manufacturers may be wondering what it is and whether they should pursue it.

“Simply put, the B Corp Certification recognizes companies that are good for the world,” said Bay Food’s Executive Vice President Chris Chatterton. “This is an unbiased rating system. It assesses companies and whether what they’re doing is really good for people, communities and the environment.”

Read on to learn more about B Corp Certification and why your company may want to earn this designation.

What is B Corp Certification?

B Corp Certification is administered by B Lab, a nonprofit network “transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.”

Certified B Corporation companies receive this designation for meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency related to a number of factors. These factors range from employee benefits to charitable giving to supply chain practices to input materials.

But there’s more to B Lab’s movement than just the standards and certification process. The organization’s network also leads economic systems change to support an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.

What are the assessment standards Certified B Corporation companies must meet?

B Lab’s standards and the B Corp Certification define social, environmental and governance best practices for businesses.

More than 150,000 businesses worldwide have used the B Impact Assessment. This digital tool can help businesses measure, manage and improve positive impact performance for:

  • Environment
  • Communities
  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Employees
  • Shareholders

Then, businesses that receive a minimum score of 80 points on the assessment can take the first step toward certification.

Why Food Manufacturers Should Become B Corp Certified

Two of the five “Retail Trends to Watch in 2022” we blogged about earlier this year were mission-based brands and showcasing sustainability of meat and dairy products.

In short, data shows that many supermarket shoppers are leaning toward brands that have a positive mission. For example, this could include brands that:

  • Support or employee underrepresented communities
  • Focus on the wellbeing of their customers and workers
  • Strongly support nonprofits and even their own foundations

Also, many consumers are paying more attention to how manufacturers are producing the meat and dairy they buy. For instance, consumers look at how companies raise the animals and how production impacts the environment.

Both of these trends align with best practices Certified B Corporation companies follow.

Certified B Corporation companies we work with

Bay Food Brokerage proudly represents clients that are Certified B Corporation companies. This includes The GFB Gluten Free Bites and Tillamook County Creamery Association.

According to Tillamook’s Director of Sales focused on the Eastern U.S., Stephanie Carson, “A Certified B Corporation meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Being good stewards of cows and farms, of people and products, of our communities and the environment, lies at the heart of everything we do.”

The GFB’s CEO, Marshall Rader, said the following about B Corp Certification:

“From the start of The GFB, we wanted to do things the right way – treat people well, build relationships, and do our part to support the environment and the community. Over the years, we refined that to our core focus of ‘Enrich the lives of our team, our customers, and our planet.’ Becoming a certified B Corp was a way to embody all those actions. And the B Corp certification process is also a great framework to help you understand and improve your positive impact year-to-year.”

Looking for a Southeast retail food broker who understands the value of B Corp Certification? If so, contact us today to learn how we can help.

0 0 Continue Reading →

5 Retail Food Trends to Watch in 2022

To remain a leading grocery broker in the Southeast and best serve our clients, the team at Bay Food Brokerage is committed to staying up-to-date on retail food trends. In this post, two of our Account Executives, Greg Betz and Lindsey Baron, share their insights on:

  • Why it’s important for food manufacturers to understand retail food trends
  • How the right grocery broker partner can help manufacturers capitalize on these trends
  • Five retail food trends to watch in 2022

Why Food Manufacturers Need to Know Retail Trends

When it comes to food products, consumers’ preferences are always changing. Just because a product once flew off the grocery store shelves doesn’t mean it will always be popular. Food manufacturers need to keep their fingers on the pulse of retail food trends in order to stay relevant – and better yet, to stay ahead of the curve.

“Manufacturers should keep up on trends for future innovation,” Lindsey said. “Or, let’s say they’re playing around with an idea for a new concept. Then they’ll definitely want to know the latest trends and the direction consumers are headed with their preferences.”

Greg cited keto-friendly products as an example.

“A ketogenic diet has recently become very popular,” he said. “Whereas a little while ago you didn’t see any mention of ‘keto’ on food packaging, now we’re seeing a lot of brands come out with keto-friendly lines.”

How a Grocery Broker can Help Capitalize on Trends

The right grocery broker partner can help food manufacturers make smart decisions based on the latest retail food trends.

First of all, ideally, the grocery broker will have access to current data on these trends. For instance, at Bay Food, we partner with SPINS, a leading provider of big data and analytics for the natural, organic and specialty products industry. This data offers insight into up-and-coming categories, how clients’ products are performing compared to competitors and more.

“Understanding these trends makes us a better partner when our clients are developing products and formulating sales strategies,” Greg said. “For example, we recently helped a client work through designing packaging so that it highlighted attributes we know are important to consumers. This education and consulting resulted in a product that major retailers were interested in selling, because it showcased the attributes consumers are looking for right now.”

5 Retail Food Trends to Watch in 2022

Based on data provided by our technology/data partner SPINS as we start off 2022, here are five retail grocery shopping trends that manufacturers should be aware of. Consumers are indicating an increased demand for food products that are:

  1. Plant-based

Consumer demand for plant-based products continues to expand. And, it’s going beyond the plant-based burgers to also include alternative cheeses, ready-to-eat protein snacks and other categories.

“In the last five years, I’ve seen a significant expansion of plant-based items within categories like cream cheese and ice cream novelties,” said Lindsey. She’s a grocery broker who deals significantly in frozen and dairy products. “I expect this plant-based trend to continue long-term, as consumers recognize that these products taste good and are good for them.”

As another example, a recent report from SPINS shows that frozen breakfast items labeled “vegan” increased in sales 99% from October 2020 to October 2021.*

  1. Immunity-focused

The COVID-19 pandemic helped catapult immune-boosting products to the forefront of consumers’ minds. With increased focus on health and overall wellbeing, consumers are now looking for products with immune- and health-boosting ingredients.

“We’re seeing a lot of products right now touting immune-boosting properties, probiotics and collagen, especially in beverages,” Lindsey said.

As another example, recent SPINS data shows sales of refrigerated dressings with probiotic supplements increased 22% from October 2020 to October 2021.*

Also, Greg explained that research studies that show the health benefits of eating – or limiting or avoiding – certain foods will continue to influence buying behavior.

“Research continues to come out supporting health benefits related to things like immunity support and weight loss,” Greg said. “This is going to keep playing a role in what consumers look for in their food products.”

  1. Mission-based

Data shows that many supermarket shoppers are leaning toward brands that have a positive mission. For example, this could include brands that:

  • Are run by underrepresented communities
  • Focus on the wellbeing of their customers and workers
  • Strongly support nonprofits and even their own foundations

“If a customer is looking at two brands on the shelf, they may be more apt to pick the one doing something good for the community,” Lindsey said.

As a grocery broker partner to manufacturers, the team at Bay Food helps clients showcase their mission, if they have one.

“I think it’s a great idea for food brands to be mission-based,” Greg said. “It attracts customers and does great things for organizations and communities that need support.”

  1. Diet & Lifestyle Friendly

Consumers now expect a wide range of food products that align with their particular diet and lifestyle choices. According to grocery brokers Greg and Lindsey, popular attributes include:

  • Non-GMO
  • Organic
  • Keto-friendly
  • Plant-based
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Gluten-free
  • Lower-sodium
  • No trans fat
  • Health-additives (like immune boosting ingredients or collagen in waters)
  • Eco-friendly packaging, such as packaging made from recycled materials or is recyclable
  1. Showcasing Sustainability of Meat and Dairy

Many consumers are paying more attention to how manufacturers are producing the meat and dairy they buy. This ranges from how the animals are raised to the impact production has on the environment.

“Manufacturers that can showcase efforts to promote sustainability will gain a competitive advantage with discerning shoppers,” Greg said.

Attributes of meat and dairy that attract consumers include:

  • Grass-fed
  • Pasture-raised
  • Cage-free
  • Sustainable farming
  • Efforts to limit the carbon footprint

Are you looking for a grocery broker partner to help your product capitalize on the latest retail food trends? Contact us today to learn how we can serve you.

* SPINS Natural Enhanced Channel and SPINS Conventional Multi Outlet (powered by IRI) | 52 Weeks Ending 10-31-2021

0 0 Continue Reading →