OAK BROOK, Ill. -- As research firms continue to report strong sales figures for foodservice at retail, Fare is honoring four operations for their effort to push the needle for this burgeoning industry.
This year’s winners include a drug chain aggressively chasing the on-the-go consumer, a college campus that’s evolved well beyond the cafeterias of yore, a c-store brand that’s turned to the creativity of high-end chefs, and an organization charged with serving a very important team of diners.
Following are the 2012 Leaders in Retail Foodservice, who will be honored at the fifth annual Foodservice at Retail Exchange (FARE), held June 25-27 at the Renaissance Schaumburg, Chicago (visit www.foodserviceatretail.com for more info):
“Be it in c-stores, supermarkets, drug chains, or on-site dining, foodservice at retail continues to be a growing part of the industry--and of consumers’ lifestyles,” says Abbie Westra, executive editor of Fare magazine. “These organizations and the people behind them are driving innovation across the channels, making high-quality, convenient meals available around every corner.”
Under the helm of Dean Wright, director of dining services, Brigham Young University is one of the largest college dining programs in the nation. It has evolved from being dependent on large cafeterias into a retail giant with 24 dining locations. A longtime proponent of collegiate c-stores, Wright helped pioneer them at BYU, which now has five around campus.
Nice N Easy has broken the c-store mold with a long legacy of outstanding foodservice. Building on a strong foodservice foundation, the company last year hired three chefs to elevate its existing offer and develop a line of home-meal replacements. These chefs now work within stores, guiding employees and turning customers’ heads with their chef’s whites and toques. John MacDougall, CEO and owner of Nice N Easy, has built a solid team of foodservice experts, constantly challenging them to consider, “What’s next?”
The United States Olympic Committee has a global staff of 52 that serves an estimated 800,000 meals to athletes at the U.S.’s three training centers. The USOC’s associate director of food and nutrition services, Terri Moreman, is charged with providing wholesome meals to the country’s competing athletes. Also crucial to this team is acting as liaison to the USOC during Olympic and Paralympic Games. Moreman will take the stage with the fellow honorees just before heading out to London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
What was once simply a New York retailer, the influence of drug chain Duane Reade is permeating cities across the country. Now owned by Walgreens, Duane Reade’s recently opened flagship at 40 Wall Street was a starting point for the various foodservice offers now available at the flagship Walgreens in Chicago and the upcoming flagship in Boston. Sushi stations, made-to-order smoothies and a plethora of grab-and-go foods are aimed at offering convenient meal solutions for busy consumers. Michael DeFazio, senior director of store concepts, will accept the honor for this re-energizing brand.
The four operations will be honored with an awards ceremony and panel, where the honorees will share how they stay innovative and competitive in the changing foodservice landscape.
For more information and to register for the 2012 FARE conference, visit www.foodserviceatretail.com.