The foodservice industry experts

“The only way to change the world is to change the way the world eats.”

— Stephanie Lind | Founder

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the Foodservice Universe

will help you find your sure path to success.


Foundational Insights: Category and Competition

Foodservice data differs widely from retail data — without the UPC scan information retail relies on, foodservice data collection and interpretation can blend science and art.  Join thirty-year industry veteran, Mark DiDominico, as he discusses free data sources like government and industry reporting, paid sources like custom research, and ways to use the information from both kinds of sources effectively.

Re-Calculating: Innovation in the Post-Pandemic World

The last three years, with a pandemic, supply chain and workforce issues, and consumer pull-back on spending, have resulted in a 2023 climate that demands product innovation — not only in CPG, but in foodservice, as well.  As Consumer Goods has reported, “the reality is the consumer is the one that’s going to decide whether or not there’s enough newness out there — and clearly they’ve decided there isn’t.”

Listen as Mark DiDomenico, Stephanie Lind and James McCollum discuss the ways innovation happens in the foodservice industry, and as they debate — which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Be Careful What You Wish For: Launching into QSR

Startups, young brands and investors often dream of launching into fast food — but how does anyone do that?  And more importantly, when is that the right launch and when is it, well, not so right?

Join Stephanie Lind, founder of ESA and former SVP of Global Sales at Impossible Foods, as she discusses the ins and out of QSR with former CMO of White Castle, Kim Bartley.  Gain the insights these two industry powerhouses have to share about what works and what doesn’t as you consider what’s best for your brand.

Data and Insights Applications

CIO Mark DiDomenico discusses the cross-functionality of good data insights with founder Stephanie Lind, this time wearing her (metaphorical) salesperson’s hat.  They walk through ways data insights help your brand across departments — from supply chain, to R&D, to finance, to marketing, to sales.

See a small sampling of the wealth of information available in our proprietary research project, Diet Drivers: Why we eat what we eat and why it matters.

End User Survey

ESA’s panel of foodservice purchase decision makers and industry professionals provides a way for brands to get honest feedback from their key customers — operators and distributors — without asking those customers to buy.  Panelists answer more candidly and completely to ESA, as a third party, than they might to individual brands.  Those answers allow brands to make adjustments without costly trial-and-error or guesswork.

  • Respondents receive products (up to 4 samples), prepare it in their kitchens/operations, and provide feedback via online survey.
  • Equivalent to making 20-30 high quality sales calls
  • Metrics captured:
    • Overall liking​
    • Purchase intent
    • NPS Ratings
    • Comments regarding likes/dislikes 
    • Potential improvements

Three Secrets for Trade Show Success

Hear our founder, Stephanie Lind, and recognized tradeshow expert Catherine Porter discuss three ways to maximize the return on your tradeshow booth investment.

They discuss actions you can take now that will improve your exhibit at whichever show you’re planning – Expo West, NRA, Dot Innovations, IDDBA, NACUFS or others.

Take your booth to the next level and create an impact to get results that pay off well into the future, regardless of your company’s budget, staff or expertise.

Is Your CRM Doing All It Should?

Hear Stephanie Lind and Ryan Manley discuss the proven methodology we use for building CRMs at ESA:

  • Conduct profound discovery up and down the org chart and always through a foodservice lens.
  • Map out crucial business processes and ensure they are tailored to how foodservice works – we’ve been there!
  • Build data relationships that mirror foodservice industry relationships.
  • Implement rock-solid data governance to avoid the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ scenario.
  • Apply our winning foodservice sales process – did we mention we’ve been there?
  • Configure a tool that delivers the right information at the right time to the right audience.
  • Leave clients with processes, training, and documentation to ensure future success.

Solving the Foodservice Operator’s Problem

It’s the classic salesperson’s question: How can you solve the operator’s problem? Here’s the answer:

    • Tell a story with the data.
    • Provide insights, show the trends.
    • Meet a need.
    • Make the sale.

    Stephanie Lind sat down with Mark DiDomenico and explored some of the hottest questions manufacturers have about data.

     How do you get it — and know the good from the bad?
     How can you use it, both internally and externally?
     How can it help you nail your presentation to national foodservice chains and distributors — and get results.

    Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers

    Find out how your CRM can deliver more relevant information to your sales and marketing teams, so they can work together more efficiently and effectively.  Chief Marketing Officer Catherine Porter joins founder Stephanie Lind to discuss best practices and the wealth of information a properly-designed CRM can deliver, so your C-suite can make better decisions and set better goals.

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