Champions of a Culture

As Rich’s Director of International Human Resources, Steve Kalicharan has traveled the world, visiting various company operations spread around the globe.  The moment he walks through the door of a Rich’s location, Kalicharan says he knows instantly that he is among family.

“I know I’m in a Rich’s facility because of the way the people there take care of you – they’re really excited to see you and they go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable and treated right.  It just makes you feel at home and part of the family,” Kalicharan explained.  “It’s this caring, family culture that makes Rich’s so unique, and you see it consistently among associates across all our regions.  There are no hidden agendas and the people in this company interact in such an honest way.  There’s a high level of respect for each other everywhere you go.”

He gives a lot of credit to the company’s global team of “Rich Promise Champions.”  The role of each Rich Promise Champion is to promote the organization’s five core family values – Cherish Our Culture, Innovate, Be the Trusted First Choice, Better Our Communities, and Do What’s Right – and communicate to colleagues, both locally and globally, the various ways Rich’s associates uphold each value.

“Those values are not just a sign on the wall,” Kalicharan said.  “Our Rich Promise Champions all over the world live and breathe our five values and bring them to life.”

The company ensures that associates throughout the organization are kept informed about and engaged with those values.  For example, to recognize innovation, Rich’s during its annual Founder’s Day celebration also announces the winners of its internal “Spirit of Innovation” awards, which are presented to individuals or teams across the global enterprise best demonstrating the “think-outside-the-box” entrepreneurial spirit of company founder Robert E. Rich.  The awards recognize those who have identified breakthrough improvements or created trailblazing ideas or services.

“We’re known for celebrating accomplishments,” admitted Kalicharan.  “We have very strong communication vehicles that allow us to share how we live out the five values across the organization.”

The Rich Promise itself is another living reminder of the company’s unique culture.  It states, “We will treat our customers, our associates and our communities the same way: like family.”  The Promise serves as a pledge that Rich’s will hold itself to the highest family values in everything it does.

Great Leader Drivers

Kalicharan first joined Rich’s in 2006, as the head of Human Resources in South Africa.  There he developed strategies to deliver on company business objectives for talent management, leadership development and associate engagement.

In his expanded, international HR post, he plays a pivotal role in how Rich’s builds its corps of bright leaders.  “We’ve put a lot of focus on leadership development, to the extent we’ve been changing our leadership culture,” stated Kalicharan.  “We’ve been busy cascading the ‘Great Leader Drivers’ introduced by (company President & CEO) Bill Gisel in 2010 throughout the organization.”

Rich’s Great Leader Drivers guide its talent management and associate development processes.  They serve as a company model for defining the characteristics of true leadership at Rich’s and for connecting associate strengths with organizational needs.  There are 10 primary behavioral elements of the Great Leader Drivers – five for leaders to drive associate performance and five for them to drive associate engagement.

“Our soft approach has been to show how the behaviors outlined in the Great Leader Drivers benefit associates and the organization,” Kalicharan explained.  “It’s an informal process that moves from socialization to conversation to compliance to commitment and then, finally, to conviction.  When they reach the conviction stage, the leaders don’t need to be told how to behave; the Great Leader Drivers become part of their DNA and it’s just second nature, the norm.”

“Naturally,” he continued, “different regions around the world reach these stages within varying time frames.  But our leadership teams, including the Rich family, do a great job of engraining the company culture all over the world.  On top of that, we’ve been witnessing some positive changes in leadership measurements we take in our associate engagement surveys – a sign the ship is moving in the right direction

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Rich Products is named one of the best employers for adoptive parents

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Rich Products Named One of America’s Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces by Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Buffalo, N.Y., November 10, 2014 – Rich Products Corporation (richs.com) has been recognized for its employee adoption benefits by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Rich’s was ranked fifth in the manufacturing sector on the organization’s 2014 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List (adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org).

Rich’s, the only company in Western New York to make the list, offers its associates up to 12 weeks of parental leave for an adopted child and provides $4,000 to assist in the adoption process. The company has had 14 associates use the benefit, which can be used up to three times.

“It is a great distinction for Rich’s to be named to the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List,” said Maureen Hurley, Rich’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer. “Providing child adoption assistance has been an important part of our associate benefits for several years. I have experienced the joy that comes with welcoming an adopted child into my family. It has been very gratifying to see a variety of Rich’s associates make the decision in their own lives to adopt a child and take advantage of the benefits as well as the support network available at Rich’s.”

Since 2008, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has compiled an annual list of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces to honor employers who offer the best adoption benefits in the U.S. The rankings, compiled from an annual survey of U.S. employers, are determined by an analysis of each company’s adoption benefits, including the maximum financial reimbursement and the amount of paid leave provided for employees who adopt.

“We are incredibly excited and grateful to see a growing number of employers across the country provide adoption benefits for employees,” said Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Adoption, and in particular adoption from foster care, is an important and increasingly common path to parenthood; we commend all of the employers across the country who recognize the importance of providing benefits to employees looking to expand their families through adoption.”

The eighth annual Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list also helps increase foster care adoption awareness while celebrating businesses that support adoptive families. There are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Every year, more than 20,000 children in foster care turn 18 and age out of the system without families.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation:

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 134,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org, call 1-800-ASK-DTFA, or follow the organization onFacebook and Twitter.

About Rich’s:

Rich Products Corporation is a family-owned global food company defined by innovation and an unparalleled commitment to treating its customers, associates, and communities the same way… Like Family. Since 1945, Rich’s has been committed to developing food solutions that raise the standards for quality, safety, convenience and efficiency for its customers. As a leading supplier to the global foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, Rich’s posts annual sales exceeding $3.3 billion, operates 34 manufacturing facilities spanning six continents, and employs more than 9,200 people across the world. Additional company information can be found online (richs.com), on Facebook (Rich Products), on LinkedIn (Rich Products Corporation) and via Twitter (@RichProducts).

 

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Rich’s Celebrates the People Behind the Company’s Industry-Leading Customer Care

As the world paused to celebrate National Customer Service Week from October 6-10, Rich’s took every opportunity to infuse fun and appreciation into a week-long celebration in honor of the remarkable team of associates that care for the needs of Rich’s valued customers.

“We appreciate the extraordinary dedication of the entire customer service and logistics team all 52 weeks of the year,” said Bob Pavone, Vice President, RPC Customer Service & Logistics (CS&L). “Customer Service Appreciation week is a deliberate celebration, a chance to formally recognize our passionate team of professionals, and we hope our gratitude extends well beyond this week because the celebration is really about the total team effort put forth by CS&L associates all year.”

Since its inception 70 years ago, Rich’s has been widely known for the extraordinary people behind the company’s innovative products. Knowing that success cannot be built on products alone, Rich’s has always put the customer’s needs first and dedicated teams to building customer relationships, acquiring business insight, and managing and anticipating the customers’ every need, now and in the future.

Rich’s now has a vast team of highly specialized and knowledgeable CS&L associates committed to customers around the world. These associates are Rich’s first, last and most critical point of contact for customers.

“It is important for our customers to know that on the other end of the phone is someone they know and trust, someone who understands their business and their needs, and can swiftly deliver action,” said Pavone. “We’ve seen countless examples of situations when customer retention has come down to the efforts of one or more CS&L associates and their interactions and relationships with customers.”

Rich’s customer service associates have comprehensive knowledge of the customers’ business, Rich’s products and supply chain, and are able to work collaboratively to pinpoint an issue and deliver a timely solution. What’s more, these team members have the character and communication skills to foster lasting relationships with customers based on trust and results.

“Rich’s customer service capabilities are better than any other company in the business; we know this, and our customers confirm it with their trust and loyalty,” said Bob Pokrzyk, Manager, RPC Customer Service and Logistics. “The relationships that our customer service representatives foster with customers are one of Rich’s best assets.”

Rich’s celebrated the week with themed luncheons, spirited games and activities, giveaways, awards and lots of social gatherings – a pivotal and unique characteristic of Rich’s sought-after family culture.

“Rich’s Customer Service & Logistics associates look forward to this week all year long,” said Al Testa, Manager, RPC CS&L, In-Store Bakery and Vendor Managed Inventory. “The camaraderie and recognition our associates experience in this one week drives engagement, productivity and pride among our team throughout the year.”

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Rich’s Hosts Wellness Fair: Doing What’s Right for Associates

As Rich’s global food business continues to grow, the 70-year-old company maintains a strong connection with its family roots and a watchful eye on “Doing What’s Right.” In the business world, Doing What’s Right means caring for the needs of customers; in the community, it means making a positive impact; and in the workplace, this means caring for the needs of the more than 8,000 associates spread across the world but closely connected as one large extended family.

Rich’s recently hosted a Wellness Week at world headquarters in Buffalo, NY, featuring informative seminars, vendor exhibits, and events geared toward helping associates make healthy lifestyle choices that contribute to their overall wellbeing. Rich’s WHQ Wellness Team planned and hosted the company’s first-ever Wellness Week with five full days of health and wellness themed activities.

Great-Tasting Smoothies for a Great Cause

The Wellness Fair kicked-off with the first-ever Smoothie Competition. Associates prepared and submitted unique smoothie recipes prior to the event, and the Wellness Team selected three Smoothie finalists to blend-up samples of their recipes for a panel of judges. The lively competition was close but the judges selected associate Paula Pietrobon’s “Good 4 You Smoothie” as the winner.

A cash Smoothie Bar was held in Rich’s cafeteria to benefit the United Way.  The Bar featured the three Smoothie Competition finalist recipes and United Way Team Captains donated their time to prepare and serve the refreshing beverages.  Decorated cakes were also sold to benefit the United Way. The hour-long smoothie sales were so successful that a second day of sales were initiated. In all, smoothie and cake sales raised $519 for the United Way.

To add to the fundraising total, associates were encouraged to dress casually in jeans for the Wellness Fair. A $5 donation to the United Way for “Jeans Day” enabled associates to comfortably roam the Fair in Rich’s Atrium and Innovation Center and try-out fitness equipment or take a practice golf swing while exploring the various exhibits hosted by more than 25 local vendors. Exhibitors offered information, activities, and samples, and associates raised another $450 for the United Way.

Putting Farm-Fresh Produce into the Hands of Associates

Rich’s passion for wellness and sustainability came together as Rich’s Green Team brought 17 local farmers and artisans to the company’s Niagara Street parking lot for the 4th annual Farmers Market.

Hundreds of associates got to meet the farmers who work so hard to supply the community with delicious and healthy ingredients.  While associates explored the local produce at the market they also learned about the environmental benefits of eating food raised a short distance from home. Local food doesn’t have far to travel and that reduces carbon dioxide emissions and the need for packaging. In addition, the time between harvest and consumption is shorter, which means more nutrients are preserved. The winning combination of succulent and sustainable food makes mealtime delicious and purchase decisions environmentally-friendly.

Associates who made market purchases were invited to attend a free lunch created by Rich’s culinary staff.  This delicious and healthy lunch incorporated several items sold by the vendors. While enjoying lunch, associates tested their “Fruits & Vegetables IQ” as part of Rich’s Wellness Week and 25 winners were drawn at random to receive a reusable lunch kit – which, when used at Rich’s Dolly’s Café, gives associates a discount on food purchases for bringing reusable dinning gear.
The Green Team also offered Rich’s freezer bags at the market and directed all sales proceeds to the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP), an urban farm in downtown Buffalo. Over 100 bags were sold and a total of $330 was donated to MAP’s capital campaign for a new farmhouse and community food center.

Throughout the week, Rich’s Wellness Team found various ways to introduce associates to the latest health and wellness trends, while offering information and encouragement to continue living an active lifestyle, identify stress-relieving activities, and eat nutritious foods; all to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life.

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Rich’s Serves as Lead Sponsor for 43 North’s Awards Ceremony and Reception

Buffalo, NY, November 4, 2014 – Rich Products Corporation served as lead sponsor for 43 North’s award ceremony and reception held on October 30 at Shea’s Theater in Buffalo, New York.

The 43 North business development program, part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative, provided a total of $5 million in cash prizes to 11 companies that advanced to the final stage after several rounds of judging and pitching to a renowned panel of investors and industry leaders. The winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for a year as well as access to mentors in their fields.

“One of our core values as a company is ‘Innovate … Imagine what’s possible and create what’s valued.’ This value certain reflects the entrepreneurial spirit each 43 North finalist exhibited throughout the competitive selection process,” said Dwight Gram, Rich’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.  “Rich’s congratulates the 43 North leadership and staff for creating a unique and rewarding campaign that brought great attention to the city of Buffalo, and we wish the 11 winners much success as they begin their journey as members of our community.”

As a lead sponsor, Rich’s provided funding, in-kind catering food and services for the awards event, advertising support for the program, and leadership blogs for the 43 North website.

The competition generated 6,932 submissions from 96 countries and all 50 states. At the awards ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy announced that ASi, LLC, based in Tonawanda, N.Y., was the winner of the competition, receiving $1 million in funding to grow the company locally. The company developed a rapid metal process that produces more durable components for engines and medical devices at a lower cost than overseas competitors. Six runner-up companies were awarded $500,000 and four other finalists received $250,000.

 

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Black Bears™ Voted as Name of New West Virginia NY-Penn League Franchise

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Oct. 22, 2014 –After more than 2,500 suggestions and 10,000 fan votes online, Rich Baseball Operations announced today that the West Virginia Black Bears™ has been chosen as the name of its new NY-Penn League franchise.

The West Virginia Black Bears™ will take the field for the first time in June  2015 at the new baseball-only ballpark that will be shared with the Big XII WVU Mountaineers baseball team.

The Black Bear is the official state animal of West Virginia and lives in all 55 counties of the state. The Black Bear is large and ferocious, but is also a highly intelligent animal, which can both outwit and outsmart its opponent, giving it many advantages to earn victory.

This is already the second “victory” for Black Bears™ in West Virginia. It was by popular vote in 1954 that the animal was chose as the state’s official animal. Since then, the population of black bears has steadily increased in the state.

“We are very excited to begin our identity as the West Virginia Black Bears™ and continue moving forward to Opening Day 2015,” said Matt Drayer, General Manager of the Black Bears™. “We want to thank all the great baseball fans of West Virginia for their tremendous support and engagement throughout the naming process.”

“We would also like to thank Dr. Dallas Branch and the West Virginia University Graduate Sports Management Program Sports Marketing Class for their efforts and teamwork in executing our fan voting contest.”

Branch, along with graduate students Andrew DiPietrantonio, Kristen Furlong, Brett Ervin and Manuel Garcia-Oronoz, were instrumental in the execution and success of the ‘Name the Team’ contest locally.

Black Bears™ was chosen after more than 2,500 name suggestions were received through online and paper ballots at United Bank and Clear Mountain Bank locations during a two-week span in September. Fans were then encouraged to vote from October 3-10 from a Top-10 list for their favorite name. In all, more than 10,000 votes were received with Black Bears™ coming out on top as the new name for the franchise.

Reserve your Season Tickets today

Fans can now reserve season tickets for the inaugural season of the West Virginia Black Bears™. Beginning on Opening Day, fans will have the best seats at the best possible price for all 38 Black Bears™ home games in 2015.

Season tickets, which can be reserved with a $100 deposit for each seat, will be $342 for premium seating and  $285 for reserved seat tickets. Along with a great discount off the single-game ticket price, Black Bears™ Season Ticket Holders will receive the first access to playoff tickets, reduced rates on ballpark parking and special privileges and gifts.

Fans can make a deposit by calling team offices at (304) 293-7910 or by emailing WVBlackBears@gmail.com. There is also a form fans can fill out and email in at WestVirginiaBlackBears.com. A seat lottery will be held to determine seat location.

New Ways to Follow Black Bears™

With a new name, there are now new ways to stay up-to-date with all the exciting news and information leading up to the Black Bears™ Opening Day.

The official website for the team is now WestVirginiaBlackBears.com. You can follow the club on Twitter @WVBlackBears, Facebook (facebook.com/WVBlackBears), Instagram (@WVBlackBears) and Vine (WVBlackBears). Fans can contact the team via email at WVBlackBears@gmail.com or by calling (304) 293-7910.

“Name The Team” Contest Winner

During the ‘Name Suggestion’ period of the naming contest, the team received over 2,500 unique and fun suggestions for a new club moniker. Several fans made the suggestion of Black Bears™ or of some variation of the new team name. Among those suggestions, Dan J. of Philippi, WV was selected by a random lottery to receive four complimentary season tickets for the entire 2015 inaugural season.

The Black Bears™ staff will also be contacting the first 500 fans who submitted a name during the first part of the contest. Each will receive a complimentary ticket voucher for a game during the 2015 season.

CONTACT

Matt Drayer –GM West Virginia Black Bears™

(304) 293-7910

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Rich’s Launches First Non-Dairy Topping into Korean Coffee Market: AeroTop Offers Customers a Flavorful, Stable, High-Yielding Alternative to Dairy

America’s caffeine craze has been brewing for decades, but in Korea, the coffee phenomenon is just beginning to percolate. The explosive growth and demand within the café and bakery category has increased the need for toppings to garnish the lush, caffeinated beverages and sweet treats consumers are now craving. Rich’s team in Korea recently set-out to develop a non-dairy blended topping to compete with the dairy products on the market. Rich’s new AeroTop is gaining momentum and impressing customers with key performance benefits such as higher yield, less loss and more stability.

As the coffee market in Korea grows, so does the size of the dollop. Small and medium sized café chains are quickly developing new menus and it seems every item comes with a dollop of whipping cream. Nearly every operator is using an ISI gas whipper to dispense real dairy whipping cream and customers unanimously report product waste, inconsistency and poor stability on hot beverages.

“We were successful in penetrating the premier coffee chain, Caffé Bene, with Rich’s Gold Label milk flavor product, but we quickly learned that most customers prefer a refrigerated product to a frozen product given limited freezer space and ease of use,” said Brad Kim, Sr. Product Manager.

Recognizing the market trend, Rich’s Korea sought to bring a new non-dairy blended product to market that would meet operators’ demand for less loss and better taste. Utilizing the market research gathered and understanding the customer’s needs, the R&D team formulated AeroTop which perfectly suits the category demand as it performs at more than 90% yield with a rich dairy flavor derived from Belgian dairy butter and can still be dispensed using the ISI whipper.

The complicated formula was finalized in October of 2013 and Rich’s Korea introduced AeroTop in the market in the same month.

“AeroTop is the first non-dairy cream Rich’s has developed and targeted for the Korean foodservice channel, particularly the coffee market,” said Brad Kim. “The introduction of AeroTop was a springboard into the foodservice channel were many customers were not aware of our brand, as our major sales activities were focused in bakery channels.”

Since introducing AeroTop into the marketplace, Rich’s has built a portfolio of products to offer foodservice customers in Korea, further positioning Rich’s as a one-stop solution provider.

“Customers using AeroTop are realizing many benefits including stronger product performance, especially in terms of stability on hot beverages and desserts, and exceptional yield rates between 30 and 40 percent higher than the competition, which directly achieves cost reduction,” said Voon San Wong, Vice-President, Marketing and R&D – Asia. “Our customers are also experiencing a more stable supply chain; one of the benefits of sourcing locally manufactured products as compared to imported products.”

AeroTop may be Rich’s first step into the emulsion category of the Korean coffee category, but it’s bound to pave the way for additional products and growth. Congratulations to the product development team of KS Ahn, Kevin Cheng, Allen Liang, Peter Park, SH Moon, Edison Huang, Colin Ouyang, Brad Kim, Dr. Yi-Do Lin, and Voon San Wong.

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Delivering Products to Customers Faster

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ROAR Logistics Continues Expansion into Southeast With New Florida Operations Center

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 2, 2014 – Global third-party logistics provider ROAR Logistics Inc. celebrated its 11th anniversary this week by broadening its geographic reach, dipping farther into the fertile Southeast with the opening of operations in the Tampa Bay area, home of Florida’s busiest port.

ROAR’s new Florida Operations Center, based in Clearwater, continues a run of strategic acquisitions and expansion that began more than 18 months ago.  The new office provides the company and its customers direct access to myriad shipping opportunities through Port Tampa Bay, which handles nearly 40 percent of all cargo moving in and out of the state of Florida.  Shipments through the sprawling port embrace virtually every imaginable commodity from all corners of the earth.

Founded Oct. 1, 2003, ROAR Logistics offers a full spectrum of Rail, Ocean, Air and Road transportation services to an array of local, national and global customers.  The company is a subsidiary of global food manufacturer Rich Products Corp., headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Tampa Bay-area office gives ROAR its sixth U.S. location.  The new Southeast operation expands the availability of ROAR’s comprehensive transportation and logistics solutions for customers around the nation seeking more-responsive, dynamic service offerings.

The Florida opening is the latest of several strategic business developments for ROAR.

In January 2013, ROAR opened its first office on the West Coast in Temecula, Calif., extending its reach into Mexico and positioning the company in proximity to the most-active ports in America, including Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In May 2014, ROAR purchased Phoenix-based Legend Transportation Group (LTG), a full-service, third-party logistics (3PL) provider known for its managed solutions model and online, Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipment solutions.  The acquisition of LTG added a significant new dimension to ROAR’s service offerings, while reinforcing the company’s presence in the West.

“ROAR lately has enjoyed a burst of growth into new, major markets, a trend we plan to continue,” said Bob Rich III, ROAR Logistics’ Founder and President.  “These recent moves place us in tremendous, strategic locations and provide new career opportunities for our associates.

“We felt the timing was right to stick our flag in Florida and build that location the way we have in Buffalo, Atlanta, Temecula, Phoenix and elsewhere,” Rich continued.  “Being near Port Tampa Bay, we look to replicate the success we’ve had utilizing the major Southern California ports.  Tampa gives us a very strong port plus increased prospects for domestic inland service, especially for our national customers who already have a presence in Florida.”

“Our new operation in Tampa will solidify our footprint within the Southeastern marketplace and present many additional growth opportunities for all our focus areas – intermodal, over-the-road, international and LTL,” explained Tony Barnes, ROAR’s Vice President of Operations.  “Our associates will have great opportunities to penetrate a large consumer market and focus on expanding an already-existing customer base, as well as developing new opportunities that complement our business around the country.”

The new Florida Operations Center reports to Barnes, who is based in Atlanta.

Rich said ROAR will continue to set itself apart from other industry providers by focusing on its distinctive brand of boutique service.  “Our niche is high-quality transportation solutions with personalized customer service,” he stated.

“I believe our affiliation with a major food company, Rich Products, gives us an insider’s perspective that benefits our ROAR customers,” Rich offered.  “We know what it’s like to be a manufacturer and we understand the viewpoint of the shipper.  We’re not just a transportation company.

“ROAR has all the service capabilities of the larger outfits, but then we outperform through the personal touch that only a customer-focused, family operation can provide.  And as we continue our growth strategy, we’ll keep expanding our value-added services for customers.”

About ROAR Logistics Inc.

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., ROAR Logistics is a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider specializing in domestic truckload and intermodal “piggyback” transportation services and international ocean freight forwarding.  True to its name, ROAR delivers Rail, Ocean, Air and Road (truck) transportation and logistics solutions to a diverse clientele.  Through its unwavering commitment to world-class customer service, ROAR has raised the bar for other transportation service providers and captured widespread attention within the industry.

Founded by Bob Rich III on Oct. 1, 2003, as a subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation, ROAR has grown consistently, adding operations in Atlanta, Ga., Peoria, Ill., Temecula, Calif., Phoenix, Ariz., and Clearwater, Fla.  ROAR began with three full-time associates and now has more than 60 associates nationwide.  Its workforce is expected to top 70 professionals entering 2015.

For more information about ROAR Logistics, visit roarlogistics.com, Facebook or Twitter.

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Farm Rich Brings Restaurant Favorites Home with New Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites and Loaded Potato Skins

ST. SIMON’S ISLAND, Ga. (Sept. 18, 2014) – Perfect for gridiron game days or family game nights, Farm Rich Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites and Loaded Potato Skins are win-win snacks for fall. The newest Signature Snacks from Farm Rich are available nationwide beginning in September.

Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites can be found exclusively at Walmart Supercenters, and Loaded Potato Skins are currently available at Delhaize, Ahold and Meijer. More information on these new products can be located using the Farm Rich product finder, found at farmrich.com. Prices for the new products will range from $5.49 to $6.99 and may vary by retailer.

Made with 100% real mozzarella cheese, wrapped in pizzeria style crust and filled with pepperoni in every bite, Farm Rich Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites are ready to be popped in the oven or microwave anytime for a quick and delicious snack. The perfect snack for kids, packed with protein, these cheesy bites with perfectly seasoned marinara sauce go from the freezer to the table much faster than waiting for delivery.

The new Loaded Potato Skins bring a classic restaurant appetizer home to be enjoyed anytime, with no need to go
anywhere to satisfy the craving for these family favorites. Ready in minutes, these upscale appetizers feature Idaho potatoes stuffed with real cheddar cheese and bacon. Loaded Potato Skins will fly off the table whether served as a wholesome, after-school snack or as a fun side with dinner.

“Our brand is all about making moms and dads’ busy lives a little easier,” said Shannon Gilreath, senior marketing manager for Farm Rich. “The new Pepperoni Pizzeria Bites and Loaded Potato Skins, both made with real cheese and the highest quality ingredients, bring two restaurant favorites home to the freezer to be enjoyed any time.”

About Farm Rich

A leading brand of Rich Products Corporation, Farm Rich is based in St. Simons Island, Ga., and features a successful portfolio of frozen snacks and appetizer products sold at grocery and club stores nationwide. Farm Rich makes “real food for real families” – wholesome great-tasting snacks that are sure to please family and friends. For nutritional information, recipes and more, visit farmrich.com.

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Rich’s Sponsors Women’s Foodservice Forum Career Progression Study

In July, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) presented the results of a career progression study that Rich’s sponsored at the 12th Annual WFF 2014 Executive Summit in New Orleans.

As a strong advocate for internal professional development and cross-functional training for its associates, Rich’s provided a significant grant to fund the research that was introduced to more than 300 foodservice industry executives. The study was designed to deepen the industry’s understanding of leadership skills and explore future trends in career advancement for women.

The results were revealed in a white paper, “A Roadmap to the C-Suite,” that is available as a free download at the following link:

www.womensfoodserviceforum.com/CPWhitePaper

“It was of the utmost importance for Rich Products to support this endeavor as it mirrors the value our organization places on career development and advancing women leaders within Rich Products,” said Bill Gisel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rich Products. “We too will use the study findings to reinforce our current career development strategies at Rich’s, and we are also very proud of the positive implications this will have on the industry at large.”

With sights set on gender parity on executive teams, WFF, the trusted leadership development organization in the foodservice sector, and Kenexa, an IBM company that is a pioneer in employee research and workforce performance, unveiled the findings of the year-long study on the factors and competencies that influence women’s leadership development and advancement to the C-Suite.

“We conducted this research study to acquire an understanding into the key competencies and factors that have contributed to success for those who have already achieved C-level roles,” said Hattie Hill, WFF President & CEO. “We are thankful for Rich’s sponsorship of the research study and longtime support of the WFF mission. The key findings will enable us to continuously evolve our training and development for our members, at all levels of their careers, and best serve our mission of advancing women leaders.”

WFF members were asked to respond to a series of questions related to the critical factors that influenced their success at different levels of their careers:

  • Emerging Leader [Managers]
  • Emerging Executive [Directors]
  • Executive [Vice Presidents]
  • C-Suite [CXO]

The participants addressed one fundamental question: “What factors influence women’s success in achieving the highest levels of leadership in the foodservice industry?”

The results indicated several valuable conclusions that correlate to WFF’s Leadership Competency Model:

• Early in their careers, women at the top gained competence in delivering results and demonstrating financial acumen. Pivotal competencies such as Strategic Thinking and Visioning and understanding the business climate, become most critical in their ascension to the C-Suite.

• Executive leaders are confident and take action. They make things happen and they are not easily deterred, even when the stakes and the pressures are high.

• Executive leaders drive for results and aren’t afraid to take risks to gain success. They are more willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones to take on new assignments, experiences and roles – even if they don’t think they are fully prepared.

• Regardless of functional expertise, building overall business and financial acumen has been important in their career growth and success.

• Women in the top spots didn’t get there by accident. Most set their sights on the top spots early in their careers by establishing career goals and following personal development plans.

By recognizing the key factors that have proven successful for women currently in top business positions, the WFF can develop leaders and increase the representation of women in the C-Suite and boardroom.

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Made in WNY: Rich Products’ UBR, R&D in Buffalo

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Rich’s Launches New Whipped Icing Bursting with Iconic Hershey’s® Flavor

When a cocoa craving kicks in, chocolate-lovers around the world reach for the unmistakable, unbeatable quality and flavor of a Hershey’s® bar. Now, chocolate-seeking American’s can find the indulgent, creamy chocolate flavor they love in countless in-store bakery treats finished with Rich’s new Chocolate Bettercreme® made with Hershey’s®.

“When this unparalleled, decadent combination of flavor and texture is showcased atop a cake or cupcake and garnished with additional Hershey’s® chocolate pieces, a traditional dessert is transformed into an indulgent masterpiece,” said Courtney Erikson, Assistant Marketing Manager, Customer Shopper Marketing, Rich Products Corporation.

The classic chocolate color and legendary flavor of Hershey’s® combined with the smooth, creamy texture of Rich’s Bettercreme® create mouth-watering treats that entice consumers to enjoy for entertaining, celebrations or any day indulgences.

For more than 100 years, consumers have looked for the Hershey’s® brand by name. With Rich’s new indulgent whipped icing made with real Hershey’s® cocoa, chocolate-lovers everywhere can get their decadent flavor fix by reaching for the brand they know and trust in their local bakery.

“The statistics showing consumer preference for the iconic Hershey’s® brand paved the way for Rich’s creation of a customized, yet classic product that’s sure to catch the eye of shoppers,” Erickson explained.  “The signature Hershey’s® milk chocolate color will entice consumers to purchase, while the perfect blend of ingredients will have them coming back for more.  In-store dessert decorators will love the versatility of this product, and store managers will be thrilled with the boost this specialty flavor gives to bakery sales.”

Recent studies reveal that 53 percent of consumers surveyed believe desserts carrying the Hershey’s® brand taste better than unbranded desserts. In addition, desserts made with Hershey’s® branded ingredients were chosen by the subjects 50-percent more often than unbranded desserts.  The latest additions to Rich’s Bettercreme® portfolio capitalizes on these consumer preferences.

Raising the bar on chocolate indulgence, and sales!

Rich’s ChocolateBettercreme® made with Hershey’s®is a classic chocolate flavored whipped icing with a smooth creamy texture and rich indulgent chocolate taste made with genuine Hershey’s® cocoa.

In-store bakeries can decorate with confidence, knowing Rich’s Chocolate Bettercreme® made with Hershey’s ® is a perfectly sweet, delicious icing for cakes and cupcakes or filling for donuts, éclair shells, crème puffs, cookies, and so much more.

Incremental sales are sure to rise as the trusted Hershey’s® brand draws-in the consumer and the incomparable creaminess of Rich’s Bettercreme® whipped icing keeps them coming back for more.

Rich’s also expanded its fully finished cake portfolio to include a 7” Fully Finished Double Layer Chocolate Cake made with the new Hershey’s® whipped icing. The delicious, double layer chocolate cake is iced with Rich’s Chocolate Bettercreme® made with Hershey’s® whipped icing and finished with Hershey’s® Kisses.

Rich’s complete line of made-with Hershey’s® products gives retailers the ability to cross merchandise the fully finished cake with desserts decorated with Hershey’s® Chocolate Bettercreme® and the new fully baked Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Hershey’s® Milk Chocolate Kisses.

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Rich’s Invites C-Store Retailers to Innovation Center

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Professional Baseball is coming to Morgantown, WV

August 25, 2014 –Professional baseball has found a new home in Morgantown, West Virginia starting in 2015. Rich Baseball Operations today announced the relocation of its short-season Class-A New York-Penn League franchise to the City.

Professional affiliated baseball in Morgantown represents an exciting new partnership between Rich Baseball Operations and West Virginia University. The team, which will serve as the Class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and compete from mid-June through Labor Day each summer, will play their home games in the new baseball complex currently under construction for West Virginia University’s intercollegiate Big XII baseball program.

“We’re extremely excited to find a state-of-the-art home for our team here in Morgantown, West Virginia and to partner with everyone at West Virginia University,” said Bob Rich, Chairman of Rich Products Corporation and Owner of the Team.

“With the Mountaineers in the Big XII conference and the construction of this great new facility, it’s a tremendous opportunity to bring our fun and exciting brand of minor league baseball to the fans of Morgantown and Monongalia County,” said Mindy Rich, President of Rich Entertainment Group.

Rich Products Corporation is a privately-owned multi-national food service and entertainment company based in Buffalo, New York.

“On behalf of West Virginia University, we’re delighted to have Rich Baseball as part of the sports fabric of West Virginia,” said Oliver Luck, Athletic Director of West Virginia University. “We’re looking forward to a long and productive relationship.”

Known throughout the baseball industry for innovation and dedication to the fan experience, Rich Baseball Operations has won three Baseball America Bob Freitas Awards for having minor league baseball’s top operation as well as the 1992 John H. Johnson President’s Trophy for the best managed franchise. Rich Baseball owns and operates the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons and the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals and has owned the NY-Penn league franchise since the 1989 season.

As the Class-A affiliate of the Pirates, Morgantown baseball will give their fans the very first glimpse of Pittsburgh’s future stars. Before the top prospects appear for the Pirates, they’ll play in Morgantown just 70 miles away from PNC Park.

“The Pirates are thrilled to be affiliated with the new partnership between West Virginia University and Bob and Mindy Rich,” said Robert Nutting, Principle Owner and Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Pirates. “The Nutting family has a long history with WVU and we are delighted to continue our relationship with the Rich Family, Jonathan Dandes and their outstanding business team. We look forward to Pirates’ fans having access to the beautiful WVU campus and first class ballpark, as well as having the opportunity to see the Pirates of tomorrow begin their professional careers in Morgantown.”

The team will hold a ‘naming contest’ for fans to help with the selection of the club’s new moniker during the Fall of 2014. Fans interested in finding out more information on the team should visit MorgantownProBaseball.com or follow the team on facebook (Morgantown Baseball) and twitter (@MorgantownBall). To be added to a mailing list for ticket information when available, fans can email the team at MorgantownBaseball@gmail.com.

 

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Atrium is showcase as Rich hosts national food service event

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Rich Products Sponsors Career Progression Study by The Women’s Foodservice Forum

Buffalo, N.Y., July 29, 2014 – Rich Products Corp. today announced that the results of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) career progression study the company sponsored last year were presented at the 12th Annual WFF 2014 Executive Summit in New Orleans.

Rich’s provided a significant grant to fund the research that was introduced to more than 300 foodservice industry executives. The study was designed to deepen the industry’s understanding of leadership skills and explore future trends in career advancement for women.

The results were revealed in a white paper, “A Roadmap to the C-Suite,” that is available to download at the following link: http://www.womensfoodserviceforum.com/CPWhitePaper

“It was of the utmost importance for Rich Products to support this endeavor as it mirrors the value our organization places on career development and advancing women leaders within Rich Products,” said Bill Gisel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rich Products. “We too will use the study findings to reinforce our current career development strategies at Rich’s, and we are also very proud of the positive implications this will have on the industry at large.”

With sights set on gender parity on executive teams, WFF, the trusted leadership development organization in the foodservice sector, and Kenexa, an IBM company that is a pioneer in employee research and workforce performance, unveiled the findings of the year-long study on the factors and competencies that influence women’s leadership development and advancement to the C-Suite.

“We conducted this research study to acquire an understanding into the key competencies and factors that have contributed to success for those who have already achieved C-level roles,” said Hattie Hill, WFF President & CEO. “We are thankful for Rich’s sponsorship of the research study and longtime support of the WFF mission. The key findings will enable us to continuously evolve our training and development for our members, at all levels of their careers, and best serve our mission of advancing women leaders.”

For the survey, WFF members were asked to respond to a series of questions related to the critical factors that influenced their success at different levels of their careers:

  • Emerging Leader [Managers]
  • Emerging Executive [Directors]
  • Executive [Vice Presidents]
  • C-Suite [CXO]

 

The participants addressed one fundamental question: “What factors influence women’s success in achieving the highest levels of leadership in the foodservice industry?”

The results indicated several valuable conclusions that correlate to WFF’s Leadership Competency Model:

• Early in their careers, women at the top gained competence in delivering results and demonstrating financial acumen. Pivotal competencies such as Strategic Thinking and Visioning and understanding the business climate, become most critical in their ascension to the C-Suite.

• Executive leaders are confident and take action. They make things happen and they are not easily deterred, even when the stakes and the pressures are high.

• Executive leaders drive for results and aren’t afraid to take risks to gain success. They are more willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones to take on new assignments, experiences and roles – even if they don’t think they are fully prepared.

• Regardless of functional expertise, building overall business and financial acumen has been important in their career growth and success.

• Women in the top spots didn’t get there by accident. Most set their sights on the top spots early in their careers by establishing career goals and following personal development plans.

By recognizing the key factors that have proven successful for women currently in top business positions, the WFF can develop leaders and increase the representation of women in the C-Suite and boardroom.

 

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Small in Size, Big on Flavor: Rich’s New, Smaller-Portioned Desserts Serve Up Sweet Success

In-store bakeries nationwide just received a big boost from a handful of little desserts. Rich’s new lineup of indulgent, decadent treats includes six items perfectly portioned for one to two people: Mini Chocolate Brownie Extreme, Mini Caramel Sea Salt Blondie Extreme, Mini Boston Crème, and three flavors of bar cake (Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate, and Carrot).

“The popularity of individual desserts keeps rising, partly because households have been getting smaller and snacking frequency has been increasing,” explained Lauren Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager for Desserts in Rich’s In-Store Bakery Division. “Dessert is no longer limited to the final course of the evening meal – it’s become an all-day, any-day phenomenon. The fact that 40 percent of consumers are now eating dessert twice a week or more suggests the timing is perfect for these sweet little indulgences, which are just right for enjoying by yourself or sharing with a friend.”

According to a report by Nielsen Perishables Group, the volume of individual desserts sold by supermarket in-store bakeries in the United States grew in 2013 by 3.4 percent over the previous year. Even more impressive, brownies and dessert bars rose 15.9 percent in volume and 14.2 percent in sales during the same period.

Taking both consumer purchasing habits and trending flavors into account, Rich’s innovative series of handcrafted, smaller-portioned desserts offers up both the taste and the size shoppers are looking for. “The response so far indicates consumers are looking for smaller, fully finished items in the flavors of the day, for those impulsive little moments,” Lopez stated.

According to a report released in 2013 by Datassential MenuTrends, chocolate remains America’s No. 1 dessert flavor, while the combination of buttery caramel with savory sea salt continues to increase in popularity, commanding the attention of retailers coast to coast. In fact, MenuTrends reported that the caramel sea salt flavor registered an 850-percent increase in U.S. menu incidence during the four-year period 2009-2013.

Statistics such as these, Lopez noted, explain the demand for indulgent desserts such as Rich’s delectable Mini Caramel Sea Salt Blondie Extreme, which is layered with creamy, sea-salted caramel drizzle, pecans, and rich chocolate chips.

“These smaller-portioned desserts, with their trendy, appealing flavors, illustrate how innovation can help bakery operators gain a competitive edge,” she said. “At Rich’s, we have a passion for helping customers, and innovation helps fuel that enthusiasm.”

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Rich’s Expands “Made With Oreo®” Product Line: Delivers Golden Opportunity to In-Store Bakeries

A stroll through your local in-store bakery will reveal a plethora of chocolate-based indulgences. But what if chocolate isn’t your go-to flavor? A growing number of consumers are looking for everyday desserts that feature flavors other than the famed cocoa varieties. To satisfy the dessert cravings of every consumer and drive incremental sales, Rich’s launched two innovative new products earlier this year, both featuring real pieces of America’s second-most-popular Oreo® cookie, the Golden Oreo®.

Developed by the trend-setting and industry-leading dessert innovator, Rich’s new Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake and the Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® Made with Golden Oreo® are sure to delight non-chocolate lovers and shoppers of all ages.

Rich’s was the first-to-market with this novel pair of vanilla-flavored offerings in the whipped icing and ice cream cake categories. Leveraging the popularity and familiarity of reputable licensed brands has proven highly successful for Rich’s and retailers in the past, so these latest product innovations are a natural evolution from the trusted dessert leader.

“Both products take advantage of the lofty status of Golden Oreo® as the no. 2 Oreo® overall,” explained Courtney Erickson, Assistant Marketing Manager, Customer Shopper Marketing, Rich Products Corporation. “The phenomenal popularity of the 10-year-old Golden Oreo® adds extra variety to the dessert case, promising sweet success for our customers.”

The new Golden Oreo® products have been available nationally since the beginning of the year and are already proving to be successful in driving incremental sales throughout the nation’s in-store bakeries, further delivering on Rich’s promise that the new dessert products made with Golden Oreo® particulates are ‘worth their weight in gold.’

Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® made with Golden Oreo®
Golden Oreo® Bettercreme® is a vanilla cookie flavored whipped icing with a smooth texture, light and creamy taste made with over one pound of real Golden Oreo® cookie pieces in every 9 lb. pail! Its soft yellow color looks deliciously indulgent on white or yellow cakes and cupcakes and will entice vanilla cookie lovers to enjoy as an anyday treat.

A commitment to innovation has positioned Rich’s as the leader in the whipped icing category and the company’s proprietary, cutting-edge technology allows for real Golden Oreo® particulates to mix perfectly with the sweet, vanilla whipped icing that is the hallmark of the Bettercreme® brand.

Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake
The new Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake is Rich’s first all-vanilla dessert ice cream cake available in the marketplace. Serving up to eight people, it consists of creamy, vanilla-flavored ice cream blended with real Golden Oreo® cookie pieces and topped with whipped icing and a Golden Oreo® cookie.

The deliciously approachable flavor is perfect for anyday occasions, birthdays, and parties, and further expands the in-store bakery dessert options under $15. The Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake is the latest progression in Rich’s cookie-inspired ice cream cake product line, following top sellers Oreo® Ice Cream Cake and Chips Ahoy!® Ice Cream Cake.

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Gisel sees Rich investment as boost for Niagara Street

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Rich’s Has Talent: India Exec Shines in CEOs Got Talent Charitable Competition

Heads-up Howie Mandel, there’s been new talent discovered and it comes from the far reaches of Rich’s global enterprise! Rich’s own, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Exec Director & CEO of Rich’s Graviss India, was a winner in the televised CEO’s Got Talent competition, a charity event where 12 of India’s top CEOs step out of the boardroom and onto the stage to showcase their hidden talents.

Pankaj commanded the stage in-front of a live audience and three esteemed judges from India’s entertainment industry, and brought home the first runner-up prize for his soulful rendition of Kishore Kumar Song, Vaada Tera Vaada. The judges lauded his performance as an “explosion of talent,” and commended him for his energy, passion and great stage presence.

Pankaj’s extraordinary personality and passionate singing voice also helped him win the BBM (Blackberry Messenger) Users Most Popular CEO Award, an online public voting competition.

The Got Talent franchise, owned by FremantleMedia, is hugely successful all over the world. Fans of the US-based show know the widely entertaining and always unexpected American Judges, Mel B, Howard Stern, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel for making Americans’ dreams come true on national television.

A spin-off of the popular Got Talent series, the CEOs Got Talent gala event witnessed CEO’s of India battle-it-out in front of the judges – filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actor Raveena Tandon and Colors CEO Raj Nayak. The show was presented by BBM in a first-of-its-kind initiative that was held to recognize the creativity among CEOs. Pankaj competed against 11 other CEOs in the CNBC televised event and the groups’ talents ranged from singing and dancing to stand-up comedy and cooking.

Proceeds from a post-event auction were donated to the Genesis Foundation, which provides financial support for life-saving and life-changing medical intervention for critically ill, under-privileged children in the areas of cancer, cardiac disorder, organ failure, thalassemia and extreme deformities.

Congratulations, Pankaj! Thank you for representing Rich’s so well in and out of the boardroom!

To witness Pankaj’s performance and all the unexpected, unpredictable moments from this exciting new series, visit the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S9AVOUmh7w – (Pankaj’s message to users after winning the BBM users’ popular CEO award)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQdZuS4nDvg- (Pankaj’s performance)

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Rich’s Celebrates Grand Opening of the Innovation Center and Atrium@Rich’s

Every great renovation deserves an exciting unveiling, and Rich’s new Innovation Center and Atrium@Rich’s is an ovation-worthy redesign and conversion project. Hundreds of associates and guests gathered at the family-owned company’s headquarters in Buffalo, NY, on June 24, for an opening event, ushering in an exciting new era of intensified customer focus, growth and commitment to innovation for Rich’s.

“This room is a testament to our unique culture and our core value to Imagine What’s Possible and Create What’s Valued,” said Mindy Rich, Vice Chairman, Rich Products. “This new space is the perfect example of what can be created with vision and a lot of hard work.”

Conversion of the 25-year-old facility required months of intensive planning and hard work. The renovation project design team was tasked with turning the existing space into a “family room” for Rich’s headquarters in downtown Buffalo. The new family room, nestled at the core of the building, is a reflection of Rich’s heritage and proud family roots. A 40-foot-tall reclaimed brick fireplace anchors the great space, delivering warmth, character and an air of nostalgia to the impressive room. A three-story gallery wall is adorned by family photos, including past and present associates from around the world.

“The family room is the heart of a flourishing home,” said Mindy, “and the Atrium will be the center of our family-owned company’s home here in Buffalo. Like any great living space, the Atrium is where our family will gather to entertain, collaborate, and recharge; it will host meaningful and engaging encounters between customers, associates, and the community.”

What better way to celebrate the new space than with a celebration, complete with champagne toasts and a very special ribbon-cutting. Members of Rich’s Executive Leadership Team came together and collectively made the ceremonial first-cut of a ribbon cake.

The Innovation Center and Atrium includes 84,000 square feet of redesigned space to host dynamic customer interactions and presentations, intimate associate gatherings and formal social events.

“This brand new Atrium and Innovation Center are the latest examples of our commitment to the Rich Experience and our ongoing investment in the success of our customers,” said Bob Rich Jr., Chairman, Rich Products.For as much as we will enjoy this facility, it really was built with our customers in mind.”

The Customer Innovation Center boasts a spacious, high-tech product presentation area with advanced videoconferencing capabilities to improve the speed and efficiency of customer collaboration for Rich’s sales, marketing and culinary teams. In the wings of the Atrium, customers can experience a flexible, multi-use test kitchen that replicates a typical back-of-house operation where Rich’s can demonstrate how products integrate into real food preparation environments.

The space features a new brand of collaborative meeting functionality, complete with broadcast-enabled presentation and learning areas equipped with communications technologies to link associates and customers around the world.

Associates are already enjoying the casual and comfortable meeting spaces created in the informal seating and dining areas. The renovation also included upgrades to the associate dining area, Dolly’s Café, and fitness center.

Finally, the Atrium@Rich’s serves up an expanded venue for public and private event hosting and catering excellence, accommodating social and business gatherings for up to 1,000 attendees.

With contemporary seating, eye-catching patterns, and hanging LED lights that look like dollops of Rich’s topping, this room is an innovative sensory delight. The room has an effortless, whimsical feel, but behind the scenes tremendous thought went into every detail, including the acoustics, state-of-the-art technological advancement, sustainable lighting and flooring options, and use of space and light.

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Rich Products Corporation Introduces New Innovation Center and Atrium at its Buffalo World Headquarters

Buffalo, N.Y., June 24, 2014 – Rich Products Corp. today officially debuted its new expansive, multi-use Innovation Center and Atrium @ Rich’s following an $18.5 million renovation project at its World Headquarters on Niagara Street in Buffalo.

Conversion of the 25-year-old Rich Renaissance Niagara Atrium – considered a one-of-a-kind corporate headquarters at the time – to the Rich’s Innovation Center, signals a new approach to service and accessibility for Rich’s global customer base, while enhancing the collaborative work experience for  associates at the headquarters and around world.

Meanwhile, the new-look Atrium @ Rich’s serves up an expanded venue for public and private event hosting and catering excellence, accommodating social and business gatherings for up to 1,000 attendees.

The Innovation Center offers a new brand of collaborative meeting functionality, complete with broadcast-enabled presentation and learning areas and an ultra-modern test kitchen, equipped with communications technologies to link associates and customers around the world.

The Atrium @ Rich’s event space has been transformed into a venue that will excite and impress guests, from intimate gatherings, to the largest formal affairs. It serves as a link between Rich’s and the community to create lasting memories, while serving double-duty as a family-style collaboration area for impromptu business discussions.

The Atrium is also home to Dolly’s Café, the company’s cafeteria for associates.

With completion of the Innovation Center and Atrium project, Rich’s has reinvested more than $88 million in its Buffalo headquarters since 2007.

Rich’s leadership is already planning the company’s next upgrade. Next spring Rich’s will redesign its Research & Development Center on the third floor of the Atrium.  Work will include expansion of functional space and updates to lab specifications and equipment.

 

 

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Rich Products unveils innovation center renovations

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The Best Customer Care Is Based on Intimacy

In today’s fast-paced world of social media, word of mouth can damage a company’s standing in the blink of an eye, throwing its quest for best-in-class customer satisfaction off course without warning – and doing so in a public arena.

Instead of contacting the manufacturer directly when they have product problems, many consumers today are taking their grievances to the streets.  Studies show for every product complaint a company might receive, there is the potential for 25 other people to experience the same problem, but also to choose not to report the issue to the business making the item.

Instead, about 75 percent of those 25 consumers will tell their friends about the difficulty, and then those friends will tell other friends, who tell other friends, and so on.  Meanwhile, the others are broadcasting their negative experiences through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or they’re “going live” via email and chat.

This can be devastating to a company that might not even be aware it has a problem.  And even when consumers do go straight to the source, if they’re dissatisfied with how their complaints are handled, 80 percent of them will never buy your product again.

Facing those odds, Rich’s Customer Care team is laser-focused on maximizing “The Rich Experience” for the customers and consumers who do reach out to the company with any troubles.  “In addition to governing everything we do, The Rich Experience defines Rich’s unique capabilities and our distinctive identity as a company,” explained Heather Stammler, Rich’s Manager of Customer Care.

Rich’s Customer Care team is highly trained in CRM – customer relationship management – and is an integral part of the company’s Sales, Marketing and Quality Assurance operations.  Along with all the internal resources it marshals when taking care of customer issues, it’s really the Customer Care team’s approach that separates the company from the rest.  And that approach is founded on one word:  intimacy.

“We’re a customer-intimate organization,” stated Stammler.  “We’re passionate about using our global knowledge and expertise to become virtual extensions of our clients’ internal teams.  Customer intimacy means we know everything that makes them tick – from their behaviors to their strategies, as well as the external forces affecting their operations.”

This is vital, she emphasized, because, in today’s social media environment, the electronic rumor mill has the potential to send a company’s reputation into a death spiral, in lightning-quick order.  Consequently, ensuring customer satisfaction at the earliest opportunity becomes even more paramount.

“As a solutions-selling organization, issue resolution is always a moment of truth for us,” Stammler admitted.  “Our veterans in Customer Care work hard for our customers and don’t believe in letting them down.  The manner in which we handle their concerns is the key to achieving best-in-class customer satisfaction and delivering The Rich Experience.”

To resolve issues, she explained, her Customer Care professionals are trained to deliver what is known in the business as the “Surprise and Delight” experience, through Rich’s three chief customer-intimacy strengths – enhanced product knowledge; speedy response (with an unmatched sense of urgency); and meaningful, emotional connections, which build trust.

“The faith that our team members foster with the people on the other end of the conversation to further open the door for Rich’s to learn more about our customers’ needs,” Stammler pointed out.  “Our goal is to wow our customers.  By nurturing healthy customer relationships, we’re reinforcing our brand promise that says when you’re with Rich’s, you’re treated like family.”

The commitment to customer satisfaction is one more factor making Rich’s the customer’s trusted first choice, Stammler asserted.  “It’s part of the total experience we provide customers – everything from new-product development to issues resolution to customer visits.  They’re all things that contribute to The Rich Experience to help position Rich’s as the trusted first choice for our customers.”

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Confronting Business Challenges with Confidence

Matt Kiefer knows how important the knack for problem-solving is to the success of any commercial endeavor, including the global business at Rich’s.

“It pays to expect the unexpected,” says Kiefer, the marketing manager for Toppings & Icings and also Desserts in Rich’s Canada Division. “Our commitment to being the ‘Trusted First Choice’ for our customers is demonstrated in some ways by our innate ability to solve problems, including those that haven’t even surfaced yet.”

To enhance the quality of its client work and further boost its already-strong customer partnerships, Rich’s confidently takes a proactive approach to problem-solving. “We embrace times of challenge as opportunities to go the extra mile for our customers,” Kiefer states. “Success is earned by joining together to overcome hurdles, which strengthens both internal and external relationships.”

He explains that, while problems come in various shapes and sizes, Rich’s relies on some fundamental principles when addressing customer issues:

  • Use available resources to your advantage. Combine industry research and customer insights to inform your answers to the situation.
  • Listen to your customers. By fully understanding your customers’ needs and concerns, you gain their trust, which is an important piece of the solution process. Again, that inside knowledge can help you predict potential obstacles.
  • Don’t let preconceived notions interfere with or limit the organization’s quest for a resolution. For some creative problem-solving, challenge your associates to use their imagination and extend beyond conventional boundaries. Engage in some lateral thinking.

As an example of how customer satisfaction can be heightened by creative problem-solving, Kiefer recalls how his team in 2013 helped handle a tricky product launch by a large quick-service restaurant company in Canada. The chain wanted to expand its dessert menu, but there were at least a handful of hurdles to face, one of which revolved around the possible inclusion on the menu of cheesecake products made by Rich’s.

“When the dessert opportunity presented itself, we joined forces with our sales and customer marketing teams at Rich’s to identify products and flavors that were on trend at the time,” notes Kiefer, who served as project leader. “Our cheesecake items are popular in the U.S., but the idea of bringing them to Canada presented its own set of challenges, starting with the actual cheesecake formula that would be used.”

In addition, he explains, while Rich’s continuously strives to increase speed-to-market production, the time frame for the cheesecake introduction across all the customer’s Canadian locations was exceptionally aggressive. “Coming up with the idea was one thing, but executing the plan was another,” admits Kiefer.

It took tireless effort, dedication and ingenuity throughout the Rich’s organization to pull off the job in timely fashion, he says. “We pooled the resources of numerous functional areas within the company to help launch this product quickly, efficiently and successfully. Best of all, we were able to capture the specific cheesecake flavor profile the customer wanted, while keeping product price under control.”

Rolled out across Canada in mid-2013, the individually packaged cheesecake was enthusiastically received by consumers and continues to perform well. “When you implement creativity as a problem-solving mechanism, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish as a company,” Kiefer sums up. “The output is both impressive and rewarding.”

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Rich’s Raises the Bar on Chocolate Indulgence with New Whipped Icing for In-Store Bakeries

 BUFFALO, N.Y., June 10, 2014 – To the delight of everyday chocolate lovers, Rich Products Corporation is raising the bar on chocolate indulgence with the introduction of Rich’s Chocolate Bettercreme® Made with Hershey’s® whipped icing.

Available nationally, this rich and creamy whipped icing is made with real Hershey’s® cocoa, for topping cakes and filling pastries with the genuine Hershey’s® milk chocolate taste that shoppers look for by name.

“Based on the success of our Cookies n’ Crème Bettercreme® Made with Oreo®, we know that our ‘made with’ icing flavors drive incremental sales for bakery operators,” said Courtney Erickson, Assistant Marketing Manager, Customer Shopper Marketing, Rich Products Corporation.  “We’re thrilled to again kick things up a notch with a new whipped icing that enhances a flavor consumers already go crazy over.”

Winning Combination

Combining the universally popular taste of genuine Hershey’s® chocolate with the incomparable creaminess of Rich’s Bettercreme® whipped icing results in a rich, decadent flavor that serves as the perfect icing or filling for any dessert, Erickson said.

“When this unparalleled, decadent combination of flavor and texture is showcased atop a cake or cupcake and garnished with additional Hershey’s® chocolate pieces, a traditional dessert is transformed into an indulgent masterpiece,” she pointed out.

In a recent study, 53 percent of consumers surveyed said they believe desserts fashioned with Hershey’s® branded ingredients taste better than desserts made from unbranded elements.  In addition, desserts made with Hershey’s® branded ingredients were chosen by the subjects 50-percent more often than “unbranded desserts.”  Rich’s newest addition to its Bettercreme® portfolio capitalizes on these preferences.

Customized, Yet Classic

“The statistics showing consumer preference for the iconic Hershey’s brand paved the way for Rich’s creation of a customized, yet classic product that’s sure to catch the eye of shoppers,” Erickson explained.  “The signature Hershey’s® milk chocolate color will entice consumers to purchase, while the perfect blend of ingredients will have them coming back for more.  In-store dessert decorators will love the versatility of this product, and store managers will be thrilled with the boost this specialty flavor gives to bakery sales.”

To ensure all its bakery customers are able to get the most out of this great-tasting product, Rich’s also offers a Fully Finished Dessert Cake that is iced with Rich’s Chocolate Bettercreme® Made with Hershey’s® whipped icing.

Additionally, Rich’s has further expanded its “made with” product portfolio with the introduction of fully baked cookies made with Hershey’s® Milk Chocolate Kisses.  The cookies are packed with the inimitable Hershey’s® taste, for consumers who love desserts any day – meaning for everything from special occasions to daily victories.

“These products – Rich’s Chocolate Bettercreme® Made with Hershey’s®, the Fully Finished Dessert Cake, and the fully baked cookies made with Hershey’s® Milk Chocolate Kisses – instantly give retailers the ability to merchandise across multiple categories,” Erickson emphasized.  “They’re excellent options for bakery operators in search of more-tantalizing items for the dessert case, using Hershey’s® unbeatable flavor as the focus.”

 

 

 

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Rich’s Nut-Free Frosted Sugar Cookies Deliver Satisfying Solution to Recent “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” Findings

Today’s consumers are bombarded with choices in every grocery aisle. Purchase decisions are based on everything from preference and price-point to health benefits and ingredient profile. A recent study conducted by Rich’s revealed that food allergies are playing a growing part in purchase decisions with 67 percent of respondents taking nut allergies into account when purchasing snacks for children’s events.

While just less than one percent of the U.S. population report allergies to peanuts or tree nuts, a staggering 90 percent of all fatal food anaphylaxis result from peanut and nut allergies. The reality of these statistics leaves very little room for error in product labelling, allergy awareness and purchase decisions. All of these factors were taken into consideration when Rich’s launched “Our Specialty,” a new product line of fully-finished, nut-free Frosted Sugar Cookies.

“With many parents reluctant to provide snacks for events, Rich’s recognizes the importance of producing peanut-and-tree-nut-free cookies for consumers,” said Lauren Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager of Desserts at Rich Products. “Rich’s spent approximately two years developing a line of 100% peanut-free and tree-nut-free Frosted Sugar Cookies to ensure a high-quality, great-tasting cookie that families can enjoy. We take this commitment seriously and built an entirely nut-free facility from the ground up, using only raw ingredients from suppliers that do not process peanut and tree nuts in those facilities. This is to ensure we deliver a 100% nut-free product.”

Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” polled 1,024 mothers in the U.S. to identify the prevalence of nut allergy concerns in both families afflicted and not afflicted by these food allergies and highlight how broader demographic segments are affected by a single individual suffering from the allergy. Three clear findings surfaced: nut allergies affect purchase decisions; kids are missing out on snacks due to fear of nut allergies; and nut-free labels matter.

In the survey, one in four mothers reported checking product labelling thoroughly when purchasing products to meet school requirements, and 17 percent of respondents have been reluctant to provide snacks for an event in the past due to concerns over nut allergies.

But these mothers needn’t worry any longer, as Rich’s nut-free Frosted Sugar Cookies allow everyone to enjoy indulgent, flavorful cookies without the worry of adverse allergic reactions. The vibrant icing colours and clear nut-free decal on product packaging catches consumers’ attention, making the purchase decision easy.

The Frosted Sugar Cookies produced at Rich’s new, 100% nut-free facility in Texas are available in many varieties, including Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle, Fudge Brownie and our signature Frosted Sugar cookies. Varieties coming soon include Red Velvet and Chocolate Frosted Cookies.

“What sets Rich’s cookies apart from the competition is our 100% nut-free facility,” said Lopez. “The demand for nut-free products is at an all-time high. Rich’s wanted to offer consumers a line of cookies with the unmistakable flavors we’ve come to expect from classic cookies that also satisfy the allergen-free demands of so many Americans.”

The Frosted Sugar Cookies have sweet, colorful icings and fun sprinkles, ideal for parties, events or a personal indulgence. Rich’s cookies provide a delicious, nut-free treat that shoppers can feel good about buying and sharing with everyone.

For complete details and findings from Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey,” please visit: http://www.richs.com/new-nut-allergy-ecosystem-survey-rich-products-corporation-reveals-nut-allergies-influence-grocery-purchases/.

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Rich’s Nut-Free Frosted Sugar Cookies

Rich’s introduces hot new products at IDDBA exposition

Buffalo, N.Y., May 23, 2014 – For in-store bakeries seeking to capitalize on the growing trend of smaller portions for packaged desserts, Rich Products Corporation is introducing a half-dozen mini treats sure to deliver big-time indulgence.

According to a Nielsen Perishables Group report, the volume of individual desserts sold by supermarket in-store bakeries in the United States grew in 2013 by 3.4 percent over the previous year.  Meanwhile, brownies and dessert bars rose 15.9 percent in volume and 14.2 percent in sales in 2013 over the previous year.

Acknowledging these trends, Rich’s has developed its own lineup of handcrafted, portioned, indulgent desserts.  A sampling of these new items will debut at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) annual seminar and exposition June 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center, in Denver, Colo.

Among the new Rich’s desserts coming soon to supermarket in-store bakeries across the U.S. are a Mini Chocolate Brownie Extreme, a Mini Caramel Sea Salt Blondie Extreme, a Mini Boston Crème, and three flavors of bar cakes that are ideal for two people to share:  Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate and Carrot.

“Research tells us that sales of smaller-portioned desserts are continuing to grow, driven by smaller households and an increase in snacking frequency by consumers,” said Mariah Kerwin, Associate Marketing Manager for Desserts, Rich Products Corporation.  “Rich’s new mini desserts provide our supermarket in-store bakery retailers the indulgent, perfectly sized treats that shoppers crave.”

 

Combinations Spelling Sweet Success

Rich’s mini brownies and mini blondies combine the best qualities from current, on-trend products and flavors to deliver sweet success for bakery operators, Kerwin explained.  “The new items are another example of how Rich’s innovation can help customers gain a competitive edge,” she said.

Part of Rich’s Extreme® series, both the Mini Chocolate Brownie Extreme® and the Mini Caramel Sea Salt Blondie Extreme® are fully finished and packaged, requiring no on-site labor.

The rich, two-pack Mini Chocolate Brownie Extreme showcases a delectable combination of dessert favorites, including rich chocolate brownie and chocolate ganache, nuts, and caramel drizzle.

According to a report released in 2013 by Datassential MenuTrends, chocolate remains America’s No. 1 dessert flavor, while the combination of buttery caramel with savory sea salt continues to increase in popularity, commanding the attention of retailers nationwide.  In fact, MenuTrends reported that the caramel sea salt flavor registered a 850-percent increase in U.S. menu incidence during the four-year period 2009-2013.

Statistics such as these explain the demand for indulgent desserts such as Rich’s delectable Mini Caramel Sea Salt Blondie Extreme, which is layered with creamy, sea-salted caramel drizzle, pecans, and rich chocolate chips.

Sampling at IDDBA

A selection of the new mini desserts from Rich’s will be available for sampling at the Denver IDDBA event (booth #4028).  Additional product information for retailers is available on Rich’s In-Store Bakery website richsisb.com.

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