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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.”
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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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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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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As a customer-centric organization, Rich’s is always focused on supporting its customers in their efforts to build more sales and profits.
“At the end of the day, this is a people business, and without strong relationships that help customers become more successful in the marketplace, nothing else matters,” said Monica H. San Miguel, who leads Customer & Integrated Marketing for the Foodservice Division of Rich Products Corporation. “Our mission is to serve as the customer’s premier culinary resource and trusted, go-to advisor for transforming menus into can’t-miss moments – that’s the heart of the Rich’s brand and why foodservice operators keep coming back to us.”
To deepen those relationships and help create additional demand for the products it provides its customers, Rich’s has recently developed a new portfolio of digital tools that furnish its existing sales force with greater field support. “We have, in effect, installed an entirely new digital infrastructure to enrich the customer relationship and enhance demand creation for both Rich’s and, ultimately, the foodservice operator,” explained San Miguel, whose responsibilities include Customer Relationship Management marketing and “E-nabled” demand creation strategies. “Building strong relationships with operators and customers in foodservice is always a challenge, but it’s what sets us apart.”
“Demand creation” essentially entails looking for opportunities to establish audiences and generate or increase sales for a brand’s products or services. In contemporary marketing circles, the focus on demand generation normally must include proficiency in related disciplines, such as data management and marketing analytics. These practices can be effectively used to define sales targets, personalize communications with customers, and evaluate the effectiveness of subsequent marketing efforts, from individual tactics such as email communications or website landing pages to overall campaign performance.
One brand-new component of the digital marketing transformation at Rich’s is a digital dashboard that company sales teams have begun using to track every customer or prospect interaction – from simple emails and phone inquiries to Web searches and other mobile and social media communications – in the search for product solutions.
By knowing what participating customers are looking for and where, Rich’s through its digital dashboard (nicknamed RED, an allusion to one of the company’s colors) can link them to company products and resources that fill those client needs.
“For restaurants, we might end up showing the operator ways to build more traffic or performing some clever menu engineering, because it’s all about helping our customers with their bottom line,” San Miguel stated. “When foodservice operators can create great experiences for their patrons, increased consumption and product sales naturally will follow.”
“As we capitalize on the ability to nurture these direct operator interactions and strengthen relationships with customers through our new digital dashboard, we’re not only helping the customer’s business, but also building brand loyalty and advocacy for Rich’s,” she continued. “RED now allows us more-meaningful contact with customers along their path to purchase, as well as a better understanding of that journey.”
That type of intimate contact helped the Fort Lee U.S. Army post, in Prince George County, Va., elevate its food court pizza program. Using their RED tools, Rich’s Customer & Integrated Marketing Team and Sales associates introduced the military installation to an oven-rising, sheeted dough and new merchandising materials that have driven more pizza sales and opened up discussion about other product options, such as flatbreads.
“The Fort Lee success story demonstrates how these new digital tools support both the sales team and the foodservice operator, by letting customers know that we excel in their priority menu areas and also have additional, high-quality products for consideration and trial,” San Miguel said. “In reality, we’re helping customers be more successful through a combination of elements. It’s not just digital, because nothing replaces your live sales force. But we’re using technology to enable that success in the field.”
As a best-in-class, strategic-selling support dashboard that will continue to grow and branch out, RED is becoming part of Rich’s larger, integrated Customer Relationship Management system, San Miguel noted. “Our bigger vision is a leadership role in the industry, relative to digital and interactive marketing, which helps build demand.”
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67 percent of mothers take nut allergies into account when deciding which snacks to provide for children’s events
Buffalo, NY. (May 21, 2014) – Rich Products Corporation today released findings from its inaugural “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey,” uncovering the impact nut allergies have on snack purchases made for home and school by families both afflicted and not afflicted by these food allergies.
In the United States, approximately three million people report allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, accounting for just 0.9 percent of the overall population (Citation: United States Census Bureau). While this figure suggests a minor, yet growing footprint, Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” outlines how broader demographic segments are affected by a single individual suffering from the allergy.
“In the spirit of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we wanted to take a closer look at the significant influence one individual with a peanut or tree nut allergy can have on others around them,” said Lauren Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager of Desserts at Rich Products. “From anyone involved in children’s playdates and extracurricular activities, the allergy ecosystem extends to parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, neighbors and relatives who have regular contact with individuals suffering from nut allergies.”
Consumer awareness around nut allergies has become crucial with 90 percent of fatal food anaphylaxis resulting from peanut and nut allergies (Citation: Michael C. Young, MD, author of The Peanut Allergy Answer Book). Rich’s “Nut Allergy Ecosystem Survey” polled 1,024 mothers in the U.S., identifying the prevalence of nut allergy concerns. More than half of the participants (56 percent) indicated they have received warnings or guidelines from their child’s school regarding nut allergies.
The rise of nut allergies in children presents a growing concern for many parents and caretakers alike. In fact, the fears families have when it comes to providing snacks for children’s activities is demonstrated by nearly one-third (30 percent) of survey respondents acknowledging that a nut allergy has influenced a food product they have purchased. Additionally, more than 25 percent were stopped from providing snacks at an event due to nut allergies.
Additional survey findings include:
- Nut allergies affect food purchases. 1 in 3 mothers (33 percent) who know someone with an allergy reported purchasing a food product for someone with a nut allergy and 67 percent consider children’s potential nut allergies when deciding which snacks to provide for an event involving their children.
- Kids are missing out on snacks due to fear of nut allergies. 17 percent of survey respondents have been reluctant to provide snacks for an event in the past due to concerns over nut allergies. Young mothers (under the age of 35) are particularly affected, with 22 percent being reluctant to provide snacks at all.
- Nut-free labels matter. Clear food labeling is important, as evidenced by 1 in 4 mothers checking labels thoroughly when purchasing food products that meet school requirements. Additionally, 27 percent of survey responders check food labels as their first act in evaluating food products that meet school guidelines (second only to asking teachers).
“With many parents reluctant to provide snacks for events, Rich’s recognizes the importance of producing peanut- and tree-nut-free cookies for consumers,” added Lopez. “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 complete 100% nut-free product.”
Rich’s “Our Specialty” Nut-Free Cookies 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.
About Rich Products Corporation
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, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and via Twitter.
About the Survey
Rich’s survey was conducted online within the United States by YouGov Plc. between May 1-4, 2014 among 1,024 moms. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
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Deal Between Third-Party Logistics Leaders Adds Key “Less Than Truckload” Freight Services and Managed Solutions Expertise to ROAR Repertoire
BUFFALO, N.Y., May 5, 2014 – With today’s announcement of its purchase of Phoenix-based Legend Transportation Group (LTG), third-party logistics leader ROAR Logistics Inc. is adding a significant new dimension to its global service offerings.
The acquisition folds the distinct strengths of LTG – including its managed solutions model and its online, Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipment solutions – into ROAR’s far-reaching transportation logistics services repertoire.
The purchase by ROAR includes LTG’s headquarters location in Phoenix, giving ROAR two western U.S. operations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2003, ROAR Logistics offers a full spectrum of Rail, Ocean, Air, and Road transportation logistics services to a diverse array of local, national and global customers. The company is a subsidiary of global food company Rich Products Corp., headquartered in Buffalo.
Legend Transportation Group is a full-service, third-party logistics (3PL) provider focusing on managed freight solutions. The company boasts more than 100 years of combined staff experience in project logistics over multiple industry segments, including retail store openings, mining, high-tech plant movement, gas and oil, and the energy industry.
Legend was established in 2008 by longtime industry veterans Bob Russell, the company’s president and chief operating officer, and Rick Mueller, the company’s president of business development. The two are joining ROAR’s strategic management team – Russell as vice president of managed solutions and Mueller as vice president of supply chain solutions.
Bob Rich III, ROAR Logistics’ founder and president, said the agreement between the two non-asset-based transportation providers strategically will help take ROAR to the next level as a full-service, world-class 3PL provider – enabling it to offer a wider variety of services to even-larger clientele.
“While ROAR has been a very competitive logistics provider, we’ve been looking for that certain piece of the equation that can help transition us from specialized boutique service to a more-comprehensive solution featuring very personalized, high-touch customer service,” Rich explained.
“Since ROAR’s inception, we’ve continually sought opportunities to grow our business both organically and through strategic acquisitions of companies that share the same vision and excitement about the transportation industry as we do,” said Rich. “ROAR Logistics and Legend Transportation Group are the perfect complements to each other – our transactional freight model meshes seamlessly with Legend’s managed solutions model. We’re each very strong at what we do, and we also share the same business processes, which is a big plus.
“The integration of Legend into the ROAR network creates greater opportunities to serve the existing customers of both companies, while making us more attractive to a broader range of prospects. Customers will find they can benefit greatly from our augmented service offerings.”
“We believe the synergies from combining ROAR and Legend fill in all the gaps and will result in an unparalleled offering of logistics services,” agreed Russell. “Customers will realize they’re being served by a financially strong logistics provider staffed by high-caliber transportation associates.
“LTG brings a lot of intellectual capital from the LTL and managed solutions side of this business, and we’re very excited about being able to leverage these skill sets within ROAR’s existing customer base, as well as with new prospects,” Russell added.
Legend is highly regarded for Web-based transportation management programs that significantly reduce both hard and soft costs in client transportation budgets, while ensuring total transparency – from initial procurement through final payment. The company’s transportation management solution for customers includes the outsourcing and day-to-day management of supply chain operations, while its state-of-the-art technology promotes full visibility of customer transportation programs.
Meanwhile, Legend’s online, LTL freight solution “is the type of LTL service we have wanted to feature at ROAR for several years,” Rich pointed out.
“Less Than Truckload” is used to identify shipments that do not require a full 48- or 53-foot trailer. In addition to a truckload brokerage database that includes 14,000 carriers on all types of equipment, Legend contracts LTL carriers with volumes leveraged to help emerging companies keep shipping costs down, so they can vie in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Legend’s ease in assimilating into the culture of the family owned Rich’s network of companies was another key selling point in the acquisition, all parties admit.
“Over the course of our negotiations, we realized that this is more than just a perfect strategic fit,” Rich stated. “It’s a complete cultural fit, too, which is very important in this kind of acquisition. Legend’s mission statement stresses associate empowerment to drive results and customer satisfaction on every transaction. They are a great group of people and their way of doing business with their customers — very collaborative, very hands-on – is especially consistent with the level of collaboration we encourage between ROAR associates and our customers. People have been the key to making ROAR what it is today: a leader in the global logistics industry.”
“Both our company cultures put a high degree of emphasis on hiring proper, well-qualified associates that will fit into the team,” Russell echoed. “We not only give our associates the autonomy to make decisions, we also agree that providing associates the proper tools, compensation, support and positive work environment results in a solid organization. Regardless of the products or services you offer, ultimately it’s the people who make the difference.”
West Coast Presence
In January 2013, ROAR Logistics announced the opening of its first office on the West Coast. The Temecula, Calif., addition has helped ROAR extend its reach into Mexico and position the company in proximity to some of the most-active ports in America. Legend’s Arizona base of operations will reinforce that western presence.
“Moving forward, Legend’s existing customers will continue as a very important piece of the overall puzzle for ROAR,” Rich explained. “We’ll continue to build very distinct service offerings for them.”
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 in 2003 as a subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation, ROAR has grown consistently, adding operations in Atlanta, Ga., Peoria, Ill., and Temecula, Calif. ROAR began with three full-time associates and now has more than 60 associates nationwide.
For more information about ROAR Logistics, visit roarlogistics.com, Facebook, or Twitter.
About Legend Transportation Group
Founded in 2008, Phoenix-based Legend Transportation Group (LTG) is a full-service, third-party logistics (3PL) provider focused on managed freight solutions. Legend’s customer-centric philosophy allows it to take a hands-on approach with customers and collaborate toward sustainable solutions. Legend customers benefit from a 100-percent-free, innovative Transportation Management System designed to maximize logistical efficiency while reducing transportation spending.
LTG’s core philosophy is built around the slogan, “Visibility + Control = Efficiency.” As an established industry cost-control expert, it has developed best practices that can significantly reduce transportation spending processes and freight expenses. The company’s transportation management solutions allow customers to track and measure the entire transportation process, from procurement to payment. The visibility provided by the Legend system is vital to helping clients gain control and implement efficient systems. Armed with detailed tracking and reporting systems, LTG delivers services that can turn customer logistics departments into profit centers, instead of loss leaders.
Legend was established by managing partners Bob Russell and Rick Mueller. The primary LTG operation is located in Phoenix, where Russell presides, while Mueller works out of his home office in Fond du Lac, Wisc.
Russell is a noted expert in the Less Than Truckload (LTL) industry. He has nearly 35 years of experience in operations management and direct P&L responsibility and is known for his keen comprehension of how asset-based transportation companies operate. This has allowed him to deliver creative results at the lowest cost available to customers in the 3PL industry, while still meeting their stringent demands.
Mueller has roughly 25 years of experience in all modes of transportation – as a regional sales manager, national account manager, and director of special projects for both asset-based and non-asset-based transportation companies. He has an intimate understanding of transportation software applications and has been at the forefront of implementation of these useful solutions for companies of all sizes. Mueller also has a historically ferocious appetite for sales and marketing.
In 2013, Legend Transportation Group earned a B2B Smart 25 Award™ for its consistent hyper growth in sales of 20 percent year over year since 2008. Presented by B2B CFO®, the Smart 25 Awards recognize the smartest small businesses in the United States.
For more information about Legend Transportation Group, visit legendtransgroup.com.
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Buffalo, NY, March 25, 2014 – Rich Products Corporation associate Maureen Lynch was named to the second annual “Making Their Mark” list by the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) at its leadership development conference in Dallas today.
Lynch, a Sales & Operations Leader, was among five women to receive the prestigious industry honor. She has led Rich’s integrated business planning covering the U.S.-Canada Region since January 2012. Under her guidance, the company has met or exceeded key business objectives and evaluated monthly projects for product, demand, supply and financials while allocating resources for customer needs.
Her leadership of this cross-functional initiative resulted in Rich’s receiving the Oliver Wight “Class A” Advanced certification last July, an award received by only a few companies. This success led to an expansion of sales and operations planning initiatives into the company’s international markets.
Lynch, who joined Rich’s in 2003, also has extensive experience in plant management, quality assurance, supply chain governance and new product development. She has held several leadership positions in improving planning and governance for many of the company’s global manufacturing facilities. She also leads a leadership and mentoring program for associates to cultivate their talent.
A graduate of Canisius College, Lynch earned an MBA from Niagara University and was named to the Business First’s “40 Under 40” list of outstanding young leaders in 2009.
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On March 25, 2014, Rich Products Corporation’s Maureen Lynch was among an elite group of foodservice industry figures from across the nation honored with prestigious “Women Making Their Mark” awards from the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF). The awards were presented at the WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference, held in Dallas.
The annual “Women Making Their Mark” awards recognize up-and-coming female leaders in foodservice for their extraordinary leadership skills and significant professional accomplishments, as well as each individual’s distinctive “it” factor. The WFF award bestowed on Lynch was in tribute to her achievements while serving as Rich’s Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) leader in Customer Service & Logistics for the company’s entire U.S./Canada business. S&OP is the foundation for Rich’s approach to business planning and governance.
Lynch, who joined Rich’s in 2003, is a determined, highly respected leader and change agent with more than 25 years of impressive accomplishments in the manufacturing sector of the foodservice industry. She has applied her exceptional skills in plant management, quality assurance and food safety, automation, supply chain governance, new product development, training, process improvement, and production efficiency.
The accolade from the WFF was based largely on Lynch’s success in elevating Rich’s in 2013 from an Oliver Wight “Capable” level to the highly esteemed “Class A Advanced” level of business performance excellence.
Oliver Wight is the global business management consulting firm that helped pioneer integrated business planning (IBP) methodologies and classifications. Class A is the highest level, attained so far by just a handful of companies. Driven by Lynch’s passion for excellence and guided by her broad expertise, the cross-functional team she directed was able to secure top certification for Rich’s in just over a year.
The certification focused on the core business practices of Lynch’s S&OP team. The group’s integrated approach to planning and operations not only led to the Class A status, but also has helped Rich’s set new industry standards for the delivery of service and quality to its customers.
“This classification level is about looking out at your horizon and determining your business needs 24 months and more down the road,” explained Lynch. “It’s important to make adjustments based on your future needs, while eliminating the non-value-added work.”
Lynch demonstrated an impressive level of leadership during the IBP process through her collaboration with other Rich’s divisions – a necessity due to the cross-functional nature of the task. In order to properly plan requirements and prepare Rich’s associates accordingly,
she successfully drove certain cultural and behavioral changes that would be essential to advancing the company’s mission. “We made it clear that if you see an issue coming, you communicate it immediately,” Lynch pointed out. “It’s all about the company’s exposure and making sure leadership is aware of potential issues that might affect our 24-month plan and strategic direction.”
The award recognition by the WFF extended beyond the Oliver Wight Class A certification to other areas of Lynch’s work at Rich’s, including her establishment of a mentoring program within the Customer Service & Logistics Division. Created in January 2012, the program has provided division associates their first-ever opportunities at Rich’s to sit down with a mentor, attend training and receive valuable professional feedback. As a result, associate engagement within the operation has increased.
“Mentoring fosters a trusting relationship in the work environment and gives people the opportunity to share ideas and provide honest feedback,” Lynch said. “It’s another way to provide associates with the tools they need to be more efficient and productive.”
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., where Rich’s is headquartered, Lynch holds a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and an MBA from Niagara University. She generously gives back to the community by delivering inspirational talks and mentoring inner-city youths. “I spend a good amount of time in mentoring activities,” she admits, “but it’s what I enjoy.” She lately has been involved in the development of a special youth career day, inviting Rich’s associates from different disciplines to discuss their professions with inner-city students.
In 2009, Lynch received a “40 Under 40” award, which is given by Buffalo’s Business First newspaper to 40 outstanding young leaders who have contributed in extraordinary ways.
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Rich’s Senior Marketing Manager Deanne McDonell sounds almost giddy when discussing what young children believe the birthday cake of the future should look like.
For one 11-year old boy, his dream birthday cake was a sombrero shaped taco, complete with gummy worms and breath mints on the brim of the sombrero”, shares McDonell, while citing some recent survey responses.
“These kids dream big! We heard suggestions for everything from cakes with 3-D video action figures to a cake with a dragon scaling a castle. Some kids want big birthday donuts or cookies instead of cake and another just wants pizza. I think we adults probably put more parameters than kids do on what qualifies as a birthday cake.”
While these “birthday cake 2.0” poll results might sound surreal, they contain just the sort of valuable insight that could shift the future of the in-store bakery (ISB). Managing such surveys and analyzing the results for Rich’s In-Store Bakery & Deli Division customers is all in a day’s work for McDonell, whose role in Customer/Shopper Marketing is to give the company’s bakery partners a unique perspective on changes in the industry.
“We often uncover interesting tidbits that will become conversation starters with our customers,” McDonell explains. “We mine data, searching for new insights that we can use to fashion programs that will increase shopper satisfaction and drive retail sales. This type of partnership typifies Rich’s commitment to be the trusted first choice for our customers. When traditional purchase behaviors for milestone celebrations like birthdays begin to shift – as we have seen recently – retailers want industry expertise and depth on their side, which we can provide.”
The company’s most-recent examinations of the key purchase drivers for birthday desserts have been exhaustive. Some of the chief areas addressed include:
- How do parents rank elements of a successful kid’s birthday party and what do they look for in the star attraction, the birthday cake?
- Who is the in-store bakery’s strongest competitor when it comes to sales of decorated cakes?
- When and where do parents go for help in planning their children’s birthday parties and why are their trips to buy birthday desserts so special?
- What are general shopper opinions of decorated cakes purchased at in-store bakeries?
- Why do some parents bake, instead of buy, the birthday cakes for their kids?
That last question is huge. “Through our research, we had many parents say to us, ‘If it looks like something I could decorate myself, why should I buy it from a store?’” McDonell says. “Frankly, that quote is why we do what we do and it helps point us in the direction of where to dig for more answers in this changing demographic.”
McDonell’s Customer/Shopper Marketing team uses its research to collaborate with Rich’s ISB customers. “Rich’s can partner with bakery operators to create distinctive, creative cake designs that can’t be duplicated at home,” McDonell says. “We’ll work with our customers on product solutions, consumption programs and other marketing tools that help build shopper loyalty. The birthday cake purchase has implications for total store sales, and provides an opportunity to suggestive sell across categories to further increase the size of basket.”
Cakes and icings make up one of the core competencies of Rich Products and serve as a profit center for its customers. The company understands how valuable the birthday party purchase is for grocery retailers, which is why Rich’s has worked determinedly at becoming an industry leader in offering product and program solutions. The Rich’s Customer/Shopper Marketing team plays a key role in that success, researching the marketplace and developing concepts that help customers reach their targets and uncover new growth opportunities.
“It’s all about partnering with our customers on how they can capitalize on trends and evolutions in their business,” McDonell sums up. “Transforming insights into ideas and tools that result in a positive jump in sales for our customers is what makes this work exciting and rewarding”
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Buffalo, N.Y., March 5, 2014 – For in-store bakeries seeking to entice more non-chocolate-dessert lovers, Rich Products Corporation is rolling out a couple golden products for the new year.
In January, Rich’s In-Store Bakery Division was the first-to-market with a novel pair of vanilla-flavored offerings – in the whipped icing and ice cream cake categories. Both products feature real pieces of Golden Oreo® cookie, the world’s second-most-popular Oreo® cookie.
Available nationally, each of the new dessert products – the Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake and the Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® Made with Golden Oreo® – targets non-chocolate lovers and shoppers of all ages.
“We wanted to provide our bakery customers with products that non-chocolate lovers will enjoy both for special occasions and as an “Anyday” type of indulgence, such as a sweet treat in the afternoon or an after-dinner dessert,” explained Courtney Erickson, Assistant Marketing Manager, Customer Shopper Marketing, Rich Products Corporation. “Both products take advantage of the lofty status of Golden Oreo® as the No. 2 Oreo® overall. Its phenomenal popularity adds extra variety to the dessert case, promising sweet success for our customers.”
Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® made with Golden Oreo®
In-store bakeries and their decorators will fall in love with the new Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® Made with Golden Oreo®, as it delivers on its tagline saluting the Golden Oreo® cookies as “Worth Their Weight in Gold.”
A commitment to innovation with a drive to deliver success for customers has helped to position Rich’s as the leader in the whipped icing category. 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.
More than 1 pound of real Golden Oreo® cookie pieces goes into every 9-pound pail of Vanilla Cookie Bettercreme® Made with Golden Oreo®, to deliver the ultimate Golden Oreo® experience throughout the light and creamy icing. The product’s smooth texture and soft, golden color combine for a deliciously indulgent appearance on white or yellow cake and inviting to vanilla cookie lovers looking to enjoy a sweet treat. “This delicious icing is perfect for ‘Anyday’ desserts, cupcakes and individual desserts,” Erickson said.
Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake
The new Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake is Rich’s first all-vanilla dessert ice cream cake. 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 product also provides Rich’s a trifecta of sorts in one of the most-popular dessert categories. The new Golden Oreo® Ice Cream Cake rounds out a cookie-inspired ice cream cake lineup from Rich’s that already includes top sellers Oreo® Ice Cream Cake and Chips Ahoy!® Ice Cream Cake – the latter featuring real bits of the nation’s No. 1 chocolate chip cookie. “We now have the ice cream cake category covered with America’s top three cookies,” stated Erickson.
Driving Incremental Sales
The success of incorporating licensed, branded products, such as Oreo® and Chips Ahoy! ®, within Rich’s In-Store Bakery portfolio is worth noting, Erickson pointed out. “It proves to retailers that the concept of featuring some of America’s favorite brands in our products has relevancy with shoppers and can help drive incremental sales. The new Golden Oreo® products are another example of how Rich’s delivers on innovation and can help customers gain a competitive edge.”
Additional product information for retailers is available on Rich’s In-Store Bakery website – http://www.richsisb.com.
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Race-Winning Sponsor Partners with Front Row at Phoenix
STATESVILLE, N.C., January 23, 2014 – Farm Rich, the primary partner that adorned the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports’ first trip to Victory Lane, will return to the team for a second straight season. The frozen snacks and appetizers brand will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan’s Ford Fusion at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in March.
In its first-ever foray into NASCAR last May, Farm Rich enjoyed being thrust into the spotlight as Ragan earned Front Row’s first team victory in a dramatic, come-from-behind win in the Farm Rich Ford at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The company later returned as the primary sponsor for a second race with Ragan at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in September.
A leading brand of Rich Products Corporation, Farm Rich is based in St. Simons Island, Ga., and features a successful portfolio of products sold at grocery and club stores nationwide. Farm Rich makes “real food for real families” – wholesome great-tasting snacks and appetizers that are sure to please family and friends. More information is available at www.farmrich.com.
“David and Front Row Motorsports are ideal partners for Farm Rich,” said Shannon Gilreath, senior brand manager. “His personality reflects our wholesome, family brand and many of our customers are huge NASCAR fans and connect with David and his team. Hopefully, we’ll all see him in Victory Lane come March 2 in Phoenix.”
The Farm Rich-Front Row partnership is another perfect match of a successful company introducing itself to the NASCAR arena and a race team that can provide a big return for the investment.
“We couldn’t have written a better ending for Farm Rich’s first race with us with the car going to Victory Lane in Talladega last year,” said team owner Bob Jenkins. “But equally important is that they recognize how much more we can do together, and we’re thrilled such a great company is back to grow their program with us for a second season.”
The Farm Rich logo will appear on Ragan’s uniform throughout the 2014 Sprint Cup Series schedule. The 28-year-old driver, husband and father-to-be says the logo will appear frequently in his freezer, too.
“My wife, Jacquelyn, and I love Farm Rich Snacks,” Ragan said. “The Crispy Dill Pickles are my favorite, and we also have the Mozzarella Sticks quite a bit. And with Baby Ragan coming this summer, we’re going to be super busy, so Farm Rich will definitely help make meals and snack time a little easier.”
The March 2 race in Phoenix will be televised live on FOX at 3 p.m. ET.
Welcome back Farm Rich!
Read more at SportsPro.
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Buffalo, NY, January 6, 2014 – A “Sequential Day”, the once-a-century phenomenon when the calendar numbers align in a sequence, is said to be a lucky day. Such was the case on 11.12.13, and good fortune was certainly on the side of those planning and executing the launch of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) in China.
As an introduction to the region, a panel of speakers, presenters and female leaders in the foodservice industry shared their experience and insight with more than 80 participants, exploring trends on women in leadership in China and opportunities for advancement within the foodservice sector. As a global food industry leader, Rich’s takes great pride in supporting the WFF and efforts to expand into China as a means of fostering the growth, education and career advancement of Asia’s foodservice leaders.
Rich’s has been an advocate of the WFF’s mission since 1997, participating in activities and programs of all levels. Most recently, Maureen Hurley, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Rich Products, played a key role in the Shanghai launch. Hurley was an active WFF Board Member from 2005-2011, following Rich’s President and CEO Bill Gisel’s term on the Board. Jill Bond, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, is currently serving on the WFF Board.
“The WFF has been the foodservice industry’s premier Leadership Development resource in America since 1989,” said Hurley. “In 2008, WFF expanded into Canada and quickly recognized that there were other international markets where the WFF’s programs and goal would have significant relevance.”
The Chinese marketplace offers a unique set of circumstances. While many companies are experiencing exponential growth, they are also faced with significant challenges in finding, retaining and developing talent. These realities, in conjunction with the fact that a large number of the American WFF corporate sponsors have a presence in China, made the WFF directors consider China as a logical location for expansion.
Fritzi Woods, the dynamic CEO of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, who passed away suddenly this past September, was particularly intrigued with the growth potential China afforded to WFF. She had planned to accompany Maureen Hurley on this inaugural trip. It was in her honor that WFF executives decided to go ahead with the WFF launch event in China.
Months of hard work and planning came together on 11.12.13 when the Food, Agriculture, and Beverage Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce hosted an afternoon event and networking session in Shanghai, gathering six of the industry’s top female executives to lead a discussion on Women in Leadership. A total of 86 delegates attended the event, including participants from Rich’s, Starbucks, Sodexho, Aramark, Compass, Coke, Lamb Weston, and McCormick.
Hurley gave an opening presentation, as did Sarah Butler, Greater China, Booz & Company. Following these presentations, Hurley moderated a panel discussion including Butler; Karen So, Coca-Cola Greater China; Angel Yu, Starbucks China; and Grace Han, Healthcare and Seniors, Sodexo China.
The panel discussion explored topics including: trends on women in leadership in China today, what women’s leadership can bring to today’s business challenges, advancing women in leadership through personal and organizational commitments and opportunities, and women leaders as role models in the foodservice sector.
The event was well attended and well received by participants and succeeded in building awareness of the WFF.
“There is definitely an interest in exploring further how WFF can become a more active organization in China,” said Hurley. “There was excitement expressed by the people who attended that WFF could fill a void that exists in the market today.”
Like in Canada, Hurley acknowledged that the key to success will be to have some committed leaders on the ground in China demonstrate interest and pull together a steering committee to lay out an approach and next steps.
The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) has been the go-to resource for individuals to build skills, expand knowledge and broaden perspectives through meaningful strategic Connections, so they can reach their full potential and accelerate their career growth. The WFF serves more than 20,000 individuals and over a 1,000 organizations in all segments of the industry including operations, manufacturing, distribution, publishing, consulting and more.
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In early October, a large contingent of associates representing the far reaches of Rich’s global enterprise converged in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the International Bakery Industry Expo (IBIE). The convention, held once every three years, is the preeminent industry event, assembling the largest collection of suppliers, customers and bakery experts in North America. Just inside the exhibition hall doors, Rich’s sales, marketing and technical teams from around the world welcomed customers and visitors into a truly visionary environment highlighting Rich’s immense global footprint, market trends, the industry-leader’s extraordinary people and products and the Rich Experience.
And a Rich experience the Expo was! The booth saw high traffic volume and significant interest from around the globe. The emphasis on the people behind Rich’s global brand stimulated intrigue and connectivity, cameras were flashing as visitors eagerly snapped photos of the creative product displays and everyone walked away inspired and engaged.
“Relationship building is at the heart of every customer encounter, and the IBIE is no exception,” said Richard Ferranti, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer. “Whether we were fostering new relationships or solidifying those we’ve worked hard to develop, we used our time at the Expo to emphasize the size, scope and diversity of Rich’s business while giving customers a taste of what they can expect from the Rich Experience – speed, character and insight.”
Rich’s booth was a dynamic blend of trend-setting creative inspirations, technical product demonstrations with international flavor, and new product displays. The emphasis on Rich’s vast global network gave customers insight into Rich’s ability to develop and produce new products locally to respond to the tastes and needs of any region around the world.
“The booth was full of imagery, showing our talented associates developing new products, opening new facilities, and working with products and customers,” said Carolyn Danner, International Marketing Manager, and leader of Rich’s 2013 IBIE initiative. “Each element – the photos, the sales team working the floor, the product displays and technical demonstrations – gave customers a glimpse at how Rich’s does business, our international scope, our knowledge of food, and the technical capabilities available to help optimize and improve efficiency.”
The booth also highlighted three industry macro-trends; personal desserts, the healthy halo, and entertaining. A significant portion of the booth footprint was devoted to eye-catching product displays and technical demonstrations for creative inspiration and an iPad station where customers could email themselves recipes, scan their badge for follow-up and access Rich’s website.
The trend toward smaller, individually portioned desserts was explored and Just For Me treats like cake sandwiches, walking sundaes and poppables were displayed. A healthy halo surrounded the Permissible Indulgence feature where sugar free and gluten free products were presented alongside beautiful creations infused with super fruits, yogurt and trendy tea flavors. High-end hosting ideas were served up in the Entertainment area where big, elegant platters featured gourmet donuts and cupcakes, loaded cheesecake, and classy bar and roll cakes. It was evident that Rich’s has the products, components and technical capabilities to stay on-trend and build success.
“The show is about so much more than products and sales,” said Danner. “It’s about the conversations we have with customers, the opportunities for education, igniting excitement and sharing ideas – that’s the real value.”
Customers and associates were invited to continue those conversations during two customer appreciation events hosted by Richard Ferranti during the Expo. The casual events brought Rich’s face-to-face with customers and offered opportunities for cross-pollination and international connections.
“The real value in these types of events are the intangibles,” said Danner. “The goal is to gather international customers and associates together around Rich’s brand. The conversations and connections between customers and associates are at the heart of the Rich Experience, these relationship-building and sustaining activities are vital to growth and success.”
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After Hurricane Sandy devastated the coastal areas of New York and New Jersey last year, Rich’s associates came together to help our neighbors downstate with a relief drive for essential supplies. That turnout was tremendous as we exceeded our original goal of filling one truck by having to call for a second truck, thanks to the generous response from associates and the community! The success of the Sandy Relief drive motivated us to look for other ways in which we can continue to Better Our Community.
On Tuesday, November 19, Rich’s hosted the “Edge Out Hunger Food Drive” at World Headquarters from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. WBBZ-TV and 103.3 FM joined us in organizing and promoting the event through local media outlets and on social media channels. While we all look forward to shopping and enjoying time off during the holidays, this is also a time when others throughout the city may struggle to celebrate because they lack some basic necessities.
“With the economic challenges faced by many Buffalo residents, Rich’s welcomes the opportunity to collect food donations from the community to assist those who are facing a food shortage throughout the region,” said Howard Rich, Vice President of Corporate Relations. “This is the time of year when we all want to share with others, and Rich’s is pleased to partner with the Food Bank of Western New York.”
In the pre-dawn hours, the Shredd and Ragan show kicked off a full day of 103.3 FM shows broadcasted live from the entrance at One Robert Rich Way. Thanks to associates, members of the community and a couple of City of Buffalo Police car drop-offs, the drive generated $5,486 in cash donations, 75 turkeys and more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food. If you convert all of the donations to meals, we raised enough to provide the equivalency of more than 30,000 meals for families, veterans, children and the elderly who can use our help.
Facing very windy and chilly conditions, more than 60 associates volunteered for one-hour shifts starting before daylight to collect and sort the food on a 46-foot-trailer provided by the Food Bank of Western New York. The agency was very appreciative of our efforts as we really provided a boost to our neighbors in Buffalo as the temperatures drop and food banks face an increased demand to serve all those in need.
Special guests who stopped by the radio booth to make a donation included Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and Brian Moorman from the Buffalo Bills.
“The Rich’s Edge Out Hunger Drive really helped provide food for many more residents this holiday season than we would have normally had the capacity to serve,” said Mike Billoni, Public and Community Relations Director for the Food Bank of Western New York. “I thank all of the Rich’s associates for their generosity and time while volunteering at the event for the community.”
As we all continue to Better Our Communities through volunteering, mentoring and providing donations to different organizations throughout the year, it was a great day to come together and invite the community to WHQ to share some warm holiday cheer with those who are less fortunate and preparing for their winter needs.
Did you know that…?
- Each month the Food Bank of Western New York provides food and other essentials to more than 96,000 people, including 38,685 children and 7,847 senior adults, through its various member agencies.
- The Food Bank’s Back Pack Program provides 900 children at 15 Buffalo Public Schools with nutritious food every Friday. Rich’s sponsors Buffalo Public School #3 that includes 50 participating students in the program.
- A $1 donation helps provide approximately five meals to a family.
- Currently, state funding to the Food Bank was reduced by $183,634, representing a 5.6% reduction from last year. This will result in the equivalent of 918,170 fewer meals distributed in Western New York.
- In 2012-13, the Food Bank distributed 12 million pounds of food and grocery items, of which 45 percent originated from donations. The remaining 55 percent was USDA or purchased with grants and other funding.
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Buffalo, NY, November 12, 2013 – Rich Products Corporation will host the Rich’s “Edge Out” Hunger Food Drive with a donation area at its World Headquarters at One Robert Rich Way on Tuesday, November 19 from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. The Food Bank of Western New York will collect the donations that will assist local families during the holiday season.
WBBZ-TV and 103.3 FM The Edge are partnering with Rich’s and the Food Bank of Western New York to invite the community to bring canned food items, frozen turkeys or monetary contributions to help food bank agencies serving families in need. Even a $1 donation can help provide approximately five meals.
103.3 FM The Edge will broadcast live from the lobby of the Rich’s Atrium Building at One Robert Rich Way for 13 consecutive hours beginning with the Shredd and Ragan Show at 6 a.m. The Food Bank of Western New York will provide a 48-foot trailer at the drop-off site where volunteers from all event partners will collect and sort the donations.
“With the economic challenges faced by many Buffalo residents, Rich’s welcomes the opportunity to collect food donations from the community to assist those who are facing a food shortage throughout the region,” said Howard Rich, vice president of corporation relations at Rich’s. “This is the time of year when we all want to share with others, and Rich’s is pleased to partner with the Food Bank of Western New York.”
In addition to canned fruits and vegetables, other items requested at the food drive include peanut butter and canned tuna, soups, stews and beans.
“The Rich’s Edge Out Hunger Drive will help provide food for many more residents in Western New York this holiday season than we would have normally had the capacity to serve,” said Mike Billoni, public and community relations director for the Food Bank of Western New York. “We look forward to collecting donations at Rich’s on November 19 and thanking Western Yorkers for their generosity toward fellow residents of the community.”
The Food Bank of Western New York services 96,179 individuals through 340 member agencies in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. Many of the individuals who need food are working poor, veterans, the disabled, those suffering from mental illness, single mothers, single fathers and those caught in economic difficulties.
About 103.3 FM The Edge:
WEDG-FM 103.3 FM, known to fans as Rock Radio 1033 The Edge, is the heritage rock radio station in Buffalo, New York, bringing the Greater Buffalo Area new and established rock and alternative music and events since 1995. For the past 20 years, The Shredd and Ragan Show has been its anchor. Their morning radio show is a mix of comedy and social commentary on everything happening in Western New York. In addition to news, sports, weather, traffic and famous guests, Shredd and Ragan spend time helping charities throughout the area. In addition to this Food Bank broadcast, Shredd and Ragan are this year’s co-chair for the Variety Kid’s Telethon, responsible for raising over a million dollars a year for the local children’s charity.
WBBZ-TV is Western New York’s Hometown Television Station, locally owned and operated by WNY native Phil Arno, with studios and offices inside the Eastern Hills Mall. Veteran broadcast executive Bob Koshinski is the vice president and general manager of the station. WBBZ-TV is proud to support the hometown work of the Food Bank of WNY with our friends at 103.3FM. Watch for “Edge Out Hunger” announcements during the broadcast day, on the station website www.wbbz.tv; and on segments in locally produced programs like “All Sports WNY,” and “Political Buzz.” WBBZ-TV can be seen over the air on Ch. 67.1; Time Warner Cable Ch. 5; FiOS Ch. 5; Dish Ch. 5; and DirecTV 67.
About The Food Bank of Western New York:
The Food Bank of WNY, Inc. is the primary hunger relief organization within Western New York, obtaining and then distributing food to member agencies such as pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, after-school programs and senior citizen centers in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara counties. Through those agencies, the Food Bank services 34,030 households, including 38,685 children and 7,847 senior citizens. The Food Bank of WNY is one of 202 members of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network. For more information, visit www.foodbankwny.org.
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The success of Rich Products Corporation has been based in no small way on family values. Fittingly, this includes some familial connections that have dotted the organization, beginning with the Rich family that founded the global food company and leads it to this day. The organization takes great pride whenever the torch is passed and the next generation begins making its mark in the food industry, whether at Rich’s or elsewhere in the business.
And so it is that 59-year-old Jake Brach, Manager of Culinary Learning & Development at Rich’s world headquarters, in Buffalo, N.Y., now keeps tabs on the new culinary adventures of his son, Adam, who turns 25 in November 2013 and whose career in the restaurant world shows exceedingly great promise.
Adam Brach already has been learning the ropes at some of New York City’s finest restaurants, including the innovative seafood spot David Burke Fishtail, on the Upper East Side, and Tribeca’s authentic brasserie, Plein Sud. To get even more big-kitchen experience under his belt, he also voluntarily staged at the three-star Eleven Madison Park, which dishes up New French fare in the Flatiron District. Adam’s most-recent stop has been The Modern, the fine-dining establishment, located at the Museum of Modern Art, that features original French-American cuisine.
“What Adam’s doing now is invaluable,” Jake professes. “I’m not sure he has his entire plan figured out, but I didn’t, either, at that age. But, as Charlie Trotter [the noted Chicago chef, restaurateur and Culinary Hall of Fame inductee] used to say, ‘Keep your ears open, your mouth shut and your head down at work, and the rest will take care of itself.’ That’s worked pretty well for me.”
Like Father, Like Son
There’s even more reason for Jake Brach to beam with family pride. Like his prodigious father, young Adam now is a graduate of the legendary Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the crème de la crème of culinary colleges worldwide. Located in Hyde Park, in upstate New York, the school is a big reason Jake Brach, who graduated from the CIA in 1976, has the letters “CCC” embroidered next to his name on the Rich’s chef uniform he often wears in cooking demos and training events around the country. The initials stand for Certified Chef de Cuisine, the formal term for one who actually runs a restaurant’s kitchen.
A Rich’s associate since 2001, Jake is among the company’s elite culinarians and a key player on Rich’s Foodservice training team, providing hands-on product instruction to innumerable associates and customers. “We’re into next-generation training programs now,” Jake points out. “Our value proposition is to bring more to the customer – it’s one of the ways we live out the Rich Experience.”
Jake got into the food business at age 14, working in a Buffalo restaurant operated by his uncles. His substantial resume today includes a dozen years at Rich’s, five years at the hospitality giant Delaware North Companies, a long stint as an entrepreneur in the wine business, and a relatively new foray into book writing. He also remains actively involved with the CIA, through fundraising, continuing education and other endeavors. “I just love the whole scene there,” he admits.
Intrigued by his father’s profession, Adam Brach briefly studied foodservice at a local community college, but didn’t find the academic climate there serious enough for his needs. He instead decided to work Buffalo’s restaurant circuit a while, learning different stations. Then, one evening in Hyde Park, the future started coming together.
Jake invited Adam to assist the alumni chefs at a CIA benefit dinner, and his son, who’d never been exposed to the Culinary Institute effect firsthand, became sold on the school. “When Adam told me he wanted to attend the CIA, I warned him it’s the big leagues and the hub of the food world and there’d be no goofing off,” Jake remembers. “Then I let him make his own decision.”
Adam graduated from the CIA’s two-year culinary arts program in November 2012. (The school’s alumni magazine recently noted that the younger Brach was “following in his father’s ‘food-steps.’”) He then took off to Manhattan to begin climbing the culinary ladder. Even when he finally arrived at The Modern, Adam, true to form, started as the cold-kitchen garde-manger before becoming line cook, as part of the natural grooming that inevitably takes one to positions like sous-chef and beyond.
Legacy of Professionalism
“In today’s world, there’s so much opportunity for someone like him, much the same way I’ve had so many opportunities with Rich’s,” Jake Brach says. “Who knows what his future holds right now? When he was moving to New York, I told Adam what a friend once said to me: You never know where life’s going to lead you. You can pour yourself into something, but then something else takes over. It’s providence.
“If I can impress one thing upon him,” Jake adds, “it’s a sense of professionalism. It’s something near and dear to my heart and I’ve tried to lead by example. The CIA provides great grounding for that. Professionalism is vital, along with feeling comfortable in what you’re doing at work and at home. In this one big world we live in, you bring your values to both. That’s what Rich’s believes in.”
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