Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center
eNews - November 2016
Featured Client: MIO Emerging Companies
Food Industry Project: Icing on the Top
Applied Technology: Food Dehydrator
Research Project: Evaluation of Oklahoma Native Microalgae Strains
Highlighted Video: Nutrition Facts Update
Highlighted Photo: Pork 101
Activity at FAPC
A Made-in-Oklahoma Culinary Expo was held in January 2016 at the Southwind Hills Event Venue in Goldsby, Oklahoma. The Expo was sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (ODAFF). There were 58 MIO companies at the event displaying and sampling products for the attendees. A significant number of those companies attending the Expo and displaying their products have attended FAPC's Basic Training for entrepreneurs or have been provided technical assistance in product development. In either case, FAPC has contributed significantly to the growth and development of these companies.
Attendees included executives from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) corporate offices in Kansas City and the Oklahoma City division, including category buyers from both distribution centers. AWG Oklahoma City division services 217 stores in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, north Texas and western Arkansas. Retail grocery stores represented at the Expo included Reasor's from the Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma area, Homeland stores, Buy for Less grocers, Crest Foods and numerous independent store owners who are serviced by the AWG Oklahoma City division. Additionally, foodservice distributors attended, including U.S. Foods, Sysco Foods and Ben E. Keith. There were also caterers, healthcare feeding programs representatives, and representatives from schools and universities.
The MIO Emerging Companies include businesses that have shown consistent growth in sales and distribution each year and expect to evolve into the MIO Coalition, which consists of the larger food companies in Oklahoma. The Emerging Companies included Ace in the Bowl Salsa, Billy Goat Ice Cream, Blackjack Beef Jerky, deVine Water, Diane's Signature Dressings, Greer's Ranch House Sausage, KiZE Concepts, Mitchell's Sausage Rolls, My Bigmama's Kitchen, Ralph's Packing Co, Suan's Inc. and Total Beverage Co.
The AWG executives were extremely impressed with the quality, packaging, and presentation of these Made-In-Oklahoma Emerging Companies' products. The AWG executives expressed a desire to create a program to promote the Emerging Companies in the AWG system. AWG proposed to offer reduced slotting fees to each Emerging Company, allowing a lower hurdle to entry into the AWG warehouse. These companies would have their products in the warehouse where the AWG co-op members could order the products with regularly scheduled deliveries. The normal slotting fees for the AWG warehouse are $8,500 per SKU, but the AWG offered the Emerging Companies a slotting fee of only $750 per SKU, and the AWG designed a Plan-O-Gram to display the MIO products in the co-op member's individual stores. Each Emerging Company had to complete the required documents through the AWG Corporate Offices in Kansas City and be approved as a new vendor.
Several planning and preparatory meetings were held at the AWG Oklahoma City division facility to determine the number of products to be slotted for each company. The Emerging Companies were advised to have 80 - 100 cases of each of their products to cover the initial orders, likely leaving about 20 - 30 cases for inventory. The first purchase orders were issued and the initial deliveries were completed on July 12, 2016. The program is in process. At some point, there will be an assessment of initial success with recommendations of adjustments in the program.
- FAPC served on 57 key client projects.
- 38 visitor sessions or tours and a total of 263 guests visited the center for tours or work.
- FAPC issued 10 Process Authority Letters and 25 nutrition label sets.
- FAPC communications included 35 media and news releases, articles, extension reports and feature articles.
- 13 continuing education and training events were held with 313attendees.
- The FAPC pilot plant harvested or processed 48 beef, 73 hogs and 0 lambs.