COVID-19 Updates

SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Jerry Leeper

Recent Posts

These Supply Chain Secrets Help a QSR Brand Break into Breakfast

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Sep 26, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Introducing breakfast into a QSR chain for the first time comes with a lot of unknowns. Will your customers be interested in morning meals from your brand? Will your price points be attractive enough for repeat business? Are you offering something unique enough to lure in customers from the competition? With so much focus falling on the operational side of your early-morning expansion plans, don't neglect your best ally for breakfast success in the QSR industry: your supply chain.

Here are procurement tips to start your mornings with a lucrative bang.

Read More

Topics: Food Service, QSR, Breakfast

The QSR Industry Needs a Better Supply Chain to Succeed at Breakfast

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Sep 6, 2016 11:30:00 AM

You've likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but does that energy-boosting repast do the same for the business serving it up? In the QSR industry, the answer is, increasingly, affirmative. Eager to turn a profit on hungry customers kick-starting their busy schedules, the industry has been looking to reinvent itself as a morning ritual that extends beyond a quick cup of coffee at the drive-thru. With a glut of fast food options on the market, however, where can one restaurant differentiate itself over a competitor? Surprisingly, it’s the supply chain that can make all the difference.

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Supply Chain, QSR

Can Fast Food Suppliers Keep Up With Industry Sustainability Efforts?

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Jun 10, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In the last decade, food trends and consumer spending habits have gone hand-in-hand. Movements like low-carb, paleo and clean eating influenced not only the menus of existing QSR chains, but inspired the creation of new, niche QSR brands as well. The latest shift in consumer demand has proven a little more challenging for the fast food supply chain, however, forcing procurement teams to go beyond finding an exotic new ingredient or recipe and subverting the very concept of the supply chain as it stood.

While price remains, necessarily, a large deciding factor, it is no longer the sole motivator behind provider selection. That honor increasingly rests with sourcing. Can the demands of a supply chain in the fast food industry outpace the looming sustainability issues from largely untested specialty suppliers?

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

3 Quick Steps a Fast Food Chain Can Take Toward Achieving Sustainable Sourcing

Posted by Jerry Leeper

May 16, 2016 12:30:00 PM

Achieving true sustainability in a fast food supply chain takes careful planning and forethought, smart investments and ongoing attention to detail. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be an all or nothing affair.

What are the reasons that sustainability has now become a necessary investment for QSR? For one, younger consumers — Gen Xers, Millennials and Digital Natives in particular — demand it. Second, it’s more profitable over the long-term. And third, because ethical business practices are also best business practices.

That all adds up to mean that any steps taken toward making a QSR business more sustainable are positive steps. You don’t need to become carbon-neutral, zero waste and completely green in the next year. But you do need to show that you’re willing and able to make changes.

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

One Thing Every Fast Food Procurement Director Must Understand About Sustainability

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Apr 18, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Food procurement managers know: When you're leading a fast food franchise in the charge toward sustainability, your ability to source sustainable ingredients will almost always be outpaced by consumer demand. Tastes change quickly, but production capacity takes time to bring online.

The problem is, you can't afford to ignore changing consumer tastes. And you can't afford not to understand how they were derived.

Wendy's story serves as an illustration. The venerable Columbus-based fast food chain needed a way to appeal to Millennial consumers who had been deserting them in favor of fast-and-fresh concepts like Chipotle. So Wendy's test kitchen developed a new series of seasonal salad products that incorporated fresh fruits in unexpected flavor combos.

The problem? Blackberries.

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Sustainability, Supply Chain, QSR

Why the Fast Food Industry Needs Better Supply Chain Metrics

Posted by Jerry Leeper

Apr 11, 2016 2:00:00 PM

If the pervasiveness of dollar menu mentality is any indication, price points are crucial to competitiveness in the fast food industry. So why is big data underutilized or outright ignored in the typical fast food supply chain? Still caught in a lingering procurement cycle plagued by shortages, safety scandals and other — admittedly important — distractions, the fast food industry is understandably hesitant to tackle yet another potential issue. As big data sweeps through industries like healthcare, leaving cost saving efficiency in its wake, it's becoming harder to ignore the benefits of data scrutiny.  So what can big data really do for fast food, an industry typically too focused on the road ahead to pay attention to the road behind? 

Read More

Topics: Food Service, Technology, Supply Chain, QSR