PBFA hosted our very first event in our new Meet the Expert series on February 9th, and the response from members has been resounding. Titled “Demystifying Food Service,” this event featured expert Matt Cotton of Rooted Food Sales and presented an opportunity for members to learn the ropes of how to get foodservice ready and ask all their burning questions to help clarify their approach and strategy to getting started. 

Essential Insights into the Foodservice Landscape

During the event, Matt walked members through the myriad of foodservice channels available across different venues from college and university campuses to hospitals and athletic venues. Providing examples and different methods of approach, Matt illuminated the growing demand for plant-based options in a variety of settings to help members begin to see burgeoning opportunities. He also shared detailed insights into distribution channels and broke down the difference in landscape between retail and foodservice. Getting into the foodservice sales cycles, investment requirements, and paths for growth, Matt provided a straight-forward framework to help brands discern how to best allocate their efforts across retail and foodservice. 

Once the groundwork had been laid for the foodservice landscape, Matt shared the five key tips brands need to know when interviewing foodservice brokers and outlined a clear go-to market strategy. All of the information shared during the presentation highlighted Matt’s experience and depth of knowledge navigating the food service industry. Sharing the blueprint to what worked and what needs to be considered, his expertise stands to save PBFA members looking to expand into foodservice a lot of valuable time and resources along their journey. 

Sharing Knowledge to Advance the Industry

Moving into the Q&A section of the event, PBFA members got the chance to share their experiences in food service, troubleshoot challenges they’ve faced, and explore solutions in real time with Matt. The sense of community and collaboration was felt throughout the session and the volume of questions demonstrated member engagement which was certainly reciprocated by Matt in his thoughtful answers. 

Bringing together industry experts to idea (and skill) share is a core focus of the PBFA team. Our primary goal is to champion, strengthen, and elevate PBFA members and the plant-based foods industry as a whole and this educational series is designed to do just that. We are looking forward to hosting more incredible experts in retail development, ecommerce, and more as the year progresses. PBFA members can access all the recordings from these industry-essential resources in the member portal

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