Kinsa Group Blog

Why Offering Top Talent Top Dollar Is Smart In 2014

January 27th, 2014

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The years 2007 to 2013 were an employers’ hiring market. For example, In 2010, FoodProcessing.com’s Fourth Annual Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey of over 1,600 professionals in the food and beverage industry reported that the average pay in the food & beverage industry declined by 6.3% – the lowest average since the survey started in 2007.

Now that the economy is on more stable ground, the tables are starting to turn. Which is why offering a top food and beverage industry candidate top dollar in 2014 is in an employer’s best interest.

For example, in November, 2013, Bloomberg TV reported  that one company, Alibaba, is paying new recruits 3 times what they offered last year to get the best possible talent.

Further, Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder stated in this 1/2/2014 blog titled 7 Trends To Watch At Work in 2014 that “as the year came to a close, the economy showed signs of improvement that should continue into 2014. The housing sector is rebounding, the stock market has hit new highs, consumer spending is up and unemployment is at its lowest in five years. Employers are cautiously optimistic that 2014 will bring a stronger job market, but they aren’t ready to commit to upping their staff until the outcomes of debt negotiations and other issues affecting economic expansion are clearer.”

To Ferguon’s point, # 7 in his blog focuses on compensation for more competitive and specialized/in-demand positions. He says,  “In order for companies to find and retain the best talent, they’ll need to offer competitive compensation, especially for in-demand or hard-to-fill positions. Sales and IT – the top two positions companies plan to hire for in the New Year – are also where employers expect to provide the biggest salary increases. When it comes to high-skill roles, 26 percent of employers plan to raise starting salaries for these specialized positions in 2014. Looking across positions within an organization, 73 percent of employers expect to increase compensation for existing employees – on par with last year – while 49 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees – up from 47 percent last year.”

Employers looking to hire top talent in 2014 will have to compete with the candidate’s current employer seeking to retain their talent with raises and counter offers.

Does your company hiring plans this year include offering higher starting salaries? Why or why not? Leave us a comment below.

What’s New? Top Food And Beverage Trends for 2014

January 14th, 2014

It’s a great time of year. Everywhere you look, experts and analysts are sharing their predictions for the top trends that will shape the food & beverage industry in 2014.

What are they saying? Today, we’re summarizing some of the key predictions from Innova Market Insights and consultants Baum+Whiteman LLC:

  1. Sustainability. A hot topic for some time, sustainability remains at the top of the list. In particular, food loss during production will be heavily scrutinized this year.
  2. Traceability. This issue is high on manufacturers’ agendas right now, as they will use terms like “origin” to enhance consumer marketing of newly launched products – especially in the cheese, chocolate and coffee sub-categories.
  3. Return to simpler pleasures. Consumers are going back to basics, finding comfort in home cooking and the way food brings family and friends together.
  4. The rise of the little guy. Small innovators are using social media to create huge opportunities for marketing high-quality, distinctive products with big trend potential.
  5. Holistic approach to health. Large food manufacturers are considering a wider variety of options for bringing nutritious food and beverage solutions to consumers. Clinical nutrition and traditional Chinese medicine are some of the most promising and profitable options being considered.
  6. Return of restaurants to retail stores. Kicked out decades ago because they were considered “too messy,” retailers are once again embracing the appeal of increased “dwell time” when customers eat and drink on-site. In-store cafes, juiceries and upscale restaurants will create a whole host of new opportunities for food & beverage manufacturers.
  7. Chicken goes from humble to haute. Chefs around the country are offering premium chicken entrees (with equally premium pricetags), pairing the poultry staple with high-end ingredients such as foie gras, quail eggs and chanterelles.
  8. Fresh use of tea. Tea isn’t just for auntie’s afternoon, anymore. Artisan bartenders and savvy chefs alike are using tea blends for boozy cocktails and basting.

Kinsa’s Recruiting Edge

For over 25 years, Kinsa Group has delivered the high performing food & beverage industry professionals your company needs to compete in today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace.

Simply put, food and beverage recruiting and assessment is all we do. We know your industry. We speak your language. We’re on top of the latest trends. We use our experience and insight to uncover candidates with the critical skills, competencies and personality traits to succeed in your opening. Contact us today to learn more.

New Food Industry Trend: Wellness Foods for Aging Americans

June 17th, 2013

It’s a fact – America is aging.  Over the next several decades, we will see big changes in our country’s population:

  • One in five residents will be age 65 or older in 2030.
  • By 2030, all of our Baby Boomer population (the single largest consumer group in America) will be senior citizens.
  • By 2050, the U.S. population age 65 and older will more than double that of 2010 (increasing from approximately 40 million to over 88 million).

As the population ages, the significance of 50+ consumers will grow dramatically in importance.  Marketers in the food industry need to capitalize on this shift, by creating products that address the most important health and well-being areas of interest for this demographic:  retaining mental clarity, keeping both cholesterol and blood pressure in check, and increasing quality of life.

Bearing these points in mind, here are a few wellness food options to consider as you develop new products:

  • The “blue advantage.”  In a recent study testing the effects of blueberries, results show that people who ate a cup of blueberries a day performed five to six percent better on motor skills tests than a control group.  Why?  Blueberries contain a compound called anthocyanin, thought to be responsible for neuron protection.  Food processors can make use of this “blue advantage” by incorporating whole, diced, fresh, freeze-dried or other forms of blueberries into their products.
  • Sodium alternatives.  Studies have shown that 75 percent of a consumer’s sodium comes from prepared foods.  Since our aging population is looking for lower sodium options to address blood pressure concerns, investigate alternatives for your products.  Popular options include potassium chloride, mixed mineral salts and sea salt.
  • Inulin.  Derived from chicory root, inulin is easy to use.  It’s invisible in water and can be added to all sorts of products as a source of dietary fiber.  A fiber-rich diet is especially important to older individuals, helping them stay regular, stay full longer and lower their risk of chronic diseases.
  • Long chain omega-3s.  Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) are essential fatty acids important for heart health, brain and eye health.  Foods enriched with these long chain omega 3s can become an important source of these vital nutrients for aging consumers.

As we age, having a better quality of life through a better diet doesn’t take miracles.  It’s about making small, practical changes to eat healthier.  Food processors can help make these changes easier for senior citizens by developing new products (or enhancing existing ones) to address their unique health issues.

Kinsa Group – On Top of the Trends Impacting Our Industry

If there is one constant in the food & beverage industry, it’s change.  As national recruiters in the food & beverage industry, we at Kinsa Group stay on top of the issues and trends that are important to your food & beverage organization.

In fact, we’ll be at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, which runs from July 13th through 16th.  We’re looking forward to learning about the newest product, ingredient and technology developments, as well as the trends that will shape the industry in the months ahead.  If you attend the event, please stop by our booth (#4153)!

Kinsa Group Launches Mobile Website

May 29th, 2013

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Kinsa Group is pleased to announce the launch of its mobile website.

Accessible from any web-enabled phone, smartphone or tablet, the site provides access to:

  • Search Kinsa Group open jobs
  • View Kinsa hot jobs
  • Learn more about Kinsa Group
  • Contact Kinsa recruiters via email or ‘click to call’
  • A link to the full Kinsa website

According to an article published by technology and social media news firm Mashable, most recruiters world-wide lack a mobile version of their career website. Kinsa is proud to offer food and beverage job seekers a mobile site to make their job search easier.

Like the new mobile site? Tell us on Kinsa Group’s Linkedin group page. And be sure to type www.kinsa.com into your mobile device for easy access.

Promoting Gender Diversity in Food & Beverage Leadership

December 3rd, 2012

Neuroscientists have reported that men think differently than women.

But that doesn’t mean they’re better leaders.

Current statistics, however, might cause you to believe differently.  While women have made great strides in every profession – including those in the food & beverage industry – they still find fewer opportunities in executive offices and corporate boardrooms.  Case in point? Only 18 of today’s Fortune 500 have female leaders (according to cnn.com).

The question is: “Why?”  Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Personal and social pressures may make it harder for them to succeed as leaders.  Factors like maternal and domestic priorities, greater societal pressures, office behavior double-standards and the burden of maintaining physical appearances place additional pressures on women.
  • Standards in the business world are primarily made and enforced by men.
  • Many companies espouse a commitment to gender diversity but do not know how to fully integrate it into their culture.  This allows for persistent stereotypes and biases against women to endure.
  • Women may lack opportunities to join informal networks and role models to support their professional growth.  As a result, they keep lower level jobs, change companies or drop out of the workforce all together.

Realities like these are especially unfortunate, when studies continually find that companies with a high number of women executives and board members perform better, both organizationally and financially:

  • According to Catalyst research, the 25 Fortune 500 companies with the best records for promoting women to senior positions have 69 percent higher returns than the Fortune 500 median for their industry.
  • A 2010 McKinsey Global Survey found companies with the highest gender diversity also had higher returns on equity, operating results and growth in market valuation than the averages in their respective sectors.

In a time when strong leadership is definitely needed in the food & beverage industry, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) has answered the call.  Founded in 1989, the organization promotes gender diversity as both the right social move and a smart business decision.  They have played a principal role in not only raising the issue of gender among senior teams, but also inspiring and supporting its female members to pursue and succeed in high-level roles.

Over the past two years,  the WFF has implemented a new strategy to accelerate the impact its organization has on advancing women leaders:

  • Talent Pipeline Development. The WFF helps women and men develop their leadership competencies, building stronger teams, resulting in more successful organizations.
  • Strategic Connections. Organizations that are a part of the WFF community create strategic, transformational connections with peers and companies across all segments within the industry.
  • Brand Distinction. Member organizations positioned themselves as companies where leaders grow leaders, helping them attract, retain and engage the best talent in the industry.

To learn more about conferences, alliances, leadership programs, scholarships and other services offered by the WFF, visit their website.

Kinsa Recruiters are proud members of  the WFF, and the Kinsa Group has been a WFF Partner organization at the Supporter level since 2011.  We developed, created, host and support their online Career Center and job board, to help further their goals of advancing women leaders in the foodservice industry.

Land of Confusion: Consumer Attitudes Toward Safety, Nutrition and Health

November 5th, 2012

Uncle Sam is probably smiling right now.

According to the 2012 Food and Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health:

More than half of Americans believe it is easier to figure out their income taxes than to figure out how to have a balanced diet within calorie needs.

Obviously, we’re living in a land of confusion when it comes to understanding diet and health.

Commissioned by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, this web-based survey of over 1,000 Americans aged 18 to 80 revealed the following about our country’s attitudes toward food:

  • They’re trying to improve their diets, but it’s hard to separate fact from hype.  While nearly all respondents give at least a little thought to how healthful their diets are, many consumers acknowledge that changes in nutritional guidance make it hard to know what to believe.
  • They view themselves as healthy, but with room to improve.  Nine out of 10 respondents describe their health as good or better; 60 percent say their health is either excellent or very good.  Despite their beliefs, many recognize there is room to improve their diets and nearly all say they are trying to improve at least one aspect of their eating habits (87 percent try to eat more fruits and vegetables).  More than half (55 percent) say they are trying to lose weight.
  • Most don’t know their own caloric needs.  Only 71 percent of respondents would even try to guess how many calories they need to maintain their weight; of those, only 15 percent estimated correctly.
  • Americans are conscious of food safety.  More than 85 percent admit to giving some though to the safety of their foods and beverages over the past year.  78 percent are very or somewhat confident in the safety of the U.S. food supply.  Food safety factors having the largest impact on their purchasing decisions include bacteria (51 percent), “chemicals” in food (51 percent), imported food (49 percent), pesticides (47 percent), animal antibiotics (30 percent) and undeclared allergens (25 percent).
  • Taste and price continue to drive food & beverage choices.  At the end of the day, taste (87 percent) and price (73 percent) beat out healthfulness (61 percent), convenience (53 percent) and sustainability (35 percent).  While respondents profess trying to improve the healthfulness of their diets, the majority (54 percent) say they would rather just enjoy their food than worry about what’s in it.
  • Family meals are important.  Nearly nine in 10 parents believe that it’s good for their health to sit down and eat meals with their families, and two-thirds of parents worry more about the healthfulness of their children’s diets than their own.

Like filing your own taxes, food and health information can be complex and difficult to understand. These insights from the 2012 Food & Health Survey will play a vital role in helping food & beverage professionals better understand the American consumer and the challenges they face in adopting healthful, lifelong behavioral changes.

Kinsa Group – On Top of the Trends Impacting Our Industry

If there is one constant in the food & beverage industry, it’s change.  As national recruiters in the food & beverage industry, we at Kinsa Group stay on top of the issues and trends that are important to your food & beverage organization.

Omega 3s and Sustainability | Kinsa Group

April 2nd, 2012

I recently read a blog on Omega-3s and Sustainability that referenced the harvesting of krill in the Antarctic.  For those of you not in the fats and oils industry, Antarctic krill are shrimp-like ocean creatures that are one of our planets most abundant species. I did not know that one whale can eat up to 4 tons of krill a day.  Or that whales are not the only krill eaters; penguins, seals and seabirds eat krill too.

I was glad to learn that oceanic scientists do not think Antarctic krill are currently threatened or overfished unlike Atlantic cod. But, scientists and environmental groups are concerned that as more companies use huge factory ships for harvesting, that, combined with climate change could threaten the sustainability of krill and the ocean life that depend on them for food.

Food companies were first permitted to market the benefits of omega 3s in packaging in 2004. According to the website soymega.com, 56% of consumers want more omega 3s in their food and beverages. And while the omega 3 market continues to grow, the question remains as to whether or not wild sourced omega 3s will remain a long-term sustainable option.

Kinsa Group – Your Sustainable Food & Beverage Industry Recruiter
For over 25 years,  Kinsa Group has delivered the high performing food & beverage industry professionals  companies need to compete in today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace.  Simply put, food and beverage recruiting and assessment is all we do.  Contact us today to learn more.

What are your thoughts on Omega 3 wild sourcing? Leave a comment.

Food Safety and Inspection Service Extends Non-O157:H7 to June 4

March 5th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture changed the implementation date of  Non-O157:H7. The implementation was moved forward 90 days, to June 4, so that routine sampling of six additional STEC serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145) could  be included.

The USDA reported that the purpose of the extension is to “provide additional time for establishments to validate their test methods and detect these pathogens prior to entering the stream of commerce”.

It is important to note that the original announcement — issued February 8 — inaccurately stated that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)  would also initially sample other raw ground beef product components, in addition to raw beef manufacturing trimmings.  A correction statement was issued on February 10 clarifying that, “FSIS will initially sample raw beef manufacturing trimmings produced domestically and imported, and test the samples for the serogroups”.

On September 13, 2011, USDA announced that if the serogroups are found in raw ground beef or its precursors, those products will be prohibited from entering commerce.

Kinsa Group is monitoring this closely and will report new information as it becomes available.

2011’s Most Significant Food Stories

December 19th, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close,  Food Safety News examines Food Safety Tops 2011’s Most Significant Food Stories.

In early 2012,  all eyes will be on Non-O157 Policy. The new rule, set to take effect in March, would declare six additional disease-causing serotypes of E. coli — O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 — adulterants in certain meat products.

As with any new rule, some are for it and some are against it. What’s your professional opinion? Feel free to leave your comments here or on Kinsa’s LinkedIn Group page.

Reminder from Kinsa Group

Kinsa Group will be closed on Monday, December 26 and on Monday, January 2 in observance of Christmas Day and New Years Day. Wishing you and yours glad tidings!

Bipolar Beverages? Energy and Relaxation Drinks Take Beverages (and Consumers) to New Extremes

July 11th, 2011

Stressed out?  Anxious?  Jet-lagged?

For years consumers sought drinks laden with ingredients like caffeine, taurine, electrolytes and herbs to give them the extra energy boost they craved.  But lately, manufacturers have introduced several non-alcoholic concoctions that promise just the opposite – they help you unwind.

Today, it seems it’s not enough for a drink to simply quench your thirst.  Manufacturers are responding to consumers’ demands for beverages that take them to new extremes.  Red Bull was one of the first drinks to gain notoriety for extreme energy.  Now a host of relaxation drinks, with names like Mary Jane’s, Dream Water and Lazy Cakes, are pushing the limits at the opposite end of the energy spectrum.

But do relaxation drinks deliver on their claims, and more importantly, are they safe?

Several recent articles, including one posted on CNN.com, focus on rising concerns about new (and sometimes untested) anti-energy drinks.  Sold on college campuses and in grocery and convenience stores, this breed of beverage is being marketed to younger adults, soccer moms and busy professionals.

According to the CNN.com article, Ronald Peters, associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, likens anti-energy drinks to street drug concoctions (laced with codeine cough syrup) urban youths have been mixing up on their own for years.  In the article, Peters called the marketing of commercialized anti-energy drinks “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen with corporate immorality.”

On the other side of the coin, Tim Barham, president of Frontier Beverage, said Unwind (his company’s anti-energy drink) is not “associated in the same realm at all” with the cough syrup mixtures.  He and other beverage makers say that their products are safe and that they are a positive alternative to drugs and alcohol.

So what’s in these drinks?  Manufacturers help consumers chill out with a variety of ingredients, including:

  • passion flower
  • kava
  • valerian root
  • melatonin
  • rose hips
  • GABA

An NPR.com article states that research on most of the herbal supplements going into relaxation drinks is spotty and inconclusive.  Herbs can’t be patented and the FDA doesn’t require companies to standardize ingredients or even back-up their claims with research, so there is ultimately no financial or legal incentive for manufacturers to scientifically test their products.

According to New York-based food and drug attorney Marc Ullman, “The relaxation product category is a category that’s looking for trouble.”  He recently told FoodNavigator-USA.com that relaxation beverage makers may face particular problems in light of the FDA’s draft guidance on distinguishing dietary supplements from beverages.

As consumer demand skyrockets and manufacturers continue to blur the distinction between drinks and supplements, we’re likely to hear much more on the topic.  What’s your take?  Please leave your comments below.

Kinsa Group – Your Food & Beverage Industry Recruiter

For over 25 years, The Kinsa Group has delivered the high performing food & beverage industry professionals your company needs to compete in today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace.  Simply put, food and beverage recruiting and assessment is all we do.  Contact us today to learn more.

 


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