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International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) Begins Phase 2 of the Center Of Innovation Excellence: Expanded Founding Member Committee Fuels Benchmarking Work

CHICAGO, IL (November 2, 2011) - The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is making great strides in the development of standard innovation frameworks for foodservice through the Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE). IFMA and Stage-Gate International, a sister organization of Product Development Institute, have teamed up on the initiative, now beginning Phase 2 (Benchmarking Process), with the support of an expanded committee of foodservice manufacturers and suppliers.

“We have had a great deal of support for CIE from the foodservice community, both suppliers and operators. The industry realizes innovation is a profit driver and that efficiencies and standards create sustainable business results,” said Jim Green, Vice President of Strategy and Member Value at IFMA.  

The CIE founding members are a diverse group, including the 10 original companies, Procter & Gamble Company, Land O’Lakes Inc., Schwan’s Foodservice Inc., Rich Products Corporation, Otis Spunkmeyer, Kellogg’s Food Away From Home, International Paper, Basic American Foods, Sargento and Insight Beverages. In addition, new members have joined to support the initiative, including The Bama Companies Inc., Bunge Oils, Coca-Cola Foodservice & On-Premise, Hobart (ITW), General Mills Foodservice, Kraft Foodservice, Lyons Magnus, McCain Foods, Nestle Professional, Sara Lee Foodservice, Surlean Foods and Unilever Food Solutions. More companies are joining daily. 

According to Don Davis, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Sara Lee Foodservice, “Sara Lee became involved in CIE because we know the relevance innovation plays in our own business. We were further intrigued to have an opportunity to drive innovation with our operator customers, as collaboration is key to our combined success.”
The benchmarking process in Phase 2 will provide deeper understanding of the role new product development plays for foodservice and will uncover common performance metrics used to measure and compare success. “This is an exciting opportunity to generate best practice standards for product innovation within the foodservice industry. The benchmarking study will provide a powerful insight into what manufacturers and operators are doing to drive innovation performance,” said Dr. Scott Edgett, CEO, Stage-Gate International and Product Development Institute.

Up to 300 in-depth interviews will be completed with both operators and manufacturers within (and outside of) IFMA’s membership throughout November and December 2011. Results will be analyzed and available for purchase in Q2 2012. Please contact Devon Gerchar at (312) 540-4403 or to purchase the report.


International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
Devon Gerchar, Director, Member Value
P: (312) 540-4403

Product Development Institute
Dr. Scott J. Edgett, CEO
P: (905) 304-8798

Foodmix Marketing Communications
Jennifer Ferm, Public Relations Manager
P: (630) 366-7534

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
Established in 1952 and incorporated in 1954, IFMA is a leading trade association comprising more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $588 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, foodservice trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA’s mission (“Your Business Partner”) is to be the premier foodservice trade association bringing members relevant and actionable services fundamental for their business assessment, planning and execution. For more information visit:

About Stage-Gate International (SGI)/ Product Development Institute (PDI):
Stage-Gate International, a member company of the Product Development Institute, is a globally recognized and trusted brand and is a full-service provider of solutions which enable organizations to improve their Product Innovation and Portfolio Management capabilities to become better product innovators.  SGI has access to the world’s most comprehensive research into best practices in Product Innovation that has led to some of the most important discoveries in the innovation field; such as, Stage-Gate®, The Innovation Performance DiamondTM and the concept of Portfolio Management. For more information visit

About IFMA Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE)
The Center of Innovation Excellence will provide IFMA members, their customers and trading partners with a deeper understanding of the drivers of new product success that are unique to foodservice as well as a variety of resources to help improve their capabilities. For more information visit:

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