FRIDAYS AT FOUR Volume Eleven Issue Eight

September 18, 2015

Fridays at Four Newsletter

It has been quite a month for GF Strategies. From the  6th of September to mid September the GF Strategies team has worked with one of the largest music festivals Outside Lands in San Francisco, to the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo in Kennewick Washington to the Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle to the Clark County Fair in Ridgefield Washington.

  • There were some common themes to all of our stops. IN all of these venues, no matter what the age of the customer, we are still seeking gathering places to meet up with our family and friends, enjoy and event and of course eat and enjoy our food and drink.
  • Whether it was the staple of the Fairs a corn dog or the high end sushi truck seen at Outside Lands (one of 42 food trucks on site), eating is still a main part of any event. Clark County Fair set an all time sales record; including reaching the$300,000 sales mark in one day.
  • And the most promising trend that we saw in our travels this year was the continued growth of two trends—premium viewing areas for fans of music festivals and also mixologists, who are on hand to serve the high end premium drinks.
  • This news comes from Fast Company Magazine. Face book and Microsoft are working to create the “next epoch-shifting computer interface”. Stunning 3d imagery delivered directly to your eyeballs. Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens are the current products.
  • Snapchat and Twitter are both talking about what their greatest business potential is. “Coalescing massive audiences to share a live experience together, from an awards show to a weekend at Coachella. —Fast Company.
  • Assistive Intelligence is another trend to watch. More and more of our existence intersects with the digital domain. A company called Clara Labs is working in this area.
  • The latest trend in organic foods is a category called “dabblers”. Marketers are working to turn these organic dabblers into consistent customers. According to one research firm, 64 percent of shoppers are “dabblers” or “temperate”. This research says that dabblers buy organic food haphazardly. Tempererates are price sensitive and buy for isolated reasons.”Devoteds” the top buyers of organics make up about 20 percent of shoppers. Grab and go milk in smaller containers is one strategy now being used by Organic Valley. One firm that added multigrain chips to its line this past year report sales have tripled.
  • A Disney effort in a one billion dollar investment on technology to track visitor preferences continues to grow. The new MyMagic+ wrist band will allow Disney to better analyze crowd control, data collection and wearable technology. The real test will be if users see this as invading their privacy. According to the article the new MyMagic+ is a “sweeping reservation system that allows bookings month in advance on a website or Smartphone application. Bracelets called magic bands will link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information. “When you make logistics easier, people tend to spend more time on entertainment and more time on consumables “says Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. –Business Week
  • Note: GF Strategies has been working this season to expand the use of cashless wristbands to festivals and events.Visit our webpage for updates on this technology which is being used at many of the large music festivals.
  • Business week reports that the FDA is cracking down on LABELS THAT MISLEAD. The latest crackdowns are on brands such as Muscle Milk, Kind Snack Bars and Pom Wonderful. The founders of these firms are saying this is an example of overregulation and will hinder their growth in their markets.
  • Twitter has hired Yoky Matsuoka to work on ways that the company can move into artificial intelligence. The magazine Wired   is calling her a chief architect. Says Yoky “with the combination of technology and neurosciences there are so many things we can achieve”.
  • Some words that are trending this issue include the following: Compassionate Capitalism, Human Capital Management, antibiotic free chicken (now the move at all fast food locations) artisan foods, and hyper localization.

GF Strategies will be attending the Arena Managers Conference in St Louis and will be on a panel about technology use, speaking on cashless September 21st.. Our next issue will report on that event and also our work with the Outside Lands Music Festival in Las Vegas and a review of the Fairs and their trends this summer.


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Thanks for reading this edition of Fridays at Four.

Greg Flakus……. GF Strategies….Food Service Planning for Profit

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