Were you among the record-breaking crowd of 700 at SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) this past weekend, January 12-17, in Austin, Texas? We just returned and are energized with all the great feedback we received from attendees. We hosted an Innovation Session where we presented new product concepts. Overall it was a great way to show new items and have the schools evaluate them on the spot. Here’s a couple highlights from our session in which 50 people attended:
- Introducing our Ciabatta Cheese Melt – We presented our new Ciabatta Grilled Cheese, which was very well received, and an attendee recommended we change the name to a Ciabatta Cheese Melt. The group agreed unanimously so the name change is in the works! That’s what I call collaboration!
- Introducing A La Mode — We are excited to start working with a new ice cream company, A La Mode. This is the NY-based company’s first entry into school food service, and their biggest strength is that they are the only “nut-free” ice cream manufacturer in the country. A La Mode presented three ice cream products, a vanilla cup, a chocolate cup and a dairy free strawberry pop. These were very popular, and we determined that the vanilla cup is “Smart Snack” compliant.
During the luncheon we showcased our snacks, the ice cream and shelf stable Meal Breaks with a packet of carrot seeds. The idea is to cross-promote meals with classroom education and have the students actually plant the carrot seeds. We aren’t sure of the specific logistics of this yet, but everyone we talked to loved the concept.
SNIC was such a great opportunity to meet and learn in smaller, intimate meetings to share ideas. We can’t wait to put these ideas into action!