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Consumers have been demanding more transparency when it comes to the ingredients used in our food and the food industry has responded. Despite the ongoing mandatory labeling saga between the government and big food companies, this new initiative could be seen as a move in the right direction. The demand for more information has led food, beverage and consumer products companies to develop an innovative SmartLabel technology initiative that will give consumers easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of products.

The new year is quickly approaching and with it comes a number of annual marketing reports predicting next year’s hottest industry trends. Although there are some trends, like non-GMO, local and transparency that we know aren’t going anywhere, observers are pointing to tech-driven delivery as the next “Big Disruptor” for 2016.

The draft beer industry is anything but stagnant today, so why do establishments use outdated – not to mention wasteful – techniques when it comes to keg monitoring and ordering? Because that’s the way it has always been done and the industry has seen a lack of innovation when it comes to data gathering.Quantum physics founder Max Planck said “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” and that’s exactly what Steve Hershberger did when he created SteadyServ iKeg.

Rustic Thankgiving Dinner

With Thanksgiving just two days away, I do not envy those who have yet to complete their in-store grocery shopping. If you don’t know already, bewarned: grocery stores this week will make you want to skip the holiday all together. At least it did for me the first time I hosted for my family and grossly underestimated how many others would be frantically finishing their shopping list the day before too. Leaving work that Wednesday evening so many moons ago as a naïve 20-something, I thought the store would be a ghost town except for the few like myself who didn’t have the day off and needed to pick up a few items. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Organic vegetables on a stand at a farmers market

Organic vegetables on a stand at a farmers market[/caption] The smartest move food retailers can make today is to invest in local product labeling. Why? “Local” means fresh to consumers and 93 percent say fresh is the most important factor in their purchasing decisions and they are willing to pay more for it, according to a study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. What does local to mean to the consumer?

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