When Terry McDaniel stepped in as president and CEO of Inventure Foods nearly five years ago, it was a refreshing new start for himself and the company. Originally, McDaniel came to Inventure as COO before moving into his current position two years later, and he brought with him 30 years of marketing and sales experience in larger and more established food industry companies. He was excited by the potential for growth and innovation that Inventure could produce, and with a two-part strategy based on a unifying corporate identity, McDaniel led the way to that growth and innovation road that the company still travels on today.

Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of Aseptic Solutions USA, has discovered a unique niche. The company is a contract manufacturer/co-packer for a variety of premium juices, energy shots, and nutritional and vitamin supplements for its clients.Started by Zhang in 2005, the company offers state-of-the-art technologies in producing and bottling beverages.

With its tomato sauce, cheese topping and crispy crust, pizza has remained in demand, which makes it a very strong category to grow into – even for MaMa Rosa’s, the largest-selling branded, refrigerated pizza manufacturer in the United States.Based in Sidney, Ohio, MaMa Rosa’s sells more than 3 million cases of pizza annually and distributes to more than 10,000 supermarkets, club stores, pharmacies and convenience stores. President Bill Mackin says the company, which holds almost 70 percent market share, started operations in 1980, when founder Mike Gilardi sold his pizzas to grocery stores like Kroger. Gilardi experienced success in the 1980s and 1990s, as the company perfected its refrigerated pizza product.

Just because we live in an era of convenience with little time to spare in our daily activities doesn’t mean our food and drinks can’t b freshly made – that’s Quick Chek’s philosophy and a key reason why the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based chain of convenience stores continues to grow by about six to eight stores per year. “Since our beginning in 1967, Quick Chek continues to redefine the term ‘convenience’ and remains the market leader in food service, fresh coffee, fast fuel and friendly people – something we call ‘fresh convenience,’” it says.

Lumber companies replant forests – it would end their business to chop down every tree. In the same way, seafood companies are concentrating on maintaining dwindling fisheries. “Our primary focus now is sustainability and making sure that we offer the largest choice of sustainable seafood to our marketplace,” declares John Milobar, president of Albion Fisheries Ltd. Albion searches for fish that meet the criteria of Ocean Wise, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and SeaChoice for sustainability. “Those are the three most noted organizations that we follow,” Milobar notes. Of course, selling only sustainable fish species is a challenge when a company’s goal is to be a world-class distributor of sustainable seafood in western Canada.

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