Canteen Unwrapped: A New Virtual Snack Competition
Have you ever wondered how that bag of puff chips or that new spicy turkey jerky ended up in your micro market or pantry? A lot more goes into it than you might think, but we won’t bore you with the logistics, what we will do is tell you how we find these new and exciting brands in the first place.
Traditionally, we might discover emerging brands at an in-person tradeshow or snack conference (yes, those exist); however, nothing about this year has been traditional. So, like most of us in 2020, we had to get creative, lean on our partners, and discover new ways to accomplish our goals.
In partnership with RangeMe, a digital product discovery platform, Canteen did just that and earlier this month, we hosted our first ever virtual sourcing event. Led by our Director of Innovation, Jessi Moffitt, hundreds of curate boxes were packed and shipped to our operators, sales directors, and national account teams – our official “judges” in this virtual event. Our team of judges provided feedback on taste, packaging, originality, client fit, and an overall impression of the product. The brands with the highest scores will be considered to be brought into Canteen micro-markets and office pantries/kitchens across the country.
Jessi says, “For many years, one of our goals has been to support the communities that we serve, and that includes thoughtfully sourcing brands that represent the very best of their community. This is the first time we are bringing together our teams virtually to give feedback on tasty, new, and innovative items to help select what’s next for our customers to enjoy.”
Using RangeMe, we have the ability to search for and discover brands that meet explicit criteria such as women or minority owned, using sustainably sourced ingredients, or even brands that support a cause. Once products are selected, Canteen and RangeMe work together to market the product for success.
“It’s so awesome to partner with a team that shares the same passion for community and innovation as we do,” says Brandon Leong, VP of Marketing & Growth at RangeMe. “We are excited to be an integral part of Canteen’s growth and to work together to shine a light on new and emerging brands.”
With our partners at RangeMe and our own expertise at predicting trends, identifying product innovation and understanding the characteristics of a brand that matter most to consumers, we’re able to curate a mix of products that have the best potential to satisfy our customers while also supporting our communities by using diverse and/or sustainable brands. Canteen Unwrapped is unlike anything we’ve done before but thinking outside the box is what allows us to bring the very best products and provide the very best service to our clients.