With a 34-foot RV as its base, David Michael & Co., Philadelphia, hit the road again recently to showcase new products, hold creative culinary product demonstrations and teach the next generation of food professionals about careers in the food and beverage industry through its “Great Escape to Educate” mission.
An offshoot of David Michael’s Innovation Road Show that began 12 years ago, the “Great Escape to Innovate” tour premiered in 2013 and covered more than 25,000 miles through 30 states and 120 client visits, according to Skip Rosskam, president and chief operating officer, David Michael & Co. By the time the 2015 tour concludes in December, it will encompass 70,000 miles in 40 states and three countries, including Monterrey, Mexico, and Quebec City and Ontario, Canada, Rosskam says.
As in year’s past, the RV has visited farmers markets and specialty shops, chefs’ kitchens and research and development (R&D) centers to deliver information, education and solutions. But listening and gaining insights into what their customers, R&D professionals and consumers want also is crucial.
“We have unprecedented access to sample the country, learn about new trends and to share the knowledge of our experts,” Rosskam said during a visit to the Beverage Industry office in Deerfield, Ill. “Our food technologists work for months to come up with the next great taste trend or product, and we are thrilled that we can continue to take some of these ideas on the road with us.”
On this visit, Rosskam showcased several new flavors that have not been unveiled in retail markets. These included a 22-proof yellow cake batter cream cordial, a bacon whiskey, and an orange pineapple basil agua fresca. “The tour provides a taste of what’s coming as well as a chance to influence the next big idea,” he adds.
At David Michael & Co., Rosskam says he is privileged to lead a company on the forefront of the latest food and beverage trends before they start trending. This year’s road show innovations and best practices learned will be unveiled Sept. 20, 2016 in Philadelphia with more than 250 experts from around the world expected to attend.