Big Goes Small and Small Goes Big: 5 Ways Big Food is Finding Growth in the New Food Economy

Big Goes Small and Small Goes Big: 5 Ways Big Food is Finding Growth in the New Food Economy

Anyone reading the food news these days would think that Big Food is dead. In recent years, analysts have been alert to the trends, publishing excellent reports such as Is Big Food In Trouble? (A.T. Kearney/The Hartman Group, 2016), Invasion of the bottle snatchers: Smaller rivals are assaulting the world’s biggest brands (The Economist, 2016) […]

Climate Change and Agriculture – Reflections from California

Climate Change and Agriculture – Reflections from California

Communities around the globe are grappling with the consequences of climate change and working to come up with strategies aimed at mitigating its effects and building local climate resilience. As a Californian, I have experienced firsthand weather patterns that are growing increasingly extreme. The state is emerging from a historic 5-year drought, which left our […]

Kitchen incubators: is there a recipe for success?

Kitchen incubators: is there a recipe for success?

Ten years ago, the kitchen incubator was a novel concept. Since then, the food landscape has evolved pretty dramatically. We are now flooded with artisan products (or specialty, local, small batch – insert your favorite food movement here!) and have unparalleled access to unique food trucks and food services — and I think we are […]

Frozen Local is Heating Up: Is it Worth It? Part II

Frozen Local is Heating Up: Is it Worth It? Part II

We’re reporting back with operator perspectives in hand…and the answer is (drumroll please): it depends. As you probably expected! Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of moderating an incredibly insightful panel discussion at the National Good Food Network 2016 Food Hub Conference in Atlanta: Economics of Small Scale Processing “Frozen local” seems like a […]

Frozen Local is Heating Up: Is it Worth It? Part I

Frozen Local is Heating Up: Is it Worth It? Part I

More and more, food hubs are wondering if they should build frozen processing capabilities. At first review, it seems like a solution to so many challenges in the local food system. Growers struggle when their key crops are ready for sale at the same time as other growers in their region – flooding the market and […]

3 Trends Shaping 2016

3 Trends Shaping 2016

As the year comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on the year behind and making plans for the year ahead. I always find it inspiring when the NVA team meets to talk about how we’re doing, what we’re learning and the trends we’re observing. We use these insights to refine internal processes, […]

9 Trends in Food Hub Planning

After two years working with incredible, diverse and passionate local project teams on dozens of food system assessments, I always get excited when we start a new project. We have no preconceived ideas about the local food landscape or the direction we think a food enterprise model will take – we let the research and […]