2015: A year in review

Michael Jones looks back at a strong year for FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant portfolio

It is vitally important to both the Worldwide board of FCSI and Progressive Customer Publishing, the agency that produce the Foodservice Consultant portfolio on behalf of the Society, that we continue to evolve and produce interesting, useful and entertaining communications for our readers. And 2015 was no different, as the team worked hard to ensure that we build on the strong foundations already established.

We want to continue to engage both FCSI members and a wider readership, across the three regional versions (Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East and Asia Pacific) of the magazine, while expanding opportunities to spread the word about the important work FCSI and its members are doing around the world.

We’re delighted to report that 2015 has been another award-winning year for the portfolio too. In total the magazine was nominated for ten awards at international events throughout the year, winning a gold in the Best Food & Beverage/Restaurants magazine category at The Content Council ‘Pearl Awards’ 2015 in New York City in November and a bronze for Best Editor at the CMA Awards in London on 3 December.

The magazine was also shortlisted for editorial and design awards at the PPA Awards, the FOLIO Awards (where it received three honourable mentions in the ‘Designer of the year, ‘Overall Design and Full Issue categories) and the BSME (British Society of Magazine Editors) Awards, where one of the nominations was in the Columnist of the Year category for our regular ‘Kitchen Confidential: The Secret Chef’ column.

The magazine team attended major trade shows around the world, including Sirha in Lyon, France, Internorga in Hamburg, Germany, NAFEM and The Americas Division annual conference in Anaheim, US, the FCSI EAME conference in Madrid, The NRA Show in Chicago, US, The Hospitality Show in Birmingham, UK and Host 2015 in Milan, Italy.

At Host in October 2015, we held the inaugural Foodservice Consultant ‘Titans of Industry roundtable’ where the future of the sector was discussed, dissected and debated by Hubertus M. Muehlhaeuser, CEO of Manitowoc Foodservice, Inc., Rick Pyle, president of Alliance International, Massimo Giussani, chief operating officer of Ali Group, Claude Theisen, CEO of T&S Brass, Ralph Winterhalter, CEO of Winterhalter Group, Alberto Zanata, president of Electrolux Professional and Thendy Susanto, founder and managing director of Nayati. A write-up of the roundtable will be distributed with the Q1 2016 edition of the magazine.

We produced three magazine supplements in 2015 too, focusing on Cold Storage Innovation, Sustainability and Innovation in Foodservice, offering readers handy guides to new equipment available on the market and insight into the latest thinking from consultants, manufacturers and industry experts.

Insight of the inward-facing variety is also important to us. A total of 250 readers of Foodservice Consultant took part in an online survey about the portfolio between October and November 2015. From that we learnt the total readership of Foodservice Consultant in print alone, (including pass-on readership), is 9,000. 46% of readers have budgetary responsibility while the average annual reader spend on foodservice equipment is $2.9m. 49% of readers have been influenced by Foodservice Consultant into making a buying decision.

The average time readers spend reading the magazine is 35 minutes. 93% agree the magazine is well-written while 88% agree that it is relevant to them. 87% view ‘products and innovation’ as essential/important reading. 76% of FCSI member readers consider Foodservice Consultant a valuable part of their membership while 2/3 believe it is the best magazine in the sector. 3/4 receive the monthly Foodservice Consultant email newsletter and 78% rate it as very good/good, while almost half of those surveyed visit the Foodservice Consultant website at least once a month and a third of respondents have downloaded the app.

So, what does 2016 have in store for readers? The magazine will continue to evolve as we listen to reader feedback, bolstering the magazine and website with more print supplements and targeted roundtables. In January 2016 we will launch a new website that merges the current fcsi.org and foodserviceconsultant.org sites so online users can get all of the information and news they need in one location.

Key to all of this though is the insight from you, the reader. What would you like to see more or less of? What could we do better? Please let us know by emailing the team at editorial@foodserviceconsultant.org. Otherwise, thanks for your continued support and here’s to a successful 2016.

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