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Operator Survey Picks Top Vendors

CARMEL, IN. - In a recent nationwide survey conducted by Cognitio, Inc., more than 700 foodservice operators identified Tyson chicken products as the year's best new foodservice products.

The Springdale, AR, food manufacturer also received the most votes from operators as "the manufacturer that does the best job bringing valuable new products to operators," according to Cognitio. Kraft Foods and General Mills were ranked second and third, respectively.

Foodservice distributors should take advantage of the results of the survey as they build their businesses next year, David Palmer, president of Cognitio, told ID Report. "Distributors should carefully pick their winners to get behind in anticipation of the 2004 economic rebound - new products from manufacturers that have done their homework before the launch - new products that have been designed based on breakthrough operator or consumer insights and that are proven to work for the operator," Palmer noted.

Tyson has perennially scored high among distributor management and sales reps in numerous ID Industry Leader surveys.

Other high-ranking individual new products were Coca Cola's Vanilla Coke, pork products from Hormel and pork products from Sara Lee.

The best new products list also includes many new labor-saving products that help operators reduce prep time work. Examples include pre-roasted and pre-seasoned fruits and vegetables from the J.R. Simplot Co. and pre-marinated and pre-cooked Buffalo Chicken Strips from Tyson.

The best new product list also contains new products with innovative flavors like Cilantro Lime Flavor Concentrate from Nestle, Zestee Fritters from Tyson and Flame-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Seasoning from Simplot.

"The key to foodservice new product success is facilitating exciting new menu variety without increasing operational complexity," Palmer said.

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