S&D’s 2017 Highlights

This year — our 90th in operation ― has been one of new developments and a continued commitment to advancing sustainability, capitalizing on beverage trends and culinary insights and engaging with members of the coffee and tea industries. Here’s a look back at 2017:

Hosting the 2017 S&D Culinary Challenge with Johnson & Wales Charlotte

The seventh S&D Culinary Challenge gave Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Charlotte students the opportunity to win cash prizes — and bragging rights — for their food truck-inspired recipes featuring S&D coffee and tea extracts. Chainey Kuykendall, who also received top honors in the 2016 competition, impressed the panel of judges with her ““Coffee ScenTEAd Abura Soba,” a Japanese dish that features soba noodles, chicken and a tea-soaked egg, and walked away with the grand prize of $5,000.

Expanding coffee and tea product offerings

S&D added five new flavors to the Mangrove Bay flavored iced tea line: Caribbean Sunset Black Tea, Peach Lemon Green Tea, Blueberry Citrus Black Tea, Mandarin Green Tea and Merry Berry Black Tea.

With 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified tea, the new flavored teas utilize encapsulated flavor, which allows for a consistent, flavorful brew while offering the convenience of using a filter pack for brewing — which is desired by most operators.

Also launched in 2017, S&D’s Cold Brew concentrates simplify the cold brew process for foodservice operations and result in superior tasting, balanced, smooth and authentic cold brew.

With S&D’s two shelf-stable products, specially formulated to meet consumer preferences, cold brew can be ready in minutes and served in batches or by the glass, allowing operations to be better prepared for every sale and limiting waste.

Engaging with the industry through events and initiatives

In addition to connecting with partners, customers and associates at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo, the National Restaurant Show, IFT Expo and the NACS Show, S&D leaders presented at other leading foodservice events.

John Buckner led an Innovation Forum breakout session at Restaurant Leadership Conference in April. In “Cold Brew Coffee: Why is it ‘Hot’?,” attendees learned more about the cold brew trend and the motivations, attitudes and behaviors of cold brew coffee consumers.

In October, Helen Griffith participated in a panel at the MUFSO Conference in Dallas. The session, “What’s Next for Breakfast?”, reviewed data on how breakfast meals and positioning is resonating with today’s consumer and looked at success stories with breakfast and brunch programs.

Additionally, S&D was once again the sponsor of the Re:Co Symposium Fellowship Program, which was created to grant access to 40 individuals who might not otherwise be able to attend this event. Symposium Fellows are future and current leaders in specialty coffee, shaping the conversation and designing a brighter tomorrow for coffee.

Lastly, S&D launched an updated corporate website this year. Along with streamlined navigation and a new knowledge center, users can now easily access information whether they are on their computer, phone or tablet.

Continuing our focus on sustainability

S&D hosted Raíz Connect — the first ever meeting of its kind. The event brought together nearly 50 active supply chain partners from across the Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Peru) who have helped make S&D’s Raíz Sustainability platform a success.

Held July 13-14 in Medellin, Colombia, event participants shared impact results, discussed strategy, received progress reports and collected valuable feedback for continued growth and improved performance of the program.

Additionally, S&D participated in the following sustainability-related initiatives throughout the year:

  • S&D announced its participation in the “Sourcing Sustainable Coffee” Collective Action Network, part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. This Network encourages collaboration that will significantly advance the progress toward sustainable coffee production.
  • S&D continues partnership with Conservation International to invest in long-term sustainability and to strengthen its supply chain partners.
  • The Coffee Quality Institute’s project, the Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE), announced a new collaboration between the Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE) Platform and S&D in order to help the industry better understand and react to gender-based issues through a systemic approach.
  • At an S&D-sponsored workshop, more than 60 diverse stakeholders from across the Argentine tea industry gathered to discuss best practices and risks impacting the tea industry in the Misiones province, examining ways in which the industry could collaborate to build a vibrant, resilient and prosperous tea sector for many years to come

Learn more about S&D’s Raíz Sustainability and the positive impact it is having on the environment in this video:

Additional videos can be found on our YouTube page.

Celebrating our past and determining our future

S&D celebrated 90 years in 2017 ― an event that was commemorated with an employee celebration. From our start as a coffee business serving the grocery marketplace, S&D has become a leader in coffee, tea and extracts & ingredients, putting nine decades of experience to work every day to be the foodservice beverage supplier of choice.

Looking ahead, S&D is committed to our continued focus to help businesses build profitable beverage strategies.

One way we are doing this is by refocusing on the noncommercial sector with products and programs to meet the channel’s needs ― adding new team members and consolidating sales teams from other areas. Additionally, the noncommercial team is uniquely structured to strategically align with customers’ internal support teams and how they go to market, indicating a deep knowledge of the industry.

Thank you to all of our customers, partners and team members for their contributions throughout this year. We’re looking forward to all 2018 will bring!

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Check out all of the S&D news from 2017 on our News and Events page and find other industry insights on our blog.