The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and The Partnering Group to Create Industry Standard in Foodservice Category Management

Chicago, Ill. (May 16, 2013) – The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), at the direction of its member-based Board of Directors, announced today the sponsoring of the industry’s first inclusive foodservice category management best practices initiative.

The intent of the initiative is to provide the collaborative environment required to deliver a healthy and growing consumer advantage in the foodservice marketplace. Foodservice category management will draw on learnings from successful work completed across multiple channels; however, expectations are that a unique approach is needed to be successful in foodservice.

IFMA will co-chair The Partnering Group’s (TPG) Category Management Innovation Board and collaborate with a group of industry experts and partners on this initiative; TPG, known creators of category management for the retail channel, Datassential, The NPD Group, and industry operators and distributors. This group, along with a committee of industry leaders, will create the process, language, tools and metrics to build the knowledge and skills of industry practitioners and facilitate collaboration between partners.

“IFMA is uniquely positioned as the industry’s representative to champion a standardized process to benefit the broad range of companies in our community,” said Larry Oberkfell, President and CEO, IFMA. “Collaborating with TPG, Datassential, The NPD Group, and other industry leaders brings a professional team to bear on this critical industry opportunity. Our vision is to be inclusive, and we hope to involve more associations and organizations in the future.”

“Foodservice manufacturers and distributors are seeing the need for a comprehensive approach to optimize their collaboration for profitably growing their categories and brands,” says Jeff Schroeder, Partner, The Partnering Group. “Partnering with IFMA and this respected team will enable the development of foodservice category management best practices, delivering actionable plans, and results for manufacturers, distributors and operators.”

IFMA and TPG to Create Industry Standard in Foodservice Category Management

Committees will be formed to both lead the efforts and to inform the industry. To learn more about how these committees will function, contact Devon Gerchar, Director, Member Value at For information on TPG, please contact Jeff Schroeder, Partner, The Partnering Group at For general information about IFMA and its programs and services, visit

Media inquiries: Please contact Lisa Ptak, Director, Integrated Marketing at

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
IFMA is a leading trade association comprised of the world’s most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $600 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA’s mission is to serve as a business partner to its members by bringing them relevant, actionable services that are fundamental to their business assessment, planning and execution. For more information, visit Follow IFMA on Twitter: @IFMAWORLD or join our group on LinkedIn.

About The Partnering Group
Founded in 1990, The Partnering Group (TPG) is an international strategy and general management consulting firm. Our mission is to provide proven enterprise-wide collaborative solutions for multiple business sectors worldwide. TPG led a major shift in the CPG industry with its focus on driving value through collaborative marketing, merchandising and fulfillment of products across the entire value chain and is recognized for Best Practices in Category Management & Assortment. An industry leader in the Retail sector, TPG also successfully leads consulting projects in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, including Foodservice, Club/Cash and Carry, Medical Products and the Home Improvement channel. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @TPGConsulting or on LinkedIn at: