Growing and protecting client profitability is our number one objective. We achieve this goal by applying proven ingredient procurement strategies targeted to avoid unexpected price volatility while optimizing food costs.
Many commodity advisors are available to food industry organizations. Some participants rely on their suppliers and sales brokers for market intelligence. Client Advisory Services satisfies the need for ingredient acquisition advice that is not tethered to making a sale or commission.Our revenue stream comes solely from providing clients with high-value consulting services.
It begins with continuous ingredient market monitoring on commodities specified by the client. Supply-chain managers are typically focused on vital issues involving continuity of supply, inventories and staff management duties with few, if any, internal resources dedicated to market intelligence and analytics.We fill this void in a unique, cost-effective way with knowledge and experience and a high sense of urgency.
Our services depend upon the client’s needs. Some clients just want a reliable service that provides raw price data that is accurate and timely. Other partners opt for an aggregation service that collects information from authoritative sources and condenses it in an easily understood format. Still others request our confidential acquisition strategies that define timing, acquisition percentages and target pricing.
Clients benefit from a food purchaser’s perspective thatis authoritative, concise and unbiased. CAS offers straight talk in contrast to endless scenarios and circular arguments. Food cost managers need to manage ingredient price risks not engage in high-risk market trading schemes or costly derivative contracts.
Client Advisory Services Companies are a consulting resource for food industry professionals providing food ingredient market data, intelligence and purchasing strategies. Our client organizations range in size from multi-national food companies to individual entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Cost of goods surprises can jeopardize the best business plan especially given often razor-thin manufacturing margins.Consumer packaged goods manufacturers need ingredient cost predictability generally over a shorter term horizon than other food sectors depending on purchasing philosophy and unique business requirements.A balanced, matrix-style purchasing approach that weighs key ingredient coverage thresholds and year-over-year costs together with seasonal trends and historic price averages can help to achieve management objectives.
In the restaurant business key ingredient price fluctuations can take a severe toll on the bottom-line especially under conditions where it is not possible to pass along higher prices to consumers.Menu price development in the business plan can provide “tolerance ranges” for major ingredients assisting in the establishment of ingredient purchase price targets and acquisition coverage time frames and amounts.Integrated purchasing for both franchisor and franchisees offer benefits and risks. Our unbiased advisory services make a welcome addition to the planning and decision-making process.
International trade increasingly takes center stage in moving key commodity prices. Exports have changed the dynamic just as the advent and growth of bio-fuels have altered traditional bakery buying patterns.Strategies must be based upon casting a wide net that continuously measures global supply-demand, weather events, currency fluctuations and international macroeconomics.Client Advisory Services offers multi-unit retail and large wholesale bakeries fundamental market research and timely, objective purchasing solutions.
Food Retailers and Wholesalers -“We subscribe to a price sheet service but then spend hours of staff time manipulating the data to make it usable. Can CAS provide us with ingredient price quotations formatted to our specifications as data tables and charts for an affordable price?” Information without analytics, customized to your organization’s exacting requirements: CAS Price Tracking & ChartingFood Manufacturer - “Our bottom-line can swing into the red if vegetable oil prices spike so what are the price risks this season and what kind of pricing strategy do you suggest to give us cost predictability?” One size does not fit all. Recommendations to manage risk: CAS Market StrategiesChain Restaurant Franchisee - “Our food costs are all over the map creating a nightmare when it comes to budgeting and making good on our profit commitment. What can we do to minimize ingredient price fluctuations without buying futures contracts?” Many ingredients are not represented in futures markets so we offer specialized analytics to provide you with a competitive cost control edge: CAS Statistical Buy AnalyticsIndependent Wholesale Baker - “Can you provide us with a continuing independent analysis of the wheat market and strategies to manage risk? We don’t like to rely on our supplier’s advice because we have do not share a common bottom-line objective amid an ever shrinking base of suppliers.” CAS collects, analyzes and recommends timing and coverage amounts for all elements (mill-feeds, cash grain markets, trading exchanges) that works together to guide intelligent forward flour pricing: CAS Market Commentary Analysis & StrategiesRetail Bakery Franchise - “How can we use synthetic vertical integration techniques to smooth food cost price volatility and gain margin advantage on our major ingredients?” We offer analytics and forward contract integrations that seek to manage price gyrations and provide retailers with a new measure of ingredient cost control that combines CAS Statistical Buy Analytics with CAS Analysis & Strategies
ResearchOur work entails continuous evaluation of agricultural economics research, macroeconomics, crop development and international weather conditions influencing supply-demand and prices. We access world renowned sources from government, private sector analysts and academics specializing in applied economics.AnalyticsFrom a data platform of divergent opinions and perspectives on a wide range of ingredient markets we analyze information but uniquely from the ingredient end-user’s viewpoint. This is antithetical to a commodity trader or broker’s daily gains and losses mindset and in sync with the client’s profit objectives. We help clients avoid the problematic conflict of interest when assessing information from vendor brokers and ingredient suppliers.
Purchasing StrategiesClient’s often only require price tracking and historic data compilations. We also offer strategic purchasing solutions for those desiring a more comprehensive service. In these instances our advice is client specific, adapted to confirm to management risk tolerance and competitive market challenges.ExpertiseClient Advisory Services Companies was founded by Vic Turner, a food industry veteran with over thirty years of multi-disciplinary management experience as a corporate officer and entrepreneur. He provides clients with the insight gained from hands-on experience managing multi-million dollar budgets over a time period that has seen dramatic changes in commodity markets and supply-chain management techniques.
PURCHASING EXECUTIVEINNOVATOR”At Collins Foods International, Vic was responsible for guiding the $490 million CFI enterprise commodity procurement strategies yielding multi-million dollar reductions in Sizzler red meat and key ingredients. He created innovative commodity hedging and contracting solutions for the Kentucky Fried Chicken Division’s fresh poultry that contributed millions in chicken expense reductions annually for seven consecutive years. During his tenure at Winchell’s Division of Denny’s, Vic ushered in a highly successful new era in ingredient budgeting and contracting for sugar, flour, vegetable oil and all other bakery related supplies.”
MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY CHAIN PIONEER“Vic directed the food product manufacturing operations for the Winchell’s Donut House and Denny’s Restaurants. He was responsible for ingredient procurement and created commodity strategies for the industrial complex and retail stores. Vic successfully implemented a vertical integration strategy utilizing two 100,000 square foot food facilities where products were created, produced and distributed. He directed manufacturing operations, product development and quality control laboratories in addition to distribution/warehousing.”
C-LEVEL RETAIL & WHOLESALE LEADER”At the Krispy Kreme franchise for Southern California, Vic was a senior manager of the firm where 32 stores were rolled out including the original prototype that resulted in a business generating $64 million in retail revenues. He was responsible for the start-up and development of a wholesale business with manufacturing, store door distribution system, sales and customer service operations. In less than thirty months this business grew to serve 1,000 outlets with over $20 million in annual sales..”
Ingredient Price Tracking & ChartingNever again be concerned that your ingredient price information is accurate, available and timely. Our clients find it convenient and economical to have Client Advisory Services compile ingredient market pricing data on a daily, weekly and monthly for most major and minor markets providing tracking results that can include contemporary and historical futures, cash and basis quotations.We package this information in tabular format using Excel and build custom formatted graphics from simple year-over year comparisons to more complex visualizations that combine several price elements like cash, futures, basis, mill feeds and more. Data folders are communicated to clients on the CAS Cloud at any time interval desired.
Aggregated Commentary, Analysis & StrategiesClient Brief reports are published electronically on a monthly basis, customized to contain client-defined food ingredient market information. These periodic reports condense leading governmental and industry market analytics offering a quick, concise look at factors driving markets. We then incorporate market forecasts with our take on market price probabilities.Depending upon client preference, we also incorporate our Ingredient Acquisition Strategy for each market with precise buying recommendations that include price objectives, timing and contracting time frame shown as tables and in graphic formats. Importantly, Client Brief reports are unbiased, professionally edited and very competitively priced for use in large and small organizations.
Statistical Buy AnalyticsThose obscure food ingredients that in many instances are not represented in futures markets are a specialty at Client Advisory Services. Our in-depth analyses are available on markets as diverse as dry beans and eggs to meat and tomato products.Typically our statistical buy analytics service is requested by clients with long purchase time horizons whose budgeted profitability is at risk from exposure to one or two ingredient markets. Our work product condenses expert market information, expectations and history and combines a unique food industry end-user based viewpoint complete with statistical probabilities, pricing expectations and objectives. Specific purchasing recommendations and tracking are available at the client’s request.
U.S. Agricultural Exports Weaken as Dollar StrengthensMacroeconomic factors, including the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, played a key role in the strong growth of U.S. agricultural exports that began in the early 2000s, with exports peaking in U.S. fiscal year (FY) 2014/15 (October/September). While other variables, particularly robust income gains in developing countries, supported market growth, an extended period of dollar depreciation during FY2003-14 increased the competitiveness of U.S. exports. Since FY2014, however, U.S. agricultural exports have declined in real terms as global income growth has slowed and the dollar has strengthened against the currencies of many U.S. agricultural export markets and competitors. A stronger dollar tends to have the greatest impact on U.S. exports of bulk and intermediate goods that are more readily substituted for by exports from other suppliers. Exports of consumer-oriented products that are more differentiated from those of competitors tend to be less affected by a stronger dollar. The real trade-weighted dollar exchange rate is an indicator that accounts for both the change in each country’s exchange rate with the U.S. dollar and its share of U.S. agricultural exports. This is an updated version of a chart found in Global Macroeconomic Developments Drive Downturn in U.S. Agricultural Exports released on July 12, 2016.
Over the past four decades, demand for foods that save households time in meal preparation and cleanup (i.e., “convenience foods”) has grown in the United States. This has implications for dietary quality and health. But little is known about the drivers behind the growth in demand for such foods. One driver might be that Americans are purchasing more processed foods because of those foods’ declining market prices relative to their less processed counterparts. Another driver might be that the most advertised foods are those that are the most convenient or that American households have little time for meal preparation because of labor-market participation. How declining incomes affect the demand for convenience may also be a driver. Between 1999 and 2010, changes in prices and total food expenditure drove most food-purchasing patterns. Meals and snacks at fast-food restaurants were also responsive to changes in advertising expenditures, while hours worked had little effect on demand for any foods.Keywords: convenience food, processed, food expenditure, meal preparation, fast food, snack, advertising, demandDownload full report CLICK HERE.
USDA Graphical Crop Progress & Condition ReportAn excellent resource published weekly by the National Agricultural Statistics Service that details planting, crop development and harvest cycles for the principal crops grown in the United States.Download the pdf file for Crop Progress & Condition and please note this link is available during the crop development period and is updated Wednesdays at 5pm ET.
Worldwide Crop ProductionCrop status by geography or crop type is available from the Foreign Agricultural Service. These data are continuously updated. Click HERE to access this reservoir of pertinent global crop information.
Crop Stats and Animal Products
Lower Ground Beef Prices Reduce Cost of Home-Grilled Cheeseburgers by About 6-Percent From Year AgoIf cheeseburgers are on the menu for your July 4 barbecue, they will cost you less this year than last year. Thanks to lower prices for ground beef, bread, and tomatoes, the cost of a home-prepared cheeseburger was 6.3 percent lower in May 2016 compared with May 2015. In May 2016 (latest available prices), the ingredients for a quarter-pound cheeseburger totaled $1.72 per burger, with ground beef making up the largest cost at $0.93 and cheddar cheese accounting for $0.34. This same cheeseburger would have cost $1.83 to prepare in May 2015. Ground beef prices decreased 10.1 percent between May 2015 and May 2016, translating to a $0.10 per quarter-pound savings. Bread and tomato prices also decreased, bread prices fell 5.5 percent and tomato prices 2.6 percent. Cheddar cheese prices increased 1 percent from last May. Lettuce prices, on the other hand, were up 3.2 percent, but due the small piece of lettuce topping the cheeseburger, this translated into an increase of less than a cent per burger. More information on ERS’s food price forecasts can be found in ERS’s Food Price Outlook data product, updated June 24, 2016.
Prices of Basic Food Ingredients Outpaced Prices of More Convenient Foods But With Little Impact on Basic Ingredient Spending
Beginning in 2004, prices of basic food ingredients purchased in grocery stores grew faster than prices of ready-to-eat meals and snacks purchased in grocery stores. Basic ingredients are raw or minimally processed foods, such as milk, dried beans, and fresh meat, used in producing a meal or snack. Ready-to-eat meals and snacks, such as refrigerated entrees and side dishes, yogurt, and candy, require no preparation beyond opening a container. A recent ERS analysis found that between 1999 and 2010, spending by a typical American household on basic ingredients was not as responsive to these price changes as spending on ready-to-eat meals and snacks. In the first quarter of 1999, 5.2 percent of the average food budget was spent on basic ingredients and 18.0 percent on ready-to-eat meals and snacks. By the fourth quarter of 2007, the share of total food expenditures spent on basic ingredients remained fairly constant but increased during the 2007-09 recession. The share of total food expenditures spent on ready-to-eat meals and snacks, on the other hand, steadily declined to 17.1 percent before rising back to 1999 levels during and following the 2007-09 recession. This chart appears in the ERS report, U.S. Households’ Demand for Convenience Foods, July 29, 2016.
U.S. Cheese Exports Sharply LowerU.S. cheese exports continue to struggle due to increased competition and lackluster global demand. The U.S. faces particularly intense competition in Asia from Australia, New Zealand, and the EU. For example, sales of U.S. cheese in such key markets as South Korea and Japan through May are down 48 percent and 30 percent year-over-year, respectively. Not surprisingly, total shipments of U.S. cheese through May are down 22 percent in comparison to last year and the annual forecast has been cut to 275,000 tons; down sharply from last year. Nevertheless, U.S. consumption remains robust lending support to dairy prices. Although year-end stocks are slated to grow over last year, prices are likely to remain at relatively strong levels. However, this will also render U.S. cheese less competitive, e.g., the current CME price of $1.66 per pound (Cheddar Block) is well ahead of the Oceania mid-point FOB price of $1.29 per pound. Link to Foreign Ag Service, Dairy: World Markets and Trade, July 2016.
Market Journal - Grain Market Perspectives - Elaine Kub - August 19, 2016Elaine Kub, author of “Mastering the Grain Markets,” analyzes corn and soybean price reactions to the USDA’s August Crop Report. Elaine also talks about basis, exports and selling strategies for old crop corn.Client Advisory Services features selected video segments fromMarket Journal, an educational outreach effort presented by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication and UNL Extension. MJ programs give guidance and information to farmers that can also prove to be very helpful to food ingredient end-users who wish to understand strategies on the sellers side of transactions. Kurtis Harms produces Market Journal and Jeff Wilkerson is the host.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website today. We appreciate your interest in our services. Our consulting practice was established to serve the needs of all food industry organizations from start-up entrepreneurs to large national companies. The services we offer add value for supply-chain professionals in a broad range of food organizations.Because we make our services available on a straight-forward, non-compete basis we offer services when an industry segment is available. We would appreciate hearing from you so that we can contact you when opportunities to serve your organization’s industry segment are available. Client Advisory Service’s sole objective is managing risk and improving your firm’s profitability, not your competitors. To this end, we accept only one client in a specific food industry segment. For example, if your company is a national retail pizza chain you are our exclusive client in that segment. Your organization’s confidentiality is vigorously safe-guarded. We are a fee for service organization with no “sheltered-income” or alternative revenue streams that can compromise or distort the advice we offer. Our mission is straight forward; manage ingredient costs to maximize your enterprise profits not your competitor’s.Our client based is broad; we serve multi-national food corporations, national food industry organizations and local food operations as well as start-ups. References will gladly be provided upon request.
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