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 EXECUTIVE - INNOVATOR ”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. Cranberry Production is Up in 2018There will be ample cranberry supplies for U.S. consumers this holiday season. U.S. cranberry production in 2018 is forecast at 8.63 million barrels (or 863 million pounds), up 3 percent from a year ago. If achieved, 2018 production will be the third largest in history; the record of 963 million pounds was produced in 2016. Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, accounting for about half of total area harvested over the past 3 years. The State’s production represents nearly two-thirds of the national total. Despite some frost damage, this year’s production in Wisconsin is anticipated to be 550 million pounds, up 2 percent from last year and the State’s third largest following record output of 613 million pounds in 2016 (and 602 million in 2013). Larger-than-usual crops are also expected in other top-producing States, except Massachusetts—the second largest producer—where weeks of dry weather limited berry size, causing a slight reduction in output. Ample production and large stocks in storage will likely continue to put pressure on cranberry grower prices during the 2018/19 marketing season (September-August). This chart is based on ERS Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook newsletter, released September 2018.
Millennials Devote More of Their At-Home Food Budgets to Pasta Than Older Generations
On World Pasta Day, October 25, it may be U.S. Millennials (more than other age groups) who celebrate with plates of spaghetti, linguini, or macaroni. Using household purchase data, ERS researchers found that, of all the generations, Millennials assign the largest share of their grocery store (food at home) budget to pasta, with Gen Xers running a close second. Among households earning between $22,500 and $28,332 per household member, Millennials devoted 3.7 percent of their 2014 food-at-home dollars to pasta purchases, Gen Xers 3.5 percent, Baby Boomers 2.9 percent, and Traditionalists 2.8 percent. Across generations, pasta purchases exhibited a negative relationship with income; as households become wealthier, they buy less pasta (which is often inexpensive and shelf-stable), opting to purchase instead more perishable foods like fresh meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. Millennials also assigned more of their 2014 food-at-home budgets to prepared foods and sugar and sweets than other generations—perhaps, in a quest for convenience and time savings. A version of this chart appears in the ERS report, Food Purchase Decisions of Millennial Households Compared to Other Generations, December 2017.
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 & Conditionand 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 Food Marketing Data
Decline in Value of U.S. Agricultural Exports to Asia Expected The latest quarterly USDA Outlook for Agricultural Trade provided its first agricultural export forecasts for fiscal 2019 (October 2018 – September 2019). Globally, U.S. agricultural exports are forecast to total $144.5 billion, a $500 million increase over the fiscal 2018 forecast. At the regional level, however, exports to Asian countries are forecast to decline by $3.2 billion—the result of an expected decrease of $7 billion in agricultural exports to China from the 2018 forecast of $19 billion. Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans is expected to be sharply lower because of China’s retaliatory tariffs, which also curb demand for other products, including sorghum, pork and products, and dairy products. The remaining Asian countries are all expected to increase their imports from the United States in fiscal 2019 by a collective total of $3.8 billion. The largest gains are anticipated in Southeast Asia as well as Hong Kong and South Korea. This chart is drawn from data discussed in the ERS Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report, released in August 2018.
Reduced Exports to China in Fiscal Year 2019 May Drive U.S. Agricultural Trade Balance to Lowest Level Since 2007by Alex Melton and Bryce CookeIn 2016, there were 35,45According to ERS agricultural trade projections, U.S. agricultural exports are projected to total $141.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019, while agricultural imports are expected to total $127 billion. The projections indicate an agricultural trade surplus of $14.5 billion. Unlike overall U.S. trade in goods and services, U.S. trade in the agricultural sector consistently runs at a surplus. The $14.5 billion surplus projected for FY 2019 is the lowest since FY 2007, when the United States exported $12.2 billion more in agricultural goods and services than it imported. As expected, the U.S. agricultural trade surplus depends on changes in exports and imports. While exports have increased in value since 2016, the value of imports has risen at a slightly faster rate, leading to a declining trade balance. This is further compounded in FY 2019 by significant declines in projected exports to China.The forecast value for U.S. agricultural exports in FY 2019 reflects a $3.0 billion decrease from the previous forecast and a $1.9 billion decrease from FY 2018. At the regional level, exports to East Asian countries are forecast to decline by $6.7 billion—the result of an expected decrease of $7.3 billion in agricultural exports to China from the 2018 total of $16.3 billion. Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans is expected to drop sharply because of China’s retaliatory tariffs, which also curb demand for other products, including sorghum, pork and products, and dairy. The decline in export value to China is being countered by higher expectations for exports of wheat and horticultural products like fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. Those products are expected to increase in value by $3.2 billion relative to FY 2018.U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2019 are forecast at $127 billion, $600 million lower than in FY 2018, but higher than all years prior. The high U.S. imports are supported by strong consumer spending and favorable business investments, which are expected to continue through 2019. Among the product categories expected to see the biggest rise in import value are sugar and other tropical goods like coffee and chocolate. Horticultural imports are also expected to rise from the previous forecast, reflecting the U.S. status as a major consumer and importer of fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts.Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: November 2018 , by Bryce Cooke and Hui Jiang, ERS, November 2018
Market Journal - Market Analysis - November 9, 2018DTN Grain Market Analyst Todd Hultman discusses progress of this season’s harvest and how weather is effecting it. Todd also discusses ag news from across the globe and how it could affect American producers.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. MJprograms 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. Bridget Nelsonproduces the Market Journal broadcast.
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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