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.
Consumers are Increasing Their Purchases of Whole Milk in Lieu of Lower Fat MilksThrough the 1980s whole milk sales quantities fell at a rapid pace, as reduced fat milk sales grew. Whole milk sales continued to fall through 2013, although at a lesser rate than the 1980s. Since 2013, however, whole milk sales grew, while reduced fat and low fat milk sales declined. The growth in whole milk sales in recent years has been attributed to changing consumer perceptions about the health effects of consuming milk fats. This period has coincided with increases in butter consumption, indicating that consumer concerns over dairy fat have declined. While whole milk sales increased, the overall trend for fluid milk sales remains negative, as losses to the lower fat categories exceed gains made for full fat milk. This downward trend in fluid milk consumption has been occurring for many years. Possible reasons include the declining proportion of young children in the U.S. population, the availability of alternatives, and changing consumer preferences. This chart is drawn from the ERS Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook newsletter released in September 2017.
Friday, September 29 is National Coffee Day, and according to a National Coffee Association survey, 62 percent of adult Americans are coffee drinkers—either brewed at home or purchased on the go or as part of a restaurant meal. For those waking up to the aroma of home-brewed coffee, they can also enjoy the fact that their cup of morning coffee costs less today than it did 30 years ago, when adjusted for inflation. In 2017, a 12-ounce cup of coffee costs, on average, 19.1 cents to brew at home. That same cup of coffee cost 12.2 cents in 1987. But when adjusted for inflation, that 12.2 cents is equivalent to 26.3 cents in 2017 dollars. For those who prefer their daily joe with milk and sugar, that adds 3.1 cents in 2017 compared with 4.5 cents in 1987 in 2017 dollars. Thus, the cost of a home-prepared cup of coffee has declined by just over a fourth over the past three decades. So, sit back and enjoy a second cup this Friday. More information on ERS’s food price data can be found in the Food Price Outlook data product, updated September 25, 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 Animal Products
Pork Imports Slow in China as Domestic Pork Production ReboundsChina produces roughly half of the world’s pork, generating 55 billion pounds per year since 2013. But, over the past decade it has nevertheless become a leading importer of the meat. Domestic pork production contracted in 2015 and 2016 because of lower pig supplies. That period followed 7 years of growth that drove prices below profitable levels. Imports soared during 2016, as shrinking Chinese pork supplies helped push the country’s pork prices to record levels. But, the most recent data show that imports have fallen about 52 percent from a year ago, reflecting an ongoing recovery in Chinese domestic production. Over the past year, the country reduced its pork imports from all major pork exporting countries, including the United States (-38.0 percent), Canada (-51.6 percent), the E.U. (-56.3 percent), and Brazil (-60.6 percent). In addition, a dozen or more feed and livestock companies have announced aggressive expansion plans within China. With higher domestic hog and pork production, supplies in China appear more than adequate, as the prices for feeder pigs, pork, and live hogs are all below the levels of a year ago. The chart appears in the September Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report
Restaurant Prices are Usually Less Volatile Than Grocery Store Food PricesThe Grocery store food (food-at-home) prices tend to be more volatile than restaurant (food-away-from-home) prices, and this was true during 2009-16. Over this period, restaurant prices rose between 1.3 and 3.5 percent per year, while food price changes at the grocery store were more irregular, ranging from a 4.8-percent increase in 2011 to a decrease of 1.3 percent in 2016. In 2016, grocery store prices and restaurant prices moved in opposite directions. Food-away-from-home prices rose 2.6 percent on average, while food-at-home prices declined 1.3 percent. Although it may seem that prices for food—whether purchased at a grocery store or restaurant—should move in the same direction, differences in production processes and operating costs between the two food sectors can, in part, explain the divergence in 2016. Lower farm commodity prices and energy costs contributed to the decline in at-home food prices in 2016, but eating out places had to absorb rising wages and benefits for employees who prepare, serve, and clean up in foodservice establishments. This chart appears in "Since 2009, Restaurant Prices Have Generally Risen Faster Than Grocery Store Prices" in ERS’s Amber Waves magazine, August 2017.
Market Journal - Corn and Soybeans - Luke Beckman - November 3, 2017Luke Beckman, Central Valley Ag ProEdge grain sales manager, talks about marketing strategies for corn and soybeans. Luke also gives his thoughts on potential production estimates in next week’s USDA crop report.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. 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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