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College of Agriculture

FDRS Student Food Marketing Competition

Chico State students Jordyn Kesting, Taylor Gallaty and Rachael Wilson competed in the Student Food Marketing Challenge as part of the Food Distribution Research Society’s (FDRS) virtual conference held on October 13, 2020. In this competition, the students acted as professional consultants tasked with providing recommendations to a company with individual needs. All students left with transferable skills that they can apply to the classroom and beyond in their career endeavors. 

As with many events this year due to the global pandemic, the competition occurred virtually. The students submitted a recorded presentation to the theme of “Food Supply Chain Resilience and COVID-19,” which focused on how the pandemic affected our food distribution system. 

Veggie Produce Inc., a hypothetical company provided to the students, was in need of a marketing strategy. The students created a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis to examine for possible ways to improve the company’s current marketing efforts. The research question was “How will Veggie Produce Inc. quickly pivot their business model to address the losses in foodservice and institutional market segment?"

The three students looked at short-term market trends and long-term strategies to improve the company’s business model. The students also re-evaluated the market segment of growth and decline. 

A key insight the student discovered was the need for Veggie Produce Inc. to improve its digital technology, including use of webpages and social media. They also recommended the company apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“I had the opportunity to interact with people within the College of Agriculture outside of class. Sure, we couldn't meet in person, but I feel like having that barrier pushed us to try even harder and work together as a more unified team,” said Taylor Gallaty. “We all learned so much so quickly, and it was nice to have something to be excited about and proud of when everything was all said and done.”