FCG Meeting: Megatrends in the Food Industry

November 20, 2014 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Lakewood Country Club
3101 Carson Street
Lakewood, CA 90712
$20 | $25
(949) 488-3880
For directions,Click here
$20 for Members, $25 for Non-Members & Guests including a choice of luncheon options

Please RSVP toBarry Weinstein at [email protected] (Place “FCG Nov. 20” in subject line.)

Major changes and developments are headed our way. Are you prepared?Learn the latest on these key trends:

  • Health vs. Nutrition
  • Incubators / Accelerators
  • Food Hubs
  • International Sustainability
  • Environmental Factors
  • Education

The speaker, Klaus Mager, has traveled the world for clients like Disney, setting up major new food programs. He has his ear to the ground and will share his insights directly with you.

Meeting Details:

Health vs. Nutrition

  • Sugar has been identified as the main culprit causing significant health issues, the core driver of diabetes and obesity. The health care industry is starting to focus, but the push back from the industry has been relentless. With health care reform in place, the cost implications are starting to become transparent, and this issue has been compared to the fight against tobacco.Severe implications in the fast food and processed foods industries, but on the other hand amazing opportunities for start-up businesses. Dr. Mark Hyman: How to Cut Your Food Addiction
  • GMOs are the root cause of immunity issues. Genes from different food groups are spliced together, such as a tomato crossed with a seafood gene to withstand cold temperatures. The tomato triggers seafood allergies, but since there is no labeling in place the source is not suspected and understood. Another issue is the leakage of pesticides and herbicides into the food chain, causing severe health impacts. Soy, Wheat, and Corn are GMO based to over 80% of total crop in the US, and labeling is feared to have a profound impact on demand. There are labeling initiatives in several states, Oregon and Colorado will vote this coming election. Long term the consumer demands the industry to become accountable, it is inevitable. But on the other hand a market is forming around organic, with food hubs supporting small farmers to aggregate products to supply restaurants and retailers. Even Walmart is getting in on this wagon, the process is under way.

Incubators / Accelerators

  • Business incubation started in the high tech field in Silicon Valley. Many Universities have created incubators for the bio-engineering and IT related businesses. They provide the equipment required for testing products, fullfil all licensing requirements, provide office space, links to angel investors, marketing etc., essentially an infrastructure of professionals that support the start-up to launch a functioning business. This concept has now moved into the food industry, the most prominent example may be the food innovations center at Rutgers University. Most are non-profit based.
  • There is a 65,000 sf kitchen-for-rent opening up in LA in November, and a smaller facility with app. 6 kitchens in Orange County is under construction as well. The idea is to facilitate start-ups with a fully licensed and professionally equipped kitchen that can be rented on an hourly basis. Cold/Dry Storage can be rented by the sqf.
  • This provides the opportunity for food processing, and many new products appear on local/regional markets coming out of these kitchens. Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s and such are actively recruiting small suppliers, setting up seminars to teach small producers all it takes to become a registered supplier.
  • Restaurants with their very high start-up cost are also starting to look at accelerators to fine tune their concepts before the opening date, essentially cutting down the time from signing a lease to opening the business. There is also the opportunity to test market the menu before committing. Operators looking to expand into second or more locations can use these kitchens-for-rent as commissaries until their growth allows setting up their own facility.

Environmental Factors

  • A perfect storm of global demand growth caused by continued population growth combined with increased wealth in nations such as China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe has created a surge for upscale products. At the same time, the drought in California and other places around the globe, disruption of the agricultural growth cycles caused by a changing climate, is disrupting the food supply.
  • Prices are surging and will continue to do so in particular with the meat supply. Beef prices in particular will cause a disruption, and companies with concepts based on beef will have to find alternative, equally attractive menu items.


  • There are a number ofinternet based institutes that conduct on-line seminars with credentialed speakers and amazing talent related to the food industry. Certification courses for health coaches / life coaches with a focus on nutrition are in high demand, this is one of the fastest growing professions.
  • Harvard School of Public Health has partnered with the CIA (culinary institute of America), John Hopkins School of Public Health, UCSF, many other universities provide on-line courses and public seminars, partnerships with business to shift the way we eat towards a sustainable future.

The opportunity for consultants to attach themselves to such incubators is obviously endless. Most of the aspiring business owners are in need of support from all aspects of the industry. Manufacturers will find this meeting enlightening.


Klaus Mager is the proprietor of Food with Thought, a free lance consultant partnered with Laschober & Sovich, specialized in both the design and operational start-up of large scale food systems and food concepts.

During his career, Klaus has been leading cross-functional teams in very large scale projects. During his 21 years with the Walt Disney Co., he was responsible from concept design to operational startup of Disney’s California Adventure Food and Beverage system, a $4.3 billion project, then for Hong Kong Disneyland, a $2.7 billion project. From 2008 until 2012 he joined Metro C&C, an international food wholesale organization with 700 locations in 30 countries. Klaus was the corporate head of target group management horeca (hotels, restaurants, canteens/catering) and global key account management, with a departmental sales volume of Euro 13.5 billion.

Klaus has been leading teams of specialists from various fields, such as kitchen design and equipment, IT, interior design, architecture, marketing, HR to achieve a finished product. His assignment for the theme parks included the entire systems design, from supply chain development, business systems like IT, cash control, cost control, interior fit out, styles of service, hiring 1,800 staff and operational start-up.

His career started with formal chef’s training and practical kitchen experience inGermany. He immigrated to the US in 1976, starting in Portland, OR as a restaurant manager. His subsequent career included hotel general manager, VP of Operations for a mid-sized restaurant company, then the Disneyland Hotel starting in 1986.

Klaus graduated from the Heidelberg School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, then studied Industrial Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, Germany.